Training Course “HIKE: (UN)Essentials” with 23 youth workers

Team of Innovative Generation organised training course for the youth workers about outdoor education and hiking as a tool. What happened during the learning process?

First day we got to know each other while doing different activities which activated our brain and our hearts- circle of compliments, agreeing on how we will live together those 7 days, expectations, and team building in the river. One more time it was proved- outdoors is the best and has many tools to be used to learn and work with youth and discuss any topic.

2nd day was informative, joyful and full of different learning experiences. We started a day about the reflection of team-building of previous day- as we were canoeing for 17 kilometers for 5 hours, it was many things to talk and see how we can use this tool for education. Later we continued with open space where each country could share their working methods. After delicious lunch, we continued to talk about outdoor education and how to use this tool for people with fewer opportunities and also inclusive workshop about radicalization. Not to be it only a lot of nice talks, we immediately tried it in practice and went for the night hiking where two societies with very different leading style went to the forest. This simulation was perfect tool to see how we react to people with fewer opportunities, with panic attacks and to see how leadership works. Which approach we choose- lead or to be lead, decide in the group or let the leader to decide for us. A lot of food for thought and many things still needs to be learned.

Third day we started with longer sleep as night hiking took a lot of our energy. We started with evaluation after the hiking, moved to the session about education through sports and understanding the difference between education for, by and through sports. We took time to create new methods to work in outdoors and learned how to present youth pass in creative way for youth. How to explain for youngsters what 8 key competences are? Also, we talked about gamification and open badges. Now each participant has a badge as a night hikers and others soon to come! During the evening some of us went to swim in the lake and night was fulfilled with intercultural professional evening where each country had a chance to present not only their professional work but also their beautiful culture.

Next day we woke up early early and moved to Trakai where we visited nice initiative of local community “Angelų kalva“, had a chance to have a coffee in front of the beautiful castle and moved to another venue in village. Here two experts visited us and gave us an inclusive sessions about „How to control our emotions“ lead by psychologist Veronika Mudėnaitė and another session about proper moving, body posture and pilates session lead by physiotherapist Algirdas Papickas. Evening we spent doing Lithuanian barbecue, having some dances and spending nice and cosy time together.

Last day was intensive, fruitful and full of plans. Everyone were working and developing their future plans and activities until very late in the last night. Many seeds have been planted in Lithuania and some nice activities are coming to be implemented.

Thanks everyone for contributing for this amazing experience. In addition, booklet about outdoor education was published, so for sure we are going to share our outcomes and methods which every participant contributed in the creation.

Training Course was financed by Erasmus plus programme and organized by NGO Innovative Generation #ngoinnovativegeneration together with brilliant partners from Georgia “Youth for the World”, from UK “Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance”, informal group from Greece “Over the Fence”, NGO from Armenia “Youth and Community Action Club NGO “, from Belarus Ustanova “GEDEUS”, and partners from Serbia “Environment Engineering Group”.

Thanks to each participant who have contributed to this amazing experience. Hope to be able to work with you again!