Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training Course
Venue: Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia
Dates: 1-10 October 2016
Participants: Petr Křístek, Kristýna Dušková
Participating countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Spain, United Kingdom
Hosting organisation: Akadémia proaktivity o.z.
When I started studying teaching at university, I got the feeling that I need to do something more to get ready for today´s challenges and changes of everyday life. My schedule got fulfilled by a lot of formal lectures and I knew I need to do more for my professional development. The opportunity brought to me ERASMUS+ programme and the project Outdoor gives more. Taking part in previous youth exchanges and training courses, I supposed that inspiring days are waiting for me in Slovakia. Before I came to the project I had expected non-formal educational methods and friendly atmosphere in which learning is taking place. My expectations came true. From the first moment I found out that the training course will be beneficial and fruitful.
Soon my train came to Liptovský Mikuláš and our program could begin. After meeting other participants the first activity is here. We practise energizers, play ice-breaking games and do team-building activities. All the communications barriers are gone and we learn working as a team.
The purpose of our project was to develop knowledge, skills related to outdoor education. From my personal perspective I can confirm that I gained a lot of skills connected to working with young people and got motivated to broaden my knowledge in youth education. Taking part in all the activities with excitement, for me the training course became a well full of ideas. I was learning from other participants, from practical examples facilitated by professional trainers and also from discovering my own abilities and weaknesses.
All the activities were held in a creative and inspiring way. The other day we are asked to show the strength of our team collaboration and take part in an activity developing team spirit and trust to each other. For this time, I left my comfort zone and participated in something that I would never do before. Giving my trust to other people and at the same time supporting the team gave me much energy and courage. Trust became the basic building stone of the project. Step by step, we all developed the self confidence and trust to others. Trust was something that everyone respected, trust was a hummer to destroy all intercultural barriers and fears.
Projects, like our one, are not only about learning by doing but also about enjoying participation and destroying personal barriers. The first day we practise with our coach Michal really powerful street workout and discover our personal borders by practising “animals movements”. After the exercise I am so surprised to find out how many muscles I have in my body. I did not know about them before.
Because we are situated in the national heritage of Slovakia, Tatry mountains, the visitation of nature cannot be missing. Bad weather makes things complicated but because we have developed positive spirit and relaxed atmosphere previous days, rain and snow will not stop us from visiting the local cave and mountains treks. Outdoor gives more, so that mud and chilly weather makes us surprisingly happy and connected.
One of the most fruitful experience was training on ERASMUS+ and its opportunities. Wondering how to make own project and activate young people, I gained essential skills and knowledge for youth workers. We made a draft of our own project and I realized that I can even organise the projects I have participated so far.
The training course Outdoor gives more gave us definitely more. To sum up the previous ten days, I learnt how listening skills are important than anything else, that sometimes you need to step out from your comfort zone to experience real adventure and trust is the basic element of a team. The sentence which our trainer Michal said and which will always stay in my mind is: “what is beautiful about outdoor education is that you can get dirty. Like in the business or today´s world.” Definitely, after being part of this fantastic project I can´t agree more.
Finally, there are people who invest their free time to give young people like me unforgettable experiences and inspiration to life. These people deserve a huge thank you. EYCB organisation from south Moravia, travel hacker and organiser Janka, couches Michal and Ilona, they do the great job to pass their experiences and educate new young generation that will be ready to deal with challenges of today´s world. Thank you for everything you do and persuading me that outdoor really gives more!