When this year's summer camp was over, we decided that we wanted to enjoy the beautiful summer weather at our campsite a bit more this year and we managed to organize one more project there before the holidays ended. The youth exchange "You(th) Play" brought together young people from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia and the topic - as is obvious from the name - were games. Our aim was to find out, how much we can learn about each other and about the world around us by playing games. And I must say that it was definitely a lot. We also enjoyed two outdoor games at night and an adventurous game that helped us to get to know the town of Tábor. At the end of the project, we were supposed to create our own games, which was a challenging task, but we had a lot of fun fulfilling it.
You can see photos from the gallery HERE
This year's summer camp was very successful. We had quite a high number of children and thanks to an Erasmus+ project "Summer Camp Adventure", we could also welcome foreign leaders - this year from Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey. During the 14 days, the children were travelling around the world, visiting various countries, getting to know new cultures and also a little bit of political systems. The children will for sure never forget the visit to North Corea. Besides that, we also took part in a Brazilian carnival, fought with the Russian mafia and learned to create origami in China. In the second week, we also visited the town of Český Krumlov - we visited the gardens next to the chateaux and had lunch right at the castle. Because a professional filmmaker joined us this year, we are happy to have also our first summer camp video.
You can see photos from the gallery HERE
From 29th June to 9th July 2018 me and my friend from scout took part in a training course Through Outdoor Experiential Learning to the Best of You(th). This project focused on working with young people in nature and it took place in Slovakia. Every day we were learning how to work with young people and how to organize outdoor activities for them. We experienced many various activities and enjoyed many coffee breaks, during which we could taste food from the countries involved in the project (Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Lithuania, Croatia, Latvia and Estonia). At the end of the project we divided into several international groups and we went hiking for three days in Tatras. On the way we fulfilled various challenges (walking blind for a moment or with bare feet and more). I liked this part of the project the most. One aim of the project was to create an activity for young people, which we will later on implement in our countries.
You can see photos from the gallery HERE
The second weekend in May, representatives of our organization took part in an international training under the Erasmus+ project "The Long Way to Europe". This time the meeting took place in Krakow, because this place is in many ways connected to antisemitism and holocaust. 28 participants from eight countries got the opportunity to visit Schindler's factory (famous thanks to the Spielberg's movie Schindler's List) and also the most famous concentration camp Auschwitz. The training ended by organizing a street debate in the streets of Krakow, which motivated the participants to be more active in the society when they come home.
You can see photos from the gallery HERE
On the 12th of May, we organized our first "street debate" as a part of an Erasmus+ project "The Long Way to Europe", which motivates young people to be more interested in what is happening in their countries and to take an active part in the society. The topic of this first debate was "difference" and our aim was to create a debate about this topic amongst random people on the street who would normally never start talking to each other. We - me (Mája), Eva Pešková, Míra Krampera and Petr Čáp - met in the morning on the square in Sedlčany, brought a big board and on it, we hung the question "Have you ever felt "different"? When?" Then we asked random people on the square and wrote their answers on the board - this way we created a kind of a collage of various experiences with "being different", which the passers-by could read and think about. The whole time there was a nice and friendly atmosphere, we enjoyed the time together and gained experiences, which we are going to use in the next debates we organize.
You can see photos from the gallery HERE
In the first week of February we organized a training course for youth workers named "Games for Change" in Říčany, Czech Republic. The participants had a great opportunity to learn to use games as a method in non-formal education and also as a tool for spreading tolerance and inclusion. People from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Spain and Turkey took part in the project. After the theoretical part of the project and a half-day excursion to Prague, which everybody enjoyed quite a lot, the participants got the chance to put into practice what they learned and create their own educational game. And the results were very interesting - besides using the knowledge and skills they gained during the project, they also used a lot of their own creativity and originality. The project brought together a group of great people enthusiastic about games and so we spent most of the free time playing board as well as non-board games and we had a lot of fun and gained new contacts as well as good friends.
Photos from the project are in the gallery.
In November 2017 we hosted our last project of the year. It was a youth exchange named "Eco Possibilities for Entrepreneurship", which was attended by young people from Spain, Slovakia, Turkey and the Czech Republic. By using the method of various games, discussions and "learning by doing" they learned about ecology and entrepreneurship and tried to find ways to combine these two areas and create their own business, which would be not only successful, but also eco-friendly. There was enough time left also for teambuilding activities, a trip to Prague and to a bio-bakery Zemanka and intercultural evenings, which everybody liked a lot. At the end of the project, we went to the local high school, where we talked to the students not only about eco-entrepreneurship, but also about Erasmus+ and the opportunities it gives to young people. The project had a very nice and friendly atmosphere, we had a lot of fun and made many new friends.
You can check out pictures from the project in the gallery.
Also, more pictures can be found here.
If you are interested in more details about the project, have a look at the bulletin:
In October 2017 we organized our first international project outside of the Czech Republic. Between 11th and 19th October we met in a Turkish town of Patara with more than 30 people from Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and Latvia, who work with young people and want to broaden their horizons in this area. This time the topic of the training was using audiovisual technologies as a tool for making young people more interested in other cultures and make them more tolerant towards people who are different. During the first days the participants discussed about intercultural learning and youth work and at the same time learned to use a camera and shoot and edit videos. At the end they split into groups and created five original short movies that somehow address the topic of intercultural diversity. And because everybody worked hard and with a lot of enthusiasm, we also had the time to explore Turkish nature and culture - we visited a traditional bazar, a ruin of ancient parliament and on the last day we went canoeing. We are now enriched by new experiences, but also new friendships and common plans for the future.
You can see the movies frome the project here.
In August 2017 we organized our third training course for youth workers, this time the topic was "outdoor activities". 26 participants from the Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Macedonia, Spain and Portugal discovered during the 8 days of the project their relationship with nature and the main theories about learning in/from nature. We tried for example acrobatic yoga, walking on ropes and night games in the forest. The second half of the project was more practical - the participants tried to organize their own outdoor activities for children. The most interesting part of the project was undoubtedly the night hike, during which the participants slept in the nature, walked at least 20 kilometres and also fulfilled challenges that they chose - walk one hour without shoes or blindfolded, swim in a lake, talk to the local people and so on. During this project we continued designig ideas for our future activities and so we can be looking forward to meeting some of our new friends soon.
Photos from the project here.
This year, our summer camp was a bit of an experiment, since we had made two significant changes in the way of organization. The first one was joining the two terms (for younger and older kids) into one. The second change was taking the international side of our camp to the next level by connecting it with a youth exchange under Erasmus+ programme, which was called "Summer camp adventure". This way, we could use the help and enthusiasm of 18 young leaders from the Czech republic, Slovakia and Spain. They were accommodated in the two cabins on the other side of the river and their main programme was exploring what being a youth worker/camp leader is about, what it is like to organize games and activities for children, but also taking care of themselves, cooking their own dinner, etc. It was a great opportunity for them to experience life in the middle of the Czech countryside, learn to canoe (God knows it wasn't easy), etc. During the camp we also organized a trip to Tábor, where the kids as well as the foreign leaders could explore the historical sights and Czech culture and then challenge themselves a little bit by walking back to the campsite. As a reward, they organized for the children Spanish and Slovakian evenings, in which they introduced to them their food, music, languages... On one rainy day we also had a movie marathon of animated movies. For next year, we have this project already approved, this time we will host also young people from Finland and Italy.
You can find all the pictures from the project here.
And some of them also in the gallery.
From 14th to 27th May 2017 we hosted an Erasmus+ project in Prague, that was called Get Your Own Picture. We had planned it together with our partners from Turkey and Germany, who already have a lot of experience with similar projects. 50 young people from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Germany, Latvia, Greece and Spain took part in the project. After three days of ice-breaking games and theoretical workshops, they started fulfilling the task for which they came - to shoot their own short movie. They were divided into groups and they could try to be in different positions - somebody got the role of director, then there were producers, cameramans and so on. The participants had the opportunity to explore Prague and to shoot their movies there. After ten days of work we celebrated our success by looking at our movies projected in a cinema at FAMU. With the same partners we are already planing more project for the future and we are looking forward to more similar experiences.
Here are the movies that we created.
Training course named "Multipliers of Non Formal & Intercultural Communication" that took place from 15th to 23rd April in the Turkish city of Antalya was attended by four Czech participants from our organization. During a week full of non-formal learning we learned how to work with prejudices and intercultural stereotypes, we got to know how to approach topics such as discrimination, social exclusion, our identity and values. We tried to understand various types of learning and in the end we tried what it takes to lead our own workshop. Besides learning, during the breaks we got to know food from the participating countries. Each national team prepared their own coffee break with snacks and a short introduction of their country. We also had the time to explore the beautiful city of Antalya and the surrounding. We visited the town of Termessos, which was not conquired even by Alexander the Great. We left the project with many new experiences and also many new friendships which we hope will last as long as possible.
Here you can find pictures from the project.
In march of this year (2017) a group of three Czech studets, me, Anna and Jaja, attended Erasmus+ project in Italy. The project took place in Moliterno(PZ) and was named Creative Enterprise. Our main focus was on creating a realistic business plan, making realistic idea of how business works. Everyone enjoyed this project because it was entertaining.
During the week between 5th and 13th March an Erasmus+ project "Gender - Awareness to be Aware" took place in Pärnu, Estonia. On behalf of our organization there were two participants - me and my classmate Jenda. As the title of the project hints, we were dealing mainly with "gender issues" - gender identity and equality, discrimination and oppression. The first few days were a bit rocky, because all of us came with different oppinions and had a lot of emotions that needed to come out. For the first time we got to know the fact, that some people don't agree with a binary perception of society and that some of them choose to have no gender and some of them on the other side feel like being both. We heard many different oppinions and it was a real intellectual challenge to find those we could relate with. After a few passionate discussions, our group came to a calmer state, we learned to tolerate our differences and we became not only a functional team, but also good friends. And maybe because our way to mutual friendship was a bit tough and full of emotions, the harder it was to say "goodbye". The evening programme also contributed to general well-being - pantomimical movie quiz, visiting spa and unforgettable dancing in the dark. On Wednesday we enjoyed a relaxing day, we went sightseeing in the town and had a walk on icebound Baltic see. We had an intense week full of new experiences and self-reflection that we won't forget.
In November 2016 six people from our organization took part in an Erasmus+ project that took place in High Tatras. It's name was "Eco-entrepreneur", so obviously the main topics we were dealing with were entrepreneurship and ecology. We discovered the opportunities young entrepreneurs have in different countries and tried to come up with our own ideas. Although the programme was quite bussy, we also found time to go walking and explore the beautiful nature. On our way to Slovakia we visited Machocha - the deepest chasm in the Czech Republic - and on the way back home we made a stop in Oswiecim.
From the 27th August to 4th September 2016 we organized our second international training course for youth workers in Tábor. 28 people from 9 european countries took part in it. The topic was this time intercultural learning and designing activities for youngsters on this subject. The participants themselves were lead to question and break down their prejudices towards other cultures. There was also a practical part in which the participants had the opportunity to try what it's like to prepare educational activities for others. During the week we also made an adventurous trip to our campsite, where we enjoyed a few outdoor games and an evening by the campfire. The program also included a visit to Tábor, sauna and football. Just like last year, this project has been a big motivation for us to keep preparing new events.
Just like the previous years, we managed to hold two summer camps sessions, both two weeks long. Than means we spent the entire July in our campsite having fun with the children. In August we also lended the camp to scauts.
In the first session, there were again children from Spain - two girls and a boy. Two young camp leaders also came with them and helped us with games. This means the children had a great opportunity to improve their Engish and get to know the Spanish culture a little bit closer. The topic of the whole session was Game of Thrones. The children had to protect their kingdom form the threat of Targeryens and white walkers. At the same time they competed with each other in order to win the iron throne and become the ruler of the Seven kingdoms.
The second session was as usually for younger children. But they could also try some English, because two of the Spanish leaders decided to stay with us a little bit longer. This year our topic was indians - we looked for a hidden treasure, saved a captive and made our own dream-catchers. As always, we played a lot of games, bathed in the river, went on trips... and made a lot of memories we are not gonna forget.
We hope the children enjoyed the camp at least as much as we did.
In October 2015 we managed to organize our first Erasmus+ project in Tábor, Czech Republic. It was a training course for youth workers named "Magic of Non-Formal Learning". Five of our camp leaders took part along with 21 youth workers from other european countries. While we were taking care of the organization and logistical support, the programme had been designed by two experienced trainers from Latvia and Romania. Not only that we learned about non-formal approach to learning and discovered a lot of new games, we also got to know a group of great people and experienced unforgettable 10 days.
Soon after the end of this project, we already started creating a new one. You can find more information in the "youth work" section.
In July 2015 we organized two summer camp sessions - the first for older children and second for the smaller ones.
This year we managed to host an international summer camp for the first time, 5 children from Spain and one leader from Slovakia participated in the first session. That meant that the children had a unique opportunity practice their English and learn something new about life in other countries. We also made a trip to the nearby town Tábor, so that also the Spanish kids could get to know the Czech culture better.
The theme of the whole session took palce in the Middle Ages, in the times of kings, knights and princesses. The children were divided into two teams and had to win games and fulfil various tasks to improve their half of the kingdom and protect it from its enemies, who were about to attack it.
The second session was designed for younger children and so it was a little bit more relaxed. We spent a lot of time swimming in the river, playing in the water and singing songs at the campfire. One day we went on a trip to a ruined castle Příběnice. This session was as well set into the Middle Ages.