From 13th to 21th of August I took part in “Go on! Outdoor training” in Lithuania.
During training course various methods were used. Mostly it was based on experiential learning. That’s why all activities were quite active: group building activities, rope course, rafting (for 2 days). We had a nice chance to learn and of course play a lot of outdoor games, but this was mostly for fun.
Such things as rafting appeared to be much more serious. Actually it was a challenge. Just few people had experience of rafting. Others had to follow expression “learning by doing”. Our trainers decided to give us all freedom and to allow to get our own experience. Their favourite answer to any of our questions was:”It’s up to you”. So the group had to decide what to take with us, how to arrange our life during 2 days outdoor. That’s where you can see a group building process. It was hard sometimes. But finally the trip became unforgettable: calm river, beautiful Lithuanian views, nice and funny team, evenings near the fire.
Besides we had some interesting exercises, that led to personal growth. For example Silent hours. We had 5 hours of complete silence. We were not allowed to talk or to produce any sounds at all. At first it seamed very strange and a bit hard. But then we found out that people can wonderfully communicate without words, more than that they can play games, cook meals on the fire and even make jokes and have a lot of fun without any word. That was a valuable experience. Here also we had a chance to check our personal limits and power of our bodies, because sometimes conditions were hard. In the evenings it was rather cold, and we were wearing wet clothes.
Sometimes we had to carry our rafts, because of obstacles in the river. But we appeared to be rather strong and brave to handle all the problems on our way. I’m still proud of all our team. By the way it’s a pure truth that troubles make a good team. Our coming back from rafting was celebrated in sauna party, which was a great reward after two days of rafting.
Less active, but not less important were theoretical inputs, reflections on experience and feedback sessions. Our trainers shared their experience, told us about different youth programs and about the ways how we can arrange our own exchanges or trainings. Huge thanks to them for this information and for everything they did for us. They are unbelievable people.
Lydia Boshnikova, Alternative-V, Dnipropetrovsk