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OUTDOOR

ACADEMY manual of educational program for youth groups Edited by Agnieszka Leśny, Igor Lisin


Edited by Agnieszka Leśny, Igor Lisin Authors: Daniele Bettini, Ioanna Mirto Chatzigeorgiou, Paulina Kida, Agnieszka Leśny, Igor Lisin, Peter Mitchell, Philippos Nachmias, Reka Puskas, Anastasia Rodopoulou, Kinga Vajda Copyeditor: Marcel Majchrzak Design and layout: Małgorzata Chustecka Illustrations: Anna Zając

978-83-943238-3-7 Copyright and publisher: Foundation Institute of Animation and Social Development Probostwo 34, Lublin 20-089, Poland biuro@iairs.pl www.iairs.pl www.outdooracademy.pl Manual is published within project “Outdoor Academy: coaching and outdoor education in youth field”.

Co-funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Copy free of charge CC BY NC The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Edited by Agnieszka Leśny, Igor Lisin

OUTDOOR ACADEMY manual of educational program for youth groups

2018


CONTENT

Part 2: GOING DEEPER

42

#5

Sculptures 44 Communication line 45 Collecting Eggs 47

#6

Team intro 50 Magic Paraphrase 51 Strands mix 53 Nature machine 54

#7 INTRODUCTION 6 Part 1: FIRST FEW MEETINGS 10

#1

Dance on a log (+) 12 Tarp-game 13 Introducing the Trainer 14 Travelling on a bus 15 Introducing the Programme 16

#2

Picnic 19 The herd and the shepherd 20 Team Contract 22 Hi5 24 Fly on our hands 25

Handshake 57 Ball Factory 58 Yarn Web 60

#8

Object Share 62 Don’t dare falling in our hugs 64

#9

Gestures 67 Talking without speaking 69 Blind shapes 72

#10

1 min 75 Let’s talk 76 The Zombie Walk 78 Mirror of Communication 80 Listening Actively 81

3#

Evolution 28 Participant Profiles 29

#4

Warm up and Next Level Checker 33 Minefield 34 Running Free 36 Trust Fall 38 Your style/role in a group 40 Thank you! (+) 41

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Part 3: REINFORCING SELF-ASSESSMENT

82

#11

Backpacking Your Talents 84 Extraterrestrial Mission 87

#12

Ice breaker: I appreciate in me... 92 Moonwalk 93


#13

#23

#14

ANNEXES 151

Evaluate the whole program – Part A 148 Evaluate the whole program – Part B 150

Run your way 97 Individual Blind Walk 98 Blind train 102 Space Walk 104

APPENDIX 158

#15

SUMMARY 163

Create your Self(ie) 107

#16

Who’s that 110 How close can I reach? (+) 111 Puzzle game 112

114

Part 4: IMPLEMENTATION

#17

Ice breaker: Strong Wind 116 Four Directions/Four Cardinal Points 118

#18

Ice breaker: Human machine 127 Planning of the project 128

#19

Implementation of the program by the participants 130

#20

Ice breaker: Strong Wind (2) 132 Evaluation of the project 134 Part 5: TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

136

#21

Group picture 138 Back to the past 139 Giving and receiving 141 Letter to yourself 143

#22

Evaluation of skills development 145

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


INTRODUCTION

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


7 This manual is the result of a unique project called “Outdoor Academy: coaching and outdoor education in youth field”, organized in the framework of the Erasmus+ Program. During this program, we designed and tested dozens of scenarios, implemented different outdoor education approaches and experimented with various settings. A  more detailed overview of the project’s history and implementation, as well as possible results which can be expected, can be found in the appendix to this manual. We address our publication to teachers, trainers, educators – all those who work with youth and adult groups in educational institutions, non-governmental organisations and training groups. We prepared for you and tested a  program for supporting youth in their development through outdoor education. A  detailed overview of the foundations, core theories, OUTDOOR ACADEMY


examples and scenarious that inspired us to create outdoor program, you will find in our publication “Outdoor education. From theory to practice” (Lisin, Kida, 2018), which serves as a guide for our trainers’ work. BEFORE YOU START

To implement the “Outdoor Academy” program experience as a trainer is required or a professional who will work with you. It is impossible to use any program for every group in the same way. What worked well for our groups may not necessarily yield the best results for yours. This program –  like all educational offerings – should be adapted to the specific needs and context of your participants. This is one of the key roles of you, the trainer. Based on your trainer experience and the goals* that you have, you can change and adapt our methods to meet the needs of your group. Be ready for adding some adjustments, activities, debriefing methods, alternative solutions, etc. Remember that our program is just a suggestion, not a rigid structure of activities. This is a program for a group that does not necessarily have experience in non-formal or outdoor education.

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ABOUT A PROGRAM

It works. We have tried, tested and evaluated it. And we will use it again! We invite you to use it on your own groups. The program consist of 5 modules, 16 workshops and is designed for up to 6 months of regular meetings in the  framework of roughly 2-hour blocks. We suggest that each meeting consists of an introduction, several activities (or one main activity), debriefing and summary. All activities is design for a group of around 10-15 participants. The main objective of the program is to develop teamwork, cooperation and leadership, along with providing the possibility to implement these skills in an active, innovative and balanced way. As an result of this program, the group can work towards creating and implementing social projects. Based on our experience, this is one of the most powerful benefits in “Outdoor Academy”. A  lot of existing programs are based on the idea of delivering a  workshops by trainers to others. We want to change this. That’s why we propose that in the end participants not only take, but also give to others through their own action. This is very close to the motto of one of the biggest outdoor education organisations, Outward Bound, “To Serve, To Strive and not To Yield”, where voluntary work is very important.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


In the first module, the group will become familiar with each other and establish common rules and norms. By performing tasks together, participants will build trust and prepare for the more complicated challenges that will occur later in the program. The group will build a foundation, which will allow participants to develop their knowledge about group communication, division of roles and self-esteem in the second module. The first two modules will develop the rules of good and efficient teamwork. The third part will focus on the group’s own resources. Activities here will help to develop personal abilities, foster self-esteem, and allow to plan work in a better way. In the fourth module, the participants will put into practice all the knowledge they already gained. The rules of project management will be specifically described and the group, with the help of trainers, will create and implement their own project. The last part is about final conclusions. All previous actions will be carefully discussed in order to draw conclusions and think how to transfer the gained knowledge into everyday life. GOOD LUCK!

We have gone through an amazing adventure creating this program and we hope that it will be your experience as well. We will appreciate your feedback and impressions from the project. Contact us by contact@outdooracademy.pl

*REMEMBER: the result of the right approach is achieving the educational goals! Effective education influences a further transfer - participants will use gained knowledge and abilities in their personal everyday lives (Neuman, 2004).

References: Lisin I., Kida P., 2018, Outdoor Academy: from theory to practice, IAIRS, Lublin. Neuman J. 2004, Education and learning through outdoor activities, JUHA, Prague, p. 34 OUTDOOR ACADEMY

9


Part 1 FIRST FEW MEETINGS

At the beginning of each outdoor program, it is worth to dedicate time to get to know each other, build trust and set a group norms or values. You are building your team from small activities to more complex.


DANCE ON A LOG (+)

AGE: 12-82

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15-20 min

a wide log (6-12 m) or tape

outdoor

8-25

DESCRIPTION

The trainer asks the group to climb onto the log randomly. Then they explain the rules: The aim is to move on the log, in order to make a row alphabetically, according to the first names. It means that the first person on the right is for A, etc. One more rule: everyone must stay on the log while arranging themselves. Every time someone touches the ground, that person, or the whole group, must return to the starting position. The task is finished when all the members of the group reach their position without falling and one by one, loudly, say their names in the alphabetical order.

12

SAFETY

Make sure that the log is dry and not slippery. Get rid of dangerous objects around the log. VARIATIONS

You can make this game indoor and easier – you can use just tape on the round. The game can be repeated few times, with using birth dates, etc.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


TARP-GAME

AGE: 4-100

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

5-15 min

tarpaulin or blanket

indoor/outdoor

DESCRIPTION

Trainer splits the group into two teams. Every team sits behind one side of the sheet (which should be hanged or held in the way to make a wall between two teams), so that they are out of the view of the other group. One person from each side sits facing the sheet. When the sheet is lowered, the team that says the name of the person on the opposite side first gets that player on their side. The game ends when everyone is on the same side or when time is up. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

A sheet or tarp big enough for half of your group to hide behind. The group must know each other or be familiar with each other’s names.

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13


INTRODUCING THE TRAINER

AGE: 8+

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

a rope or something to make a boundary from

outdoor

GOAL

For the participants and the trainer to get to know each other better. DESCRIPTION

14

A circle or other shape is made on the ground. The trainer enters the circle and explains the participants the following task: to identify a quality that they have or something that they like, which is shared by one or more other participants, but not by everybody. Those who also share this quality enter the circle. The trainer can repeat this several times, in order to communicate their personal interests to the participants. VARIATIONS

Participants can also be asked to enter the circle and identify a quality they have shared by at least one more person, but not the whole group.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


TRAVELLING ON A BUS

AGE: 8+

10–20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

10 min

chairs (one for each participant), organized in two parallel lines, one chair in the front on the left side

outdoors or indoors, room for chairs in two lines

GOAL

 Energizer.  Playing different roles.  Experience to be in different roles.

DESCRIPTION

The group pretends to travel on a city bus. One person is the driver, they have to sit in the front and tell the group where and how they are driving at the moment: stop, turn right, turn left, passing across the railway, on a bridge, fast, slow, etc. The other group members are various types of passengers: young, old, mother with child, sitting, standing. They do the typical gestures for those passengers. In stations they can get off, then participant can get into the role of “other passengers” and step on the bus (even with pets), driver can be changed, bus can be very crowded, incidents can happen. The trainer encourages participants to be creative, come up with many ideas and try as many roles as possible. SAFETY

Make sure the participants don’t hit each other and themselves. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Who likes to try many different roles, who doesn’t.

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15


INTRODUCING THE PROGRAMME TIME

60 min

MATERIALS  paper or cardboard to make a sign and marker pens  flipchart paper  large sheet of A2 paper

AGE: 8+

10-30

LOCATION

indoor/outdoor

GOAL

Encouraging participants to think about the separate stages of the project. DESCRIPTION

16

Four stations are set up to represent the four themes of the project: Communication, Team-work, Self-development and Implementation. The group is then divided into four smaller groups. Each group is invited to go to one station and has five minutes to brainstorm and write down a list of 5 keywords associated with each individual theme. They are informed that there are no right or wrong answers. After each 5-minute interval the groups change their station and repeat the process. Once each team has completed a brainstorming session for each station, the trainer collects all the results. Participants are invited to gather round and compare the keywords identified by each group. In a larger group (all participants), they are invited to create a word cloud using the gathered results. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

This can provide useful information to the trainers as to the participants’ preconceptions of the subjects. It would be advisable for trainers to make a note of the keywords, which will provide material they can return to later in the project.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


17

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#2


PICNIC

AGE: 4-100

10-40

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20-30 min

none

indoor/outdoor

GOAL

Encouraging participants to think about the separate stages of the project. DESCRIPTION

The group is going on an imaginary picnic. The trainer asks the people to go around the room introducing themselves by saying their names and a food to bring that begins with the first letter of the name. (example: I’m Paula and I’m bringing pasta.) The next person must give the names and foods of everyone who came before, then their own name. Instructors usually go last, so that they have to repeat everyone’s name. VARIATIONS

People can “bring” objects more closely related to the group content: for an outdoor experience, etc.

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19


THE HERD AND THE SHEPHERD TIME

40 min of debriefing

MATERIALS  blindfolds  materials to create different sounds

AGE: 14 +

10+

LOCATION

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Building trust between the members of the team.  Enhancing concentration and listening skills.  Confronting fears that arise when someone is invited to work collectively under unfamiliar circumstances.  Enhancing imagination and improvisation skills. DESCRIPTION

20

All the members of the group, except for one, come close to each other and form a herd. The person that stands apart becomes the shepherd. The herd gets blindfolded and has to remain silent. The shepherd starts making different sounds to call the herd to follow them. The herd should move towards the direction of the sounds remaining united, and keeping one pace of walking. After some minutes, the shepherd stops, joins the herd and chooses another member to become the shepherd, until everyone takes both of the roles. SAFETY

Beware to clean the area of the game from obstacles, stones and things that could cause the members to fall. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How do the members of the group react?  Is there anyone who might feel overstressed?  Is the shepherd careful and attentive enough, so that he/she doesn’t lead the herd to dangerous areas? DEBRIEFING

The group is divided to sub-groups of three people. They are given 5 minutes to discuss their feelings during the exercise and to form a frozen picture to OUTDOOR ACADEMY


present their thoughts to the rest of the team. Each picture is presented and discussed.  What are the feelings you want to emphasize with your picture?  What made you feel like that?  How did you feel having to trust the shepherd and the collective walking of the herd?  How did you feel being the shepherd?  Was it easy to improvise and create sounds? VARIATIONS

If the group is experienced and cohesive enough, it could be suggested that the exercise is performed without shoes. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

The facilitator can give some examples of extraordinary sounds of the shepherd and encourage the group to create the strangest sounds that they can imagine, while being the shepherd.

21

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


TEAM CONTRACT

AGE: 8 +

TIME

30 min

   

10-30

MATERIALS

LOCATION

flipcharts papers markers a long rope

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Identifying behaviours and actions expected in the group.  Stating common rules.  Setting a team contract. DESCRIPTION

22

The trainer tells the participants to think about what it feels like to be in a good team. The trainer then asks for words that come into mind, shortly discusses and writes the words down on a flipchart that stays in common view. Afterwards, participants are randomly divided in pairs. Based on the previous discussion, they are asked to further discuss for 10 minutes and write down suggestions for the participants, the trainers and the environment that would help achieve this ideal team feeling. The group then meets again and collects and combines all ideas to create the team contract, that will be recognized and respected by all, during the project implementation. The participants are asked to sit down on a circle and read the contract once more. The trainer gives a rope to the first person on the left and asks to tie a knot if they agree with the final agreement. When they tie the knot, the participant hands on the rest of the rope to the next one. In the end, the trainer ties the edge of the rope, thus creating a circle and tells everyone to hold their knot. This rope with the knots represents the agreement and commitment of the team. WHAT TO OBSERVE

If the team reaches consensus in every step of the contract making process. DEBRIEFING

 Do you feel satisfied with the result?  Do you feel confident to follow these suggestions?  Do you believe they will be followed by others? OUTDOOR ACADEMY


VARIATIONS

The contract can also be done by letting the participants completing their names on the paper of the contract. An outdoor element was preferred to represent the fact that this agreement follows us during all activities. The participants could also say a common sentence like “I  agree and will respect everything written on our team contract”. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

It is important to set a general agreement that if the contract is not respected, there will be a  group meeting to decide on how to deal with this situations.

23

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


HI5

AGE: 8 +

10-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

10 min

none

outdoors or indoors – big enough for walking around

GOALS

 Energizer.  Greeting each other through movement.  Starting/ending the topic of the communication. DESCRIPTION

24

The participants are walking around and when the trainer says they choose different kind of partners:  high five partner: look into the eyes of your partner and shake your hands above your head  low five partner: look into the eyes of your partner and shake your hands under your knees  dance partner: look into the eyes of your partner, stick to your partner and jump around  mermaid partner: look into the eyes of your partner and shake your hands imitating a fishtail  boogie-boogie partner: look into the eyes of your partner and shake your bottom, imitating to dance together When each person has this 5 types of partners the facilitator says the partner types faster and faster, and the participants have to find their right partners quicker each time. SAFETY

Make sure the participants don’t run into each other and don’t hit each other.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


FLY ON OUR HANDS

AGE: 10 +

14+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

   

Building trust between the members of the team. Enhancing the skill to let yourself depend on others. Overcoming barriers of body communication. Relaxing and releasing yourself.

DESCRIPTION

The exercise is carried out in silence. One of the participants lays horizontally down to the ground facing the sky/ceiling and keeping the eyes closed. The rest of the group come around the person in the centre, put their hands all around beneath the body of this person and slowly raise them up over their heads. When they reach a height where their arms are stretched, they stay there for some time, around 1-2 minutes, keeping the person “floating” in the air. After that, they bring them down and another person comes to the centre. SAFETY

Although the central person might be heavy, the weight is divided among many hands, so the pressure for every single member is not so strong. However, the facilitator should ask if someone has health problems which prevent from raising heavy things. It might be necessary to have a short break if the people of the group get tired at some point of the exercise. The facilitator should also keep an eye on the possibility of sexually aggressive touches. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How does the team cooperate?  Is there an equal distribution of the weight?  How does the person in the centre reacts?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

25


DEBRIEFING

 How did you feel having to trust that the team will not let you fall down?  How did you feel when floating in the air? Was it relaxing, stressing and why?  How was it having to keep patience and concentration to hold the others in the air efficiently?  How did you feel being responsible for the not-falling of another person?  Was it easy to cooperate and share the burden with the rest of the team? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

If the group is bigger than 20 people, two sub-groups could be created to perform the exercise faster.

26

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#3


EVOLUTION

AGE: 5 +

10-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

10 min

none

outdoors or indoors – big enough for walking around

GOALS

 Energizer.  Playing different roles, changing between different roles. DESCRIPTION

28

The evolution goes from amoebae to superhero. All participants start out as amoebae, making swimming moves, and saying “amoebae, amoebae, amoebae”. When two amoebae meet, they play “rock-paper-scissors”, the winners become eggs. Eggs make the shape of an egg with their hands, and say “egg, egg, egg”. When two eggs meet, they play “rock-paper-scissors”, the winners become eagles, those who lose go back to amoebae. The eagles make moves of flying, and say “eagle, eagle, eagle”. When two eagles meet, they play “rock-paperscissors”, the winners become superheroes, those who lose go back to eggs. The game goes on until there is only one amoebae, one egg, one eagle. SAFETY

Make sure the participants don’t run into each other, don’t hit each other. VARIATIONS

 You can make up another evolution chain.  Those who lose by “rock-paper-scissors” don’t go backwards on the evolution chain, but stay at the level they are.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


PARTICIPANT PROFILES TIME

1.5-2 h

AGE: 12 +

8+

MATERIALS

LOCATION

a role of flipchart paper crayons or marker pens tape or scotch post-it notes (3 to 4 different colours)  flipchart

Indoors. A wall clear without any obstacles. At least 5 meters long and 3 meters high is required

   

GOALS

 Encouraging participants to reflect on their objectives from the project.  Encouraging participants to reflect on their personal goals and how they can contribute to the project.  Enabling participants to articulate their expectations of their peers and trainers. DESCRIPTION

Using the flipchart paper and the tape, a canvas of dimensions approx. 5x2 meters is created on a wall. The canvas begins approx. 0.5 meters from the ground and reaches a height of approx. 2.5. meters. Participants should be invited to help to construct the canvas. The group receives the task of drawing the outline of each participant onto the canvas – creating a profile of the entire group. Participants can assume any position for the pose. As the canvas is raised from the ground, participants need the support of others in order to hold the pose steady while their outline is being drawn. It is possible for differing outlines to overlap each other. The whole group should have their silhouette drawn. If any individual participant is uncomfortable with this, the trainer can invite them to draw the outline of their hand onto the canvas. Once this first task is complete, the trainer distributes four different coloured post-it notes to each participant. Participants are invited to write down:  Their expectations from the project  Their expectations from their peers and trainers  Any fears or worries that they might have  A personal goal that they choose to set themselves OUTDOOR ACADEMY

29


Each participant is then invited to share their expectations, fears and goals with the rest of the group. Upon sharing them, they are asked to stick them onto the flip chart. However, when it comes to their personal goal, they are invited to find their profile on the canvas and match their personal goal to the outline of their body. SAFETY

 Note that marker pens can damage light coloured clothing.  The trainer should be ready to spot any participants who are elevated into a potentially dangerous position while their outline is being drawn.  Pay special attention to the head and neck’s support.

WHAT TO OBSERVE

The initial task of constructing the canvas can provide an insight to the communication within the group. Who is appearing as the leaders? Which participants are more reserved?

30

DEBRIEFING

For the debriefing divide the participants into smaller groups and provide them the following questions to engage with:  Reflect on how it felt to be drawn on the canvas.  How did it feel to draw your fellow participants? Was this different?  In each small group, come up with three adjectives to describe the canvas. Each group should then nominate one member to share the results of these questions with the rest of the participants. VARIATIONS:

The canvas can be constructed as to start from ground level to make the task of drawing outlines easier. For a mixed physical-ability group this might be necessary. COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS:

If possible, leave the canvas on the wall for the duration of the project and return to it during the final evaluation.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


31

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#4


WARM UP AND NEXT LEVEL CHECKER TIME

30-40 min

MATERIALS  table or chairs or walls  one mattress for two people – so that every couple has one

AGE: 10 +

12–24

LOCATION

outdoor or gym

GOALS

   

Developing teamwork communication. Developing group cohesion. Warming up, sensibilising the group for spins and roles. Introducing different movements and the checker handle.

DESCRIPTION

First, participants warm-up together: HI5 jumps in a circle: participants form a large circle. In pairs, with their neighbours, participants both jump and give a double high 5. Half of the participants move clockwise, the other anticlockwise, repeating the process until everyone is back in their place. Participants remain in the circle for the next warm-up exercise. Each in turn runs backwards, completing one rotation slaloming between each participant. While slaloming, participants try to maintain eye contact with their peers. Stretching: participants lie on the ground with their arms stretched out in front of their body. From this starting position they transition into an extended pushup position (as long as possible). Then they walk their legs towards their hands, so that the feet get as close as possible to the hands, before returning to the extended push-up position. Repeat the process 3-5 times. Spinning mattress: participants stand in pairs across from each other. In turns, they throw the mattress into the air and their partner is tasked with catching it, then throwing it back. The exercise can be made more complex buy throwing the mattress so that it spins. VARIATIONS

Leave or add warm up tasks.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

33


MINEFIELD

AGE: 13 +

2-25

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

obstacles (mines) – various objects, like furniture or trees and stumps or more “dangerous“ like eggs or water pools or buckets of water

outdoor/indoor

GOALS

 Developing trust in communication.  Developing a strategy of communication (exchanging information) within the group. DESCRIPTION

34

The aim is to cross the field without stepping into the mines. Rules: Participants operate in pairs. Consider how the pairs are formed – it’s a chance to work on relationships. One person is blindfolded. The other person can see and talk, but cannot enter the field or touch the person. Allow participants a short period (e.g. 3 minutes) of planning time to decide on their communication commands, then begin the activity. Allow participants to swap over and even have several attempts, until a real, satisfied sense of skill and competence in being able to guide a partner through the „minefield” develops. Decide on the penalty for hitting a „mine”. It could be a restart (serious consequence) or time penalty or simply a count of hits, but without penalty. SAFETY

Be cautious about blind-folding people - it can provoke trust and care issues and trigger post-traumatic reactions. Minimize this risk by sequencing Minefield within a longer program involving other get-to-know-you and trust building activities before Minefield. Be aware that some participants may object to, or have previous traumatic experience around the metaphor of explosive mines which have caused and continue to cause much harm and suffering. It may be preferable to rename the activity, for example, as an „obstacle course” or „navigation course”. Establish

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


a concentrating and caring tone for this activity. Trust exercises require a serious atmosphere to help develop a genuine sense of trust and safety. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Mind the level of difficulty for every couple. VARIATIONS

To increase the difficulty, you can have other people calling out. The blindfolded person must concentrate on their partner’s voice amidst all the other voices that could distract them from the task. The blindfolded person cannot talk as well. Minefield in a circle: Blindfolded people start on the outside of a  large rope circle, go into the middle, get an item („treasure”, e.g. a small ball or bean bag), then return to the outside; continue to see who can get the most objects within a time period. Can be conducted as a competitive task - e.g. which pair is the quickest or has the fewest hits? The level of difficulty could increment with the introduction of different object like suspended ropes or low branches of the trees of the area.

35

DEBRIEFING

    

How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the start? How much did you trust your partner (out of 10) at the end? What is the difference between going alone and being guided by another? What did your partner do to help you feel safe and secure? What could your partner have done to help make you feel more safe/ secure?  What communication strategies worked best?  What ingredients are needed while trusting and working with someone else? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

The facilitator plays an important role in creating an optimal level of challenge, e.g. consider introducing more items or removing items if it seems too easy or too hard.  Also consider coaching participants with communication methods (e.g. for younger students, hint that they could benefit from coming up with clear commands for stop, forward, left, right, etc.).

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


RUNNING FREE

AGE: 13 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15-20 min

a blindfold per couple

outdoor

5–25

GOAL

Building trust with another person. DESCRIPTION

36

The aim of the game is to a lead a blindfolded person gradually from a slow walk up to fast running. Rules: Invite participants to find a partner and hand out one blindfold per pair. One person puts the blindfold on and holds hands with the other participant. Ask the seeing person to take their partner on a:  slow walk (2 minutes)  a normal-paced walk (2 minute)  a fast walk (30 secs)  a jog (30 secs)  a run (15 secs)  a fast run (15 secs) Allow participants time to relax, swap over, and then take them through the same sequence. SAFETY

Scan the location before the activity and identify all the possible hazards. Find a large, flat area with soft ground, e.g. grass. WHAT TO OBSERVE

How many participants can actually run fast? VARIATIONS

Same game but without holding the hands, instead accompanying the person by voice.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING:

    

How was the game? Easy, difficult, stressing, engaging? How many of you could run at their maximum speed? What have made you trust your partner? When was the most difficult moment of the game? Does this game relate anyhow with your real situation? How?

COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Repeat the game after the trust building activities to see if more people are now able to run blindfolded.

37

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


TRUST FALL

AGE: 13 +

5–25

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

raised object or spot to fall off from (chairs, platform, rocks, etc.)

outdoor/indoor

GOAL

Building trust among the group. DESCRIPTION

38

One person is the Faller and one is the Catcher. They start with small falls, then build. The trainer establishes clear communication calls (like climbing calls), e.g.: Faller: „I am ready to fall. Are you ready to catch me?” Catcher: „I am ready to catch you. Fall away.” Faller: „Falling.” Catcher: „OK” After about 5-10 minutes Catchers and Fallers switch roles. Progress to Trust Falls & Dives from chairs, tables, rocks, platforms, with whole group catching. SAFETY

Ask participants to find a partner of similar height and weight; same-sex pairs are not essential, but often occur. Faller must adopt the falling posture: standing upright, feet together, hands across chest, resting on shoulders, tight butt cheeks and keep body stiff (to avoid buckling). Catcher is taught „spotting”: one leg in front of the other, arms extended, „give” with the weight, taking it mostly through the legs. WHAT TO OBSERVE

The quality of the atmosphere and caring will generally determine the proportion of people prepared to volunteer. Above 80% is usually a sign of a reasonably healthy group.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


VARIATIONS

The group can also gently lift someone from the ground above people’s heads and slowly put it back down. DEBRIEFING

 How was the game? Easy, difficult, stressing, engaging?  What made you feel trusting? (e.g. clear communication, positive encouragement, etc.)  What made you feel less trusting (e.g. laughing/joking, lack of communication, etc.)  When was the most difficult moment of the activity?  Does this game relate anyhow with your real situation? How? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Create a careful, concentrating, respectful tone. Watch out for bravado; focus on trust and care.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


YOUR STYLE/ROLE IN A GROUP

AGE: 16 +

ANY

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15-25 min

piece of paper and pen for each participant

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Clarifying participant‘s style to act in a group, the role they usually have.  Focusing on the topic of the main activity. DESCRIPTION

40

Participants have 5 to 10 minutes to think about how they usually act when they have to work in group. They can think about how active they are usually, what roles they prefer, if they like to tell their opinion, to dominate or the opposite. They should formulate this in one sentence and write it down on the paper. When ready, they sit down in smaller groups of 4 to 6. They don’t show their papers to each-other, but they fold them, mix them up, then redistribute randomly. One by one they read out loud what’s on the papers. By each sentence, everybody in the circle has to point the person, who they consider to be the “owner” of it (to whom they think the statement fits). DEBRIEFING

If needed, or the differences between assumptions and real persons are too big, the small group can clarify very shortly. VARIATIONS

If participants don’t know each-other (new group) they can write after the first sentence a second one, with how they would like to be in a group, what their favourite role would be. They put the paper in their pocket and take a look at it at the evaluation after the main activity.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


THANK YOU! (+)

AGE: 14 +

10+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Receiving appreciation.  Understanding our response to appreciation. DESCRIPTION

All participants sit around in a circle. A volunteer starts by saying something nice to the person sitting on his right side. The one that receives the positive comment can react any way they want. Then they continue by saying their own comment to the person sitting on their right. When the circle finishes a group discussion takes place. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Do the participants accept or reject the positive comments? DEBRIEFING

   

During the discussion round, the following questions could be used: Was it easy to accept a positive comment? Did you undermine or reject it? How did you feel when your compliment was rejected?

VARIATIONS

The trainer can suggest to those that rejected the appreciation, to rephrase and accept it. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Make sure that no one goes home with a feeling of being rejected.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

41


Part 2 GOING DEEPER

You already built foundations of your team. No you can go deeper to communication, roles in team-work or self-esteem of your participants.


#5


SCULPTURES

AGE: 14 +

10+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Observing the evolution of the team in retrospect, collectively evaluating it and finding out the most decisive moments.  Developing the skill to summarize and clarifying the most important message they want to share.  Learning to combine the various personal points of view in a creative way.  Expressing non-verbally. DESCRIPTION

44

The participants are divided into smaller teams of 4-5 people and the facilitator gives them 15 minutes to create a collective sculpture picturing either one snapshot of their teamwork that they mostly like or dislike, or one of their main feelings concerning their work as a team. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Do the participants accept or reject the positive comments? Don’t focus only in the issues pointed out by the majority of the members, but also cast light on minority contributions and individual ones. The new elements that could lead to a new level of collective development are often firstly expressed by a small number of people. DEBRIEFING

 What was the main idea behind your selection?  How would you link the specific part you decided to depict, to the general evolution of the team?  How was the cooperation while working to create your sculpture?  Did you have a lot of ideas?  Was it easy to come to a final decision that would satisfy all the members? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS:

Important to give enough time to the rest of the team to comment and discuss on the presentation of each sub-team. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


COMMUNICATION LINE

AGE: 8 +

10-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Raising awareness of disturbing factors in communication and eliminating them.  Sharing opinions. DESCRIPTION

According to the number of participants they form minimum 5, maximum 10 pairs. The pairs form two lines, staying face to face and close to each other. The pairs talk about a given topic (e.g. their actual mood, their opinion about the challenges, their goal for the day, their role in the group, about nature, about last vacation, about a film, etc.). After 1-2 minutes the first pair separates, one of the remains in the front of the line, the other one goes to the end of the line and everybody continues the discussions. The separated pair also tries to continue the conversation. 30-60 second later the pair stands next to each other again and the second pair separates. The group continue till all the pairs try out the conversation in the separated position. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 verbal and non-verbal communication amid disturbing factors  differences in reaction  how empathetic is the rest of the group? DEBRIEFING

 Walk and talk (outside)/ sit and talk (inside) method. The participants in the same pairs share their opinion about the following questions:  Which kind of feelings did you have during the conversation?  What was your goal?  What obstructed you in reaching your goal?  What did you do to overcome the obstacles?  What will you do in another way in a similar situation? OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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After each question you can stop and ask the pairs to share their opinion with the whole group. VARIATIONS

 The group can stand between the two persons in a circle and make noises not just talking.  The pairs can keep a  2-3-meter distance between them and try to communicate like this. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

It is important to choose a large topic, and pay attention to the age of the group, otherwise the participants may not talk 15-20 minutes.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


COLLECTING EGGS

AGE: 8 +

12-24

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

60 min

 4-5 ropes, approx. 10 m each  at least 40 plastic balls, of 3-4 different colours, at least 10 of each colour

outdoors flat, empty field, without obstacles, approx. 10x10 m

GOALS

   

Developing effective communication. Relating communication to the task. Developing empathy. Using senses in a different way.

DESCRIPTION

According to the number of participants the trainer forms 4 or 5 circles out of the ropes, one in the middle, the others at an even distance from it and from each other too. The trainer puts all the balls in the central circle, divides participants in 3-4 groups of 4-6 members, and designates a circle and a colour same as the balls for each group. The task is for each group is to collect and bring back to their circle as many balls of their colour as possible. After presenting the rules groups have 10 minutes to agree on the sounds and the strategy they will use and 30 minutes to collect the balls. Rules: Once the activity starts, participants are not allowed to use words, only the sounds they agreed on during planning phase. Only one group member at a time can leave the circle, and they have to be blindfolded, rest of the group must stay in the circle and they can navigate the blindfolded member with the agreed sounds. Each group member is allowed to collect one egg at a time, after they are back in the circle, another group member has to go. Participants are not allowed to throw away balls of other colour than their own. If they take a ball of wrong colour back to their circle, they have to return it. SAFETY

Check the area very carefully, so that there are no obstacles in the way of blindfolded participants. Tell participants the rules of moving when blindfolded: hold the hands out in front of you, move slowly. As trainer watch out for the safety of each blindfolded participant. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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WHAT TO OBSERVE

 Engagement and communication of participants during the planning phase.  On what level they are able to be empathetic with the blindfolded colleagues.  How are the blindfolded participants using their senses?  How is the communication (giving and receiving instructions) between the group and the blindfolded person? DEBRIEFING

Suggested method: Thermometer One of the ropes can be used as a thermometer: the middle of the rope is 0 degree, the right end is +10 degrees and the left end is -10 degrees. The participants have to move on the thermometer according to the following questions:  How much did you enjoy the activity?  How hard/easy was to guide your blindfolded colleagues?  How hard/easy was to listen to your team members?  How hard/easy was to understand your team members and act?

48

After each question and movement, the trainer can ask one-two people who are standing in the + and – limits, or whose opinion is important on that moment. Then the group should form a circle and discuss about: What do you think about your communication during the activity? / What was good and what should improve in your communication? Afterwards, the trainer summarises the discussion and asks: How can you use this experience in other similar situations? VARIATIONS

 Frontloading story could be: you are different kind of birds who are living in their own nest, but during the night somebody stole all their eggs and collected them in a big nest. On the next day the birds have to bring back all of their eggs in their own nests.  You can use instead of balls other objects, and tell another frontloading story.  You can give a time limit for collecting eggs. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

At the end of the session you can play again the HI5 energizer to close the session in the same way as you started. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#6


TEAM INTRO

AGE: 10 +

8-25

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

none

outdoor (preferably field or forest), indoor

GOALS

 Getting to know each other.  Developing communication and self-expression. DESCRIPTION

50

Each participant should pick natural object in the area (stone, stick, etc.). Participants in groups of 3-4 people have to introduce themselves, including their experience with nature and relating story to the object they chose, using it as symbol. After introduction, group should prepare common presentation of their small team, basing on common experience and interests. Each group should do the presentation to big group. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 how participants communicate with each other  distribution of task and engagement of team members

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


MAGIC PARAPHRASE

AGE: 13 +

15-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

“magic” box – random materials like travel souvenirs, personal belongings, natural materials or other

outdoor/indoor

GOAL

Introducing participants to paraphrasing and its implications. DESCRIPTION

The trainer asks the participants to sit in the circle, and puts a magic box in the middle, filled in with materials. Each member of the group has to pick one thing and create a piece of the story connected with the object. The next person does the same, but at first has to repeat what the previous person said by using different words (paraphrasing).

51

RULES:

The box should be covered so participants will pick their object randomly Participants have to connect their piece of story with previous speaker and keep the plot direction: follow the style and emotions of the previous speaker, however you can introduce new emotions when adding your own part. Paraphrasing rules: do not change the main meaning, key terms and proper nouns. WHAT TO OBSERVE

The trainer should pay attention to different techniques used by the participants for paraphrasing – using synonyms, change words’ order, using different connecting between words, change number and percentage of different forms, change the part of the speech order, etc. VARIATIONS

You can collect materials for magic box from participants. It can make the game more fun and increase their interest and involvement.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING:

    

What methods did you use to paraphrase the story? How does paraphrasing impact your level of understanding? How does paraphrasing impact the speaker? How do you understand the sentence “Paraphrase can do magic�? Why does the game include paraphrasing and which role does it play in your experience?  How paraphrasing can help you avoiding misunderstandings? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS During the debriefing the trainer should collect components of paraphrasing and write it down in visible place.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


STRANDS MIX

AGE: 15 +

9-18

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 minutes

pieces of thin ropes (around 1 m), one for each participant

outdoor/indoor enough space for participants to move

GOALS

 Practising negotiation and group communication.  Developing ability of clear expressing. DESCRIPTION

All group should be divided into 3, possibly equal teams. Each team gets different task in the way that other can’t hear it (can also give tasks written on a piece of paper). One team can’t allow to put ropes on the ground; second have to connect all the ropes together; third have to tie a knot on the middle of each rope. Teams can’t talk during the activity. Participants can’t share their task with other teams. After sharing tasks, before the start, all ropes should lay on the ground and team should seat or stay around in circle. The aim of each team is to do their own task. SAFETY

Inform the group that they can’t use force during exercise. Be careful because some teams may behave aggressively trying to do their task. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How teams try to express themselves and explain others what they need.  What kind of emotions appear during activity? DEBRIEFING

Up/down method: ask the group questions regarding their satisfaction, teamwork, communication. To indicate the answer participants should change their position from sitting on the ground to standing on toes, where sitting mean bad feelings, lack of satisfaction, etc., and standing on toes means happy feelings, complete satisfaction. All positions in between are used as scale. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

You may to talk about aggression managing and expression emotions before or after activity. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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NATURE MACHINE

AGE: 15 +

10-16

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

60 min

rope (around 10 m), 3-8 blindfolds

outdoor (nature preferably)

GOAL

Practicing communication and problem solving. DESCRIPTION

54

The aim of activity is to build machine from rope and natural materials, like branches, sticks, stones, etc. Activity includes 3 teams of engineers, managers and workers. There should be around 6-8 workers and 2-4 engineers and managers. All teams have a task to construct part of new machine together. Each group is highly specialized. The engineers draw the plan and present it to managers. Their jargon is so complicated; they communicate without words or drawings when they conveying information to managers. Managers have to direct the workers into the constructing of the machine. Workers can’t see the plan, have to listen to managers and construct machine from available materials. Workers have to wear eyes protection (blindfolds) for construction process. Only workers can touch materials. At the beginning engineers should get information how machine will look like (equilateral triangle with 2 kinds of natural materials in the middle, like wood, stone, etc.). Tolerance for equal length of triangle sides is +/- 20 mm. Engineers should agree on instruction and then pass it to managers without words and drawings. Managers need to agree about the strategy and have to direct blindfolded workers into building the machine. At the end engineers check the result by measuring sides of triangle. SAFETY

   

Remind to be careful when walking blindfolded. Remove stones and sharp objects from the ground. Instruct how to move, when blindfolded. Observe safety of the blindfolded participants.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


WHAT TO OBSERVE

 What engineers are expressing during informing managers.  Engagement of managers when they are directing workers. DEBRIEFING

Active reviewing. 4 stages: facts, feelings, findings, future. Examples of questions: Facts: The story of what has happened, the objective situation, teams involved Feelings: What have you experienced? How do you feel in this situation? What did the situation to you? Findings: What meaning can you give to the situation? What can you learn out of it? Is it similar to other situations? Express underlying assumptions, emotional schemes, theory in use. Future: What do you want to apply? What do you need to implement? What’s important? What alternatives are generated out of the experience? What can you reframe and how? What can we do together? VARIATIONS

Depending on the group, there’s a possibility to build more complicated machine.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

55


#7


HANDSHAKE

AGE: 4-100

10-100

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

10 min

none

outdoor/indoor

GOALS

 Energizer.  Developing expression and creativity.  Warming up before main activity. DESCRIPTION

The group is split into pairs. They have a challenge: create and make a brand new handshake style. First, each pair makes a handshake. Next, they split and mix up. In this new pair, participants present each other the new handshakes style and together create another new one. When each pair comes together, they have to introduce themselves. Repeat third time asking partners to share all of the handshakes previously learned and then recall the group into a circle. Ask for volunteers to share all of the handshakes learned.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

57


BALL FACTORY

AGE: 8+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

 rope, to form a square on the ground  balls (different sizes and weights)  2 boxes (big and small)  big paper thermometer with a large scale (from -50 to +50 degrees) for the debriefing

outdoors

10-30

GOALS

 Maximizing group efficiency of strategy.  Preparing a common working pattern during the game. DESCRIPTION

58

The playing field contains a large square formed by ropes, with two boxes located on the opposite corners. The size of the field depends on the amount of participants. The balls are in the larger box, at the beginning of the production line. Participants stand around the production line in their new factory, their task is to make the production line effective. Everybody takes place in the production, which means they have to touch the balls, but only once, in the producing line. Rules: Participants are not allowed to cross the production line. They also can’t throw the ball to their neighbours on the right and left side and can’t change their position during the production. If they succeed to get a ball into the smaller box at the end of production line they earn 10 dollars, if the ball falls, they lose 5 dollars and the ball has to stay where it fell. When the box is full, the production stops and someone has to empty the box and go back to the production line. The goal is to produce as many balls as you can in the most effective way. Ball factory rules: 5 minutes to make the strategy and 7 minutes to produce the balls. After 7 minutes the trainer asks them if they are satisfied with their performance. If not, repeat the process – 5 more minutes for strategy and 7 for producing. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


SAFETY

Field without branches, stones, glass, etc. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 Who is more and less active participant during the strategy planning?  What kind of communication they use to make a decision?  Did the participants talk just about the strategy? Did they decide about the way of choosing and presenting the idea?

DEBRIEFING

The trainer asks questions, the participants stand on the thermometer in the place, which describes their feelings:  How do you think the strategy worked? Why did choose this number?  If you could change one element of the strategy what would that be?  How do you think the communication worked in the group? Why?  Can you give the example of situation when you felt really proud of the group’s communication?

59 VARIATIONS

If it’s too easy, in a second round one person can be blindfolded, another one can use only one hand, etc.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


YARN WEB

AGE: 14 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

25 min

yarn ball

indoors/outdoors

10+

GOALS

   

Increasing the ability to articulate thoughts in front of people. Enhancing the self-confidence of the team members. Expressing the knowledge acquired during the teamwork. Learning how to emphasize on the positive aspects of the collective work.

DESCRIPTION

60

The participants stand in a circle and one of them has the ball of yarn. Each participant throws it to another person saying something they appreciated in them and something that they have learned after working as a team. The yarn forms a web supported by the group. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Make sure that all the participants have received the ball of yarn. A useful direction may be to suggest that everyone must receive the ball once before someone can receive a second or third time. DEBRIEFING

    

How did you feel during the activity? How was it to express your thoughts/feelings in front of the whole team? How was it to receive the positive comments of the others? Were you able to receive the positive comments of the other person? What was helpful, or what was difficult for you?

VARIATIONS

Using a thicker string, lower it and have someone climb on. The rest of the group has to support them. Use caution with this one!

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#8


OBJECT SHARE

AGE: 14 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

45 min

none

outdoors

10+

GOALS

 Realizing and expressing their role in the team.  Learning how to receive feedback.  Developing methods to elaborate on difficulties in communication and cooperation in the team.  Observing how important is the personal mobilization of each member towards the accomplishment of the collective goals. DESCRIPTION

62

The trainer gives a few minutes to the participants to find two objects around them (e.g. stones, wooden sticks, leaves). Each person brings in and passes around the first object they have chosen, and shares what they think they have contributed to the team. Using the second object they share what they have found difficult working together and things that could be improved in the collective functioning. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Make sure that people who might have negative feelings to share are given enough space/time and emotional care to express them without the fear that they will be rejected. DEBRIEFING

 Why did you choose this item to represent your contribution to the team?  How do you feel about your role in the team?  Why did you choose this item to represent difficulties in the collective functioning?  Which do you think are the reasons for the issues that you pointed out?  What could be a solution? OUTDOOR ACADEMY


 How do you feel while sharing it with the rest of the team? Is it easy/hard for you? Why?  What do you expect from the team and yourself regarding the next steps? VARIATIONS

Creating a mosaic with the objects they collected as a team.

63

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DON’T DARE FALLING IN OUR HUGS

AGE: 14 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

blindfolds

outdoors/indoors

10+

GOALS

 Building trust between the members of the team.  Enhancing the skill to let oneself depend on others.  Overcoming barriers of body communication. DESCRIPTION

64

The group is divided to sub-groups of 5-6 people. One person in each sub-group stays in the centre and the rest form a small circle around them (at a distance of their stretched arm). All the people have to remain silent. The person in the centre closes their eyes, takes some time to relax and concentrate and then lets their body fall towards a direction that they decide. The members of the circle that are at this direction let them fall for a while and then stop them from falling down and return them to the initial central position. The person in the centre takes again some time and then falls again to the same or another direction. Gradually this becomes a flow of fallings and returns, but taking care to let the central person have the initiative, so that the game not turns to something like a body-volleyball. After 4-5 minutes another person takes the central place until all the members of the subgroup take both of the roles. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How do the members of the group react? Is there anyone that might feel overstressed?  Are the members of the circle careful and attentive enough so that they stop the people late enough to have the feeling of falling and early enough so that they don’t risk falling down to the ground?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING:

Every member of the group is given a paper and a pen and is invited to write down 3 verbs, 2 nouns and 1 adjective regarding their emotions and possible self-discoveries during the exercise. Then they share them with the rest of the group. Questions to support a discussion:  How was it to have to depend on the others?  Was it easy/difficult for you to lose control? Why?  How was it being responsible to protect the people in the centre? VARIATIONS

If the group is experienced and cohesive enough, it could be suggested as a second step, the person in the centre to step on a chair, and the circle of the subgroup turns to 2 aligned rows with the arms knitted. Then the person on the chair could be invited to fall into the formed collective “hug” of the other people.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#9


GESTURES TIME

30 min

AGE: 12 +

8-12

MATERIALS

LOCATION

paper and pens for writing

Indoors or outdoors. A space large enough to divide participants into small groups and allow them to spread out is recommended.

GOALS

 Raising awareness of the variety of forms of non-verbal communication methods that are used in everyday interaction.  Realising the importance and power of non-verbal signs in communication. DESCRIPTION

Participants are asked to sit in a circle to begin the activity. The trainer begins by asking the participants if they can think of any non-verbal forms of communication which they use in everyday life. The trainer should be prepared to engage with any positive response in an encouraging and constructive way. If the participant, for example, uses a hand gesture, such as waving, the trainer can respond by naming the gesture, verbalising what they understand as the gesture’s meaning, and asking for confirmation from the participant. For example: the trainer can ask somebody to demonstrate a non-verbal gesture that they use a lot to communicate. If the participant were to make a hand waving gesture, for instance, the trainer would respond by saying ‘thank you! I understand that you are waving to me in order to get my attention and to say hello.’ If the trainer receives no response from participants on requesting examples of common non-verbal gestures, they could provide a prompt. For example: ‘could somebody demonstrate a nonverbal gesture that they use a lot to communicate?’. If the trainer receives no response from participants they could cup their hand to their ear and say, ‘sorry, I couldn’t hear anything’. The trainer then points to one participant and waves: ‘hello, can you think of any non-verbal gestures we often use to communicate?’.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

67


After this introduction, participants are asked to divide into smaller groups of 3 or 4. In these small groups they are given 5 minutes to come up with a list of as many common non-verbal gestures as they can think of. Once the time is up, each group demonstrates their non-verbal gestures to the rest of the group and explains the meaning behind them. SAFETY

Ensure the activity space is free from any obstacles. WHAT TO OBSERVE

The trainer should be aware of the possibility that participants could make rude or offensive gestures. In such a case, the trainer can use such a development to emphasise the power of non-verbal communication and to remind participants that they should reflect about the gestures they make, and the effects they can have on others, as much as they would with verbal communication. In multi-cultural or international groups some gestures could have different meanings in different cultural contexts. This could be an interesting theme to explore.

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DEBRIEFING

Using active feedback methods, such as thumbs up for good or thumbs down for bad, or gestures relating to large and small, the trainer can ask for a response to a number of questions:  Do you use gestures a lot or a little in your everyday communication?  Did you learn any new gestures? What were they?  Do you think that you could have a  simple conversation to a  stranger who didn’t speak your language only using gestures? VARIATIONS

Each group is asked to come up with as many gestures as possible based on a particular theme, such as: emotions, food, greetings, etc.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


TALKING WITHOUT SPEAKING

AGE: 12 +

8-12

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

45 min

 a pre-prepared list of sentences. There should be enough sentences for each participant  a hat or bucket  a stop-watch  a bell or gong to indicate when time is up

Indoors or outdoors. Ensure enough space so that the audience can sit comfortably and the actor has enough room to move around freely.

GOALS

 Raising awareness of the importance of body posture, movement and gestures in creating meaning.  Understanding the potential for non-verbal messages to be falsely interpreted or misread. DESCRIPTION

Participants are invited to sit on the floor facing the trainer. The trainer instructs the participants that where he/she is standing is the ‘stage’ and that they are the ‘audience’. Each participant gets the chance to act. To begin, they draw a sentence from the facilitator’s hat and then position themselves on the ‘stage’ facing the ‘audience’. Their task will be to use non-verbal communication – gestures, body posture, movement – to ‘speak’ a whole sentence. The task of the audience is to interpret this non-verbal communication. The ‘actor’ has 90 seconds on stage. At the end of the 90 seconds the facilitator rings a bell to indicate that time is up. During the 90 second intervals, each member of the audience has to write down what they think is the exact sentence being communicated. No shouting out answers or verbal communication is permitted! After the 90 seconds is up the audience members read out their interpretation of the non-verbally-communicated sentence. This process is repeated until all participants have communicated one sentence non-verbally. Suggested sentences: 1. Go away! 2. Well done 3. Help! OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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4. I have something to say! 5. Turn right. 6. Excuse me can I sit down? 7. Please be quiet. 8. Shut up! 9. I’m so excited! 10. This is boring! SAFETY

The area should be free of any obstacles that might hinder the performance. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Whether ‘actors’ use gestures covered in the previous workshops or by previous participants. DEBRIEFING

70

This exercise lends itself naturally to a non-verbal active feedback debriefing session, such as a freeze frame. Questions to be asked during the debriefing include:  How did you feel on stage?  How did you feel as an audience member?  Did you find communicating non-verbally easy or difficult? VARIATION

The ‘audience’ is allowed to shout out the answer verbally. The actor and audience thereby enter into a ‘dialogue’ where one element is communicating verbally and another non-verbally. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

This workshop can be combined with the previous workshop, ‘gestures’.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


BLIND SHAPES TIME

30 min

AGE: 12 +

8-15

MATERIALS

LOCATION

rope, blindfolds

outdoors (any kind of field where is a possibility to do a rope shapes with big group)

GOALS

 Maximizing group efficiency of strategy.  Showing that each person participating in the group process is important. DESCRIPTION

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The trainer asks the group to line up in a straight line and gives everyone a blindfold. Participants put their hands in front of them and then place the length of rope into their hands. The trainer explains that everyone must hold onto the rope with both hands for the entire activity. Letting go of the rope, even for a moment, is not permitted and will result in restarting the challenge. Now the participants are given a shape to create with the rope. At the beginning something simple, such as square. When group members feel the task is completed, they can take off the blindfolds to check the results. Once they have completed the challenge, the trainer gives time to reflect on the task and review with the group. If time permits, the participants can get another shape to form (triangle, hexagon, octagons). It is possible to make a time limit and ask during the game if the group needs more time. SAFETY

 Field without branches, stones, glass, etc., flat grassy area is the best solution.  Because there are many blindfolded people at the same time, it’s good to be in a team of trainers (2-3 people). WHAT TO OBSERVE

 Moments, when the group is stuck – are they calm, noisy, passive aggressive during the decision-making process?  Is everybody involved into this process?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING

News report method: people come back to the one chosen position from the activity and the trainer is a journalist: asks fast, and the group has to answer fast:  What are you doing now?  What are your feelings?  What are you thinking right now about your role in the decision-making process?  (more: were you involved? How? Why not? What do you need to be involved?) VARIATIONS:

If it’s too easy, you can also make half of the group not speaking, using only one hand, etc. If you have a large group, divide into smaller teams of around 12  people and either get the teams to compete against one another or give them their own shape to form.

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#10


1 MIN

AGE: 13 + TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

5 min

Device for a trainer to measure the time (stopwatch)

outdoor/indoor

ANY

GOAL

Increasing understanding of others’ perspective and perceptions. DESCRIPTION

Ask your participants to sit comfortable on the ground and close their eyes. The task for them is to count 1 min in their mind and open their eyes and stand up when they think the minute has passed. Rules: Participants cannot use any device to measure the time (only the trainer can) and cannot make any noise. When they open their eyes they have to wait in silence for the others. The trainer does not inform the group that 1 minute has passed. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Pay attention to the time and count the time difference between first and last person who has opened the eyes. DEBRIEFING

   

Was it an easy task? Who was sure to make it? Has everyone opened their eyes at the same time? Why the group didn’t open their eyes together? Why do you think it is important to “see with someone’s eyes” during active listening?  In your life, did it happen to you to misjudge a situation? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

This exercise helps youngsters to understand that even something so obvious as 1 minute, can be interpreted and understood in many different ways. Misunderstandings often cause unfair judgment and conflicts. It is important for youngsters to accept individuality and during active listening try to see with the eyes of the speaker. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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LET’S TALK

AGE: 13 +

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

comfortable place to seat

outdoor/indoor

GOAL

 Introducing participants to elements of active listening.  Increasing understanding of participants’ own communication style. DESCRIPTION

The idea of the game is to let the participants to discover their natural mechanisms of listening and based on this experience create the script of active listening components.

76

Rules: The trainer splits the group into random couples. Each person for 3 min should share a story or memories and another becomes a listener. After 3 min the trainer gives a signal and they swap the roles. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Pay attention to participants’ behaviours and use them as positive example in debriefing part. It is not important if all the elements of active listening do not show up in the conversations. They will be introduced during other activities. VARIATIONS

You can ask participants to discuss more specific topic. DEBRIEFING

I part: Discussion with the whole group and answering to following questions:  How did you feel during the exercise?  How do you know that your partner was interested in what you were saying?  What did make you feel comfortable during the conversation?  What did you do to do to make the speaker feel understood?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


II part: The trainer collects positive behaviours, which are part of active listening and writes it on the left side of the blackboard. Afterwards, on the opposite side creates with participants the list with unfavourable factors. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

The idea of the game is to activate participants natural mechanism of listening and it is important not to mention the goal of the activity at the beginning.

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THE ZOMBIE WALK

AGE: 13 +

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

an amount of seats equal to the number of participants

outdoor/indoor Recommended size of the space: 10m x 10m

GOALS

 Develop empathetic communication in a “stressed” environment.  Foster observation on others’ pattern behaviours and reactions. DESCRIPTION

The aim is to prevent the Zombie from taking someone else’s seat for a certain amount of time (recommended time: 1 min).

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Rules: The team puts the seats randomly positioned in the place, one seat per person. One participant (the zombie) stands up, freeing a seat, then moves to the starting point, far from the free seat. At the sign of the trainer, the zombie starts walking slowly, aiming at taking the free seat (by seating on it). Participants’ task is to prevent zombie sitting on empty chair. Once a participant gets up from the seat, they cannot seat back anymore, but need to look for another empty seat. Nobody can interfere with the Zombie’s walk. When the team struggles to achieve the task, the trainer can guide the participants through a 10-15 min meditation with holding each other’s hands. That makes them feel their heartbeat in many different parts of their body: their chest, wrists, fingers, neck, eyes, ears, teeth, belly and finally in their hands. Trainer can ask them to feel the connection with the entire team through their hands. WHAT TO OBSERVE

After few attempts or whenever the trainer thinks it is necessary, they can stop the game and ask the team to gather and think about strategies. The more the team will try to look for strategies the more it should realize that whatever strategy is chosen, it can only be successful when the participants are in

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a relaxed mood through rather than rushing everywhere, making it more complicated for everyone. In a  calm state it is possible to see and even feel when your intervention is necessary. VARIATIONS

Play with time and space to make more challenging. DEBRIEFING

Reflect on the situations where the Zombie won:  What were you doing in those situations? How did you feel? What helped or hindered the Zombie?  Reflect on the situations where your team won:  What were you doing in those situations? What helped or hindered you and your teammates? How did you feel? Going Deeper:  What can you take from this activity?  Can you recall any situation with similar struggles to the one faced in this game?  How can you make use of the solutions of this game in the real life situations?  How does this experience help you understand others?  What will you do differently as a result of this experience? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Adjust the time to the team level. It is important to reach the goal by the team. If it doesn’t set a different amount of time, e.g. 30 seconds, if it is too easy try with 2 or 3 minutes.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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MIRROR OF COMMUNICATION

AGE: 13 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

none

outdoor/indoor

GOALS

 Raising awareness of the body posture in communication and its implications.  Raising awareness of the role of emotions in communication. DESCRIPTION

Ask your participants to pair-up and face each other. At the beginning, one of the pair starts moving slowly, keeping close to the partner. At first only gestures are performed, later participants are asked to represent feelings and emotions also through their body postures. After 2 minutes, participants switch roles. Change at least 3 partners.

80

WHAT TO OBSERVE

Are there any participants interacting one another? Anybody contacts? VARIATIONS

Give them some natural objects and stimulate their creativity by interacting with them. DEBRIEFING

   

How was the activity? What were the main feelings arising? How was to keep eye contact? Was the other’s body posture representing the same emotions for you? Was it having a different meaning for someone?  What ensures the good results of the performance? (easy movements, proper performance speed, etc.)  Why do you think it is important to look and react at someone’s body, facial expression and emotions during active listening? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

In case the participants are too shy to explore their body movements, the trainer could ask them to focus on some specific parts: hands, face, eyes, etc. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


LISTENING ACTIVELY

AGE: 13 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

none

outdoor/indoor

GOAL

Getting the experience of the active listing method. DESCRIPTION

Participants are asked to form couples, paying attention they are not the same ones as in the first activity. One of the participants starts telling the story chosen for the “Let’s Talk” activity. The other participant listens actively and tries to use all the elements discovered in the previous activity:  Mirroring the posture  Reflecting back emotions non-verbally but also by acknowledging them in a sentence  Paraphrasing, so that the speaker is aware of the message he is conveying  Asking for clarifications and details (asking for examples) in a non-judgmental way (without interpreting others’ words). After 3-5 minutes they switch roles. WHAT TO OBSERVE

The trainer should pay attention to the posture and gestures between the couples to notice any difference with the first activity and in the level of focus, concentration and involvement. VARIATIONS

Same exercise done while walking around for 5 min. DEBRIEFING

 How was the activity?  Was it different from the first conversation? In which way?  Among the newly introduced element of active listening which impact you the most? Why?  What would you do differently from the “Let’s Talk” activity?  How this activity could help you in real life situation? OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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Part 3 REINFORCING SELF-ASSESSMENT

On a solid background of trust, communication and good atmosphere in a group, you can concentrate more on supporting good self-esteem on an individual participants. When individual feel good it is much more easier to have a flow and synergy effect in your group.


#11


BACKPACKING YOUR TALENTS

AGE: 10 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

papers, pens, markers

outdoor/indoor

5-25

GOALS

 Discovering and identifying own talents.  Selecting and prioritizing talents according to the task. DESCRIPTION

The aim for the group is to identify their talents and “pack” them into the backpack which will be used to accomplish a generic extraterrestrial mission.

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Instructions: 1. Participants individually identify at least 20 among their own talents (10 min). To help them out, trainer can provide them the following questions:  What can I do well?  What I feel comfortable doing?  What am I  appreciated for, according to my friend? And my family members?  Which quality makes people ask me for support?  Which one of my abilities do I use when I practice my hobbies? 2. Participants write the talents that they consider important for an  extraterrestrial mission, on pieces of paper (max. 5 talents each) and place in the middle of the room, well visible and regroup them if they are equal or very similar to the others ones. 3. The facilitator asks for some volunteers who will be starting the team’s creation (a  number of volunteers equal to the number of groups of 4-5 people, that can be done from a total amount of participants). Taking turns, each volunteer picks a talent from the centre. 4. The volunteers then name the talent that they choose. The person whose talent belong to, becomes a member of the team who can now pick the next talent from the central pile. The process continues until the teams have reached the 4-5 members. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


5. Now a talent auction can start: since it may happen that a  person calls out for a talent which belongs to a person of another team. So, if a group doesn’t have the people to which the talent corresponds, they can exchange the member with another member of a different team. Both of the teams have to agree on exchanging their members, and the swapping members have to agree too. WHAT TO OBSERVE

If participants are digging out deeply enough the talents, if they face difficulties support them with examples. VARIATIONS

If the participants know each other well you could ask them to write down individually 10 talents and let the others write one or two talents of each other. In this way each of them will have a sheet of paper with the 10 talents written by themselves plus another one written by the others. DEBRIEFING

 How have you selected your talents? How was this process?  Which criteria have you used to decide the necessary talents when creating the teams?  From 1 to 10, how much your talents will be used in the mission, according to you? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

 An introductory explanation, possibly graphic, about abilities, skills, competences, attitudes could be useful to categorise and identify the talents.  A list of possible talents could inspire some people with new ideas and underlying talents that participants might think irrelevant, but are actually a resource, since sometime people take some talents for granted and not to be mentioned.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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EXTRATERRESTRIAL MISSION

AGE: 13 +

5-25

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

90 min

For the backpack: papers, pens, glue, scissors, markers For the fire: matches, flint, natural material such as branches, firewood, leaves etc. For the Shelter: 3 ropes, one tarp, natural material, cardboard For the Boat: cardboard, tape, strings, cloths, basin filled with water

outdoor – preferably a place with trees and a stream

GOALS

 Ceating an effective task division according to the individual characteristics.  Managing and recognizing individual talents during team-working.

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DESCRIPTION

The aim of the mission is to accomplish at least two of the four tasks: 1. Create a backpack/pouch to put the talents of the group in. 2. Create a shelter protecting from wind, cold and rain. 3. Make a fire which last at least 5 minutes. 4. Make a miniature boat which is able to float for 5 minutes. Suggested Instructions: 1. The trainer suggests the groups to take some time to discuss a strategy. 2. With young participants it may be useful to show, with graphic examples, different ways of building a fire and to explain, in general, how to make a fire. 3. With older participants the trainer can tell them which kind of fire you request: for light, for heating, for cooking, a fire using also wet firewood, a fire in a windy place. 4. If the boat gets also aesthetic points, the artistic talents will also be included. 5. The shelter can also be prized for its complexity and beauty.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


SAFETY

If the participants are around 10 years old it is good to remind them of the danger of fire: cracking, sparks and incandescent sticks, WHAT TO OBSERVE

    

How many people used their own talents? How many talents in the backpack have been used? How the leading role changes according to the task? How the responsibilities are shared according to the talents involved? How many people have not spoken or taken part in the decision process?

VARIATIONS

88

Organize an Awards ceremony (the groups will have to engage in the same tasks) for:  The most esthetic fire stack, boat, backpack, shelter (artistic talents prized).  The most solid object.  The fastest boat in the boat race.  The longest fire and most durable boat (burn or floats for longer time).  Fire master: the group(s) which lit the fire by using the flint. DEBRIEFING

Ask the participants to pin the talents used onto the group creations in order to immediately see how many of their talents have been involved in their works Later, ask them to tell you how much, from 1 to 10, have they used their talents in the mission. Questions:  Are you satisfied with your creations?  How did you take a decision in selecting the talents?  Has everyone contributed?  What helped in creation of the craft?  In which way the individual talents supported the process and the achievement of the objectives?  Has anyone discovered extra talents? Which ones?  How the talents influenced the harmony of the group?  How have you divided tasks and responsibilities? How have the talents played a role in it?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


Check if what you have observed during the activity has been noticed by the participant and discuss it. Going Deeper (for 14+)  What did you learn about yourself? About others? What role have you given to yourself and why?  How does this relate to your situation in the real life?  What will you do differently as a result of this experience?  How and when will you apply your learning? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

 An introductory explanation about abilities, skills, competences, attitudes could be useful to categorize the possible talents.  A list of possible talents could inspire some people with new ideas and underlying talents that participants might think irrelevant, but are actually a resource.  Repeat a  similar activity with a  larger group and see how the group dynamics change with the size.

89 LIST OF TALENTS

Ability to deal with Failure Ability to focus Ability to handle Change Ability to make Friends Academics Adaptability Advertising Athleticism Analysing the past Art Articulate Asking Questions Brainstorming Communication Skills Computers / IT Conflict Resolution

Courage Creativity Critical Thinking Decision Making Detail Orientation Dexterity Drawing Empathy Encouraging Enthusiasm Fairness Foreign Language Future Thinking Graphics High Energy Identify Strengths and Weaknesses OUTDOOR ACADEMY


90

Imagination Imaginative Initiative Inspiring Integrity / Honesty Intuition Inventiveness Jokes / Humour Juggling Leadership Learner Legal Listening Leadership Negotiating Skills Networking (in the virtual world) Networking (person to person) Math Money Management Music Magic People Judgment Persuasive Photography Planning Polyglot (learn/know a many languages) Positivizes Problem Solving Programming Project Management Public Speaking Raise Money Reading Reliability Relieve Stress Research Risk Management OUTDOOR ACADEMY

Sales Self-Control Self-Management Self-Assurance Self-Discipline Singing Social Intelligence Social Networking Software Story Telling Typing Video Creation Visualization Teaching / Training Time Management Trouble-shooter Website Wisdom Woodworking Writing


#12


ICE BREAKER: I APPRECIATE IN ME...

AGE: 12 +

10-15

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Getting to the atmosphere of the topic / Understanding selfappreciation.  Analysing inner-self. DESCRIPTION

92

The participants sit/stand in a circle. One by one the participants complete the following sentence: I appreciate in me ............, because I am unique. Those who think that the affirmation is true for them should go near the speaking person and put their hands on his/her shoulder. The person has to complete the sentence again, with a different quality, until there is no other person who feels like that, there is no hand on his/her shoulder. When this happens, the next person can continue with completing the sentence.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


MOONWALK

AGE: 16 +

9+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

approx. 100 min

 slackline long enough to be tied between trees (approx. 8-10 m)  1 lower harness and 6 strong ropes (preferred rock-climbing ropes) of about 2 m long. 6 ropes have to be tied to the upper part (around the waist) of the harness  strongly recommended, but not mandatory: helmets for all participants taking part in the activity

outdoors – forest, area where you can install a slackline about 8-10 m long, area should be even, not inclined

GOALS

   

Overcoming fears. Developing self-esteem. Developing trust in yourself and others. Learning how to ask/accept help from the others.

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DESCRIPTION

The slackline has to be tied at a height of 80 cm. One participant wears the harness with the ropes on it. They steps on the slackline, and have to walk to the other end, without holding to anything, but being held by the other participants with the 6 ropes tied to the harness. The participant on the slackline is not allowed to hold on to any of the 6 ropes. They can communicate to the others on which side should the ropes be tighter. Participants go over the slackline one by one. SAFETY

 Tell participants to wear proper shoes (closed, sport) for the activity, and that they should step on the slack line with toes heading front, not to the side.  Make sure all the participants wear helmets during the activity.  Make sure those who hold the ropes, don’t tie them around their hands, wrists because they can be hurt if the person falls down. You can tie

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


figure-eight knot to the end of the ropes, and the participant can hold the knot.  Teach participants how to spot before the activity.  There must be at least two people spotting the one on the slackline: one from the front, the other from the back. If there are enough participants, there can be two in the front and two in the back. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How do they walk, with confidence or with fear?  How do they communicate with the others, how is the trust in the group?  Is it hard or easy to ask the others for help and explain them personal needs? DEBRIEFING

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The participants should find a natural object which symbolizes their feelings during the activity, then they should explain their choice to the group. Possible debriefing questions which should be answered by each participant:  What did you find out about you during the activity?  What did the others find out about you during the activity?  What do you do in the same way and what do you do in a different way in your everyday life?  What is the learning point from this activity for you? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

 The facilitator can tell some words about the comfort zone model and encourage the participants to step out of their comfort zone, to take the challenge and develop their self-confidence.  The facilitator can increase the awareness of the participants about asking/accepting help and/or explaining their needs.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


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#13


RUN YOUR WAY

AGE: 15 +

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

30 min

none

outdoor (enough space to run about 30 – 40 meters)

GOALS

 Developing self-confidence.  Exploring personal limits.  Developing trust for the group. DESCRIPTION

One person is aiming to run into rest of the group standing in two lines and facing each other. The group is holding their hands raised in front of them, in the way that they can touch elbows of the person they are facing. The group should be ready to put their hands down as running person approaches. Pairs in the line are raising hands one by one. Aim for the group: to raise hands in the last moment before running person hits them. Aim for the runner: to run without stopping or slowing down. Each person should run one by one, replacing each other in lines. SAFETY

 Remind to be careful while running.  Group should be very concentrated to raise hands on time to avoid hitting runner. WHAT TO OBSERVE

If participants are slowing down and/or trying to protect their bodies from hitting by hands. DEBRIEFING

Action replay: each participant should replay 2 moments (taking position/ placing themselves and rest of the group in the particular moment of game) when they felt most and least confident and then explain why they choose these moments and what could help them to feel more confident in a challenging situation. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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INDIVIDUAL BLIND WALK

AGE: 16 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

85 min

 blindfolds  different kind of ropes and materials: alpinist ropes, plastic ropes, scarfs, chains of different size, small animal toys out of plastic, fur, etc.  whistle for the instructor

outdoors

ANY

GOALS

 Inner self reflection.  Overcoming personal challenge, limits. DESCRIPTION

98

With the given materials the trainer makes a long trail: ties them together, then fixes them on trees, different objects, so that it becomes a long trail, at a height of about one meter. It has to be at least 40 m long or longer, so that it offers a challenge for participants. The small toys and objects need to be attached to this line. For better understanding and results, the trainer can explain the participants in the frontload, that they will walk on a path, which should remind them of the happenings in their own life. The trainer takes the blindfolded participants one by one, and puts them at the one end of the rope. They have to hold on to the rope/line and walk near it to the other end. Participants are not allowed to see the path before the activity. They have to keep silent during the activity, even after they finished, and take off the blindfolds, until everybody is done, so that they don’t bother each-other. SAFETY

 Make sure the trail goes in an area, where there are no very dangerous big holes in the ground, or sharp objects. It can be in a courtyard, or even in a forest, smaller, harmless obstacles are all right. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


 Tell the participants how to behave when blindfolded: move very slowly, carefully, attentive in all directions, to hold out one hand in front of them, move this hand in front of the head, eyes, and even lower, so that they don’t hit themselves in any objects.  Tell participants that they can possibly meet others on their way, then they have to be careful, not to hit each-other. Just decide who is going faster, and continue the walk.  Make sure there are enough instructors to see all participants at all times, and can interfere or stop them, if needed.  Inform participants to stop and raise their hands up above their heads if they need an instructor.  Inform participants that they should immediately stop moving if they hear you whistle once. WHAT TO OBSERVE

   

How are participants moving: slow, fast? Do they enjoy being blindfolded? Do they pay attention to the surroundings, to the objects they meet? How do they react to the different kinds of materials they have to hold on to and the objects attached to it?

DEBRIEFING

 How did you feel when you were blindfolded and left alone with the rope in your hand?  How was your way of moving, what did you pay attention to?  What was it like to have the different kind of materials and objects in your hand, to follow the line without knowing where does it take you.  In what way did this path relate to your life? Did it make you discover something about yourself?  What can be your guide/rope to hold on in your real life, job, etc.?  It’s a good idea to choose a nice place for the debriefing, with nice, quiet atmosphere (in nature or inside with candles). VARIATIONS

We can make the trail longer, or shorter, easier or a little bit more difficult by putting the line lower, near to the ground, or higher, at the level of the head – as we consider it an appropriate challenge for our group. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

It can be a very intense feeling for some participants, an emotional challenge, make sure you don’t take them out of these feelings before the debriefing.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#14


BLIND TRAIN

AGE: 15 +

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40-50 min

blindfolds

outdoor

8-15

GOALS

 Developing leadership skills.  Boosting self-confidence.  Building sense of responsibility for others. DESCRIPTION

102

The goal of activity is to reach destination as group with one driver. To set up activity you need to ask participants to stand in line one by one placing hands on shoulders of person in front. The last person is driving the train with open eyes. The rest should have eyes blindfolded. Driver gives direction by clapping on the shoulder of person in front (to left on left shoulder, to right on right shoulder), that person is passing the signal further in front and then first person starts to move. To stop, driver pull gently backward on both shoulder. Group should pass from certain point to finish line. Every few minutes, driver is changing the front of the train, and last person become a driver. Very important that people take care and listen to signal. SAFETY

 Remind to be careful when walking blindfolded.  Instruct how to move, when blindfolded.  Watch safety of the blindfolded participants. DEBRIEFING:

Survey: divide group in small teams (2-3 people), each of the teams gets questions to ask. They need to interview the rest of the team and present the results to whole group afterwards. Examples of questions:  What was the most interesting/challenging moment?  How was it to lead blindfolded people? OUTDOOR ACADEMY


 How was it to navigate the group?  What did you learn for yourself from this experience?  Did you feel confident being in the front (leading)/in the middle/at the end (navigating)? VARIATIONS

Level may change with the difficulty of the path chosen for the group. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

It’s good to make this activity away from roads or pedestrian paths, where participants can interfere with someone. With some groups it can be very challenging for 1 person which have to lead all group blindfolded.

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SPACE WALK

AGE: 14 +

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

35-45 min

lycra tube (gumizela) with appropriate size for the group or climbing rope (9-11 mm diameter)

outdoor (flat and clear area)

GOALS

 Exploring personal limits.  Discovering own potential and inner strengths.  Boosting self-confidence. DESCRIPTION

104

Personal aim of the activity is to walk on space line in circle. For this activity participants should stay in circle holding tightly rolled lycra tube (might be also dynamic rope tied in circle). Participants hold the tube on the level of their waist. One person climbs up on the tube and starts walking around the circle. Walker can support himself with shoulders of other participants, after walking full circle person goes down and exchange with next participant. There should be 1-2 spotters securing walking person. There should be enough participants able to hold tight gumizela and walking person. SAFETY

 Explain the weight is divided between all people and group is able to hold person, as well all participants with different weight can participate.  Spotting of walking person is necessary.  Participants should be aware the they can’t run or jump on the line.  Everyone should hold gumizela all the time to provide possibility for safe walk. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 How walker behaves on line.  Emotion expression of participants.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING

Emoticons: place on the ground pictures with different emotion expressions (Emoticons), ask participants to place themselves near one they feel the closest during activity. You may ask the following questions:  Why did you choose this picture?  In which particular moment did you feel like this?  Did you have other feelings?  What is the most memorable moment? VARIATIONS

For advance level participants can lean a bit backward and hold gumizela on level of their chest. Participant might wear blindfold while walking.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#15


CREATE YOUR SELF(IE)

AGE: ANY

TIME

2h

8-12

MATERIALS

LOCATION

paper A4 scissors adhesive marker pens, crayons and paint  isomats  snacks  dixit cards

a field or meadow, ideally near a forest or river

   

GOALS

Using art elements as a non-formal learning tool to:  foster creativity and creative thinking  encourage self-expression  explore one’s identity  explore, identify and articulate emotions and feelings DESCRIPTION

Participants are invited to gather in a circle. The participants are provided with Isomats so they can sit on the ground. At the beginning of the activity all participants receive a white or coloured paper. The trainer then explains the task: to create a selfie of themselves using a mixture of artificial materials – markers, crayons and paints – and natural materials. Participants are invited to spend 10 minutes foraging for materials to use to create their image. They are asked to use their imagination and creativity and are informed that all artistic techniques are allowed. SAFETY

The workshop utilises sharp objects (scissors) and potentially toxic materials (adhesives). Extra caution should be taken when working with children. WHAT TO OBSERVE

This activity will come more naturally to some participants than others. If participants are struggling for inspiration the trainer can provide them with hints or ask them questions (i.e. if you were to describe yourself as a colour what colour would it be) to encourage the creative process. Other participants might

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finish their self-portrait before others. In this case the trainer should encourage them to create another self-portrait or a portrait of another participant. DEBRIEFING

108

The workshop utilises a three-tier evaluation process: 1. First, collect all pictures and make an exhibition using all works from workshop. Participants are given 10 minutes to look at the pictures and mingle informally. Snacks and drinks could be provided. 2. Participants are asked to describe one of their works. The trainer can ask the following questions to engage with the learning goals of the activity: Can you describe the picture? What materials did you use? How did you choose the materials? Did you find the task challenging? If so, how were you able to overcome this challenge? Why do you consider this collage represent you? What is the meaning of the colours/pictures used on your collage? 3. Following this, participants are provided the opportunity to ask questions regarding other participants’ works. They can also add their own thoughts and feelings about the collage. During the last evaluation round, the trainer can use picture-cards, such as „Dixit”. Every participant chooses one card. It should be a picture that displays their perception about the workshop. They are asked to articulate why they took this card and to share their feelings and learning outcomes from the workshop. VARIATIONS

 Participants can be paired off and create a picture of their partner instead of a self-portrait.  The exercise can be adapted into a  group effort to create a  picture of a person or an object of their choice.

COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

As this is a challenging activity it should take place at a point in the process where participants have already built confidence and a  group cohesion has formed amongst the group. It would also be advisable to provide participants will smaller and easier activities focusing on the creative process and selfexpression before running this activity. This could be, for instance, to create an abstract collage using natural materials, or to gather materials which they find visibly interesting and appealing and present them to the group. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#16


WHO’S THAT

AGE: 8+

10-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15 min

blindfolds for each participant

outdoors/indoors

GOAL

 Energizer.  Sensorial game aiming to encourage physical contact. DESCRIPTION

110

The group stands in a circle blindfolded. The trainer invites the participants to turn on their left and reach with their hands the shoulder of the person on their left. They have 15 seconds to memorize silently that person. Soon after the people will slowly mix up for 30 seconds. After mixing up they will have to go back to the original circle just by touching the others. SAFETY

Trainers make sure participants do not trip over things. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Who likes the game and who is shy or decide to give up.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


HOW CLOSE CAN I REACH? (+)

AGE: 14+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

none

outdoors/indoors

10+

GOALS

   

Overcoming the difficulty to trust other people. Overcoming the fear of physical contact with other people. Enhancing the confidence to say no and set limits to the other people. Enhancing the skill of empathy towards ones feelings.

DESCRIPTION

The team is invited to form couples. Each couple is invited to sit down with the one facing the other. Then the one becomes an explorer and the other an alive statue. The explorer can start to explore the statue, get closer and closer, move around and see it from different points of view and distances, maybe touch the statue. All these on condition that the statue doesn’t say no with a facial, body or verbal expression. The explorer is invited to explore the statue closer and closer and keep their eyes and ears open to see and receive any negation. The statue is strongly encouraged to say no whenever it feels uncomfortable. The game of the yes and no goes on for 10 minutes and then the members switch roles. SAFETY

Beware to observe the reaction of the statues and politely suggest that the explorers keep a longer distance in case the statue feel uncomfortable. DEBRIEFING

        

How was it to explore the other person? How was it to test his/her limits? Was it easy for you to interpret the messages of the statue? How was it being the statue? Was it easy to set limits to the explorer? Was it easy to allow the explorer come closer? What was the most stressing for you? What was the most inspiring? Would you have any observation to share about your partner? OUTDOOR ACADEMY

111


PUZZLE GAME

AGE: 15+

10-25

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

45 min

 picture cut into pieces,  larger pieces of paper, pens, pencils, paints and other decorating, drawing materials  rulers/tape measures

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Realising how individual attitude affects whole group.  Showing that each person participating in the group process is important. DESCRIPTION

112

The trainer chooses a well-known picture or cartoon that is full of detail. The picture needs to be cut into as many equal squares as there are participants in the activity. Each participant should be given a piece of the “puzzle” and instructed to create an exact copy of their piece of the puzzle five times bigger than its original size. They are posed with the problem of not knowing why or how their own work affects the larger picture. The leader can hand out pencils, markers, paper, and rulers in order to make the process simpler and run more smoothly. When all the participants complete their enlargements, ask them to assemble their pieces into a giant copy of the original picture on a table. WHAT TO OBSERVE

How the people work individually and in contrast – how they work in group. DEBRIEFING

If the completed, enlarged version is not right in any area, where did the task fail and for what reasons? And next, talk with whole group – how our individual attitude and expectations influence on whole group. How can we cooperate in next exercises as a group to be prepare to good collective making decision process – make with group some kind of savoir vivre rules for collective decision making.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

This exercise is more challenging and fascinating if the group does not see the whole original picture until the end of the activity, although this is entirely up to the facilitator. Be specific about what you mean by 5 times when you ask for an enlargement multiplying length. This problem solving activity will teach participants how to work in a  team and it demonstrates divisionalised ‘departmental’ working, which means understanding that each person working on their own part contributes to an  overall group result. This is a  good opportunity to introduce group to the topic of collective decision-making in constitutivism way, because they can be surprised, that the goal is to develop wider strategy for better group work.

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Part 4 IMPLEMENTATION

THE IMPLEMENTATION PART LOOKS AS IT FOLLOWS:

1st meeting: one big problem solving activity, with the help of this activity trainers explain the theory of the project management (the steps, aims, resources, time management, planning, presentations, evaluation) 2nd meeting: the youngsters prepare their own project (choosing aims, preparing an action plan, presentation of the plan for the facilitators) 3rd meeting: the youngsters implement their own projects – that’s why there is no scenario for this in this manual 4th meeting: evaluation of their work and celebration of the results


#17


ICE BREAKER: STRONG WIND TIME

15 min

AGE: 5+

10-30

MATERIALS

LOCATION

small plastic or wooden pieces for each participant to stand on

outdoors or indoors – if the group is about 10-15 participants, and you have a large conference room, or inner space.

GOALS

 Getting into the atmosphere of the topic.  Getting to know facts about participants, or opinions of participants regarding different topics. DESCRIPTION

116

The group forms a circle; everybody stands on a plastic or wooden plate. One person – at the beginning the trainer, then somebody from the participants – stays in the middle of the circle, this person doesn’t have a plate to stay on. The person in the middle calls out different things, saying the sentence: “The strong wind blows away those who…” and completing it each time with another thing: ...have long hair, ...like to wake up early, ...go often on a hike, etc. Those in the circle, who feel like the statement applies for them, have to leave their places, and find another place in the circle, on another plate. The person who doesn’t find a place stays in the middle, and calls out another thing. Rule: When participants change places, they have to choose a place at least two plates away (not only step on the plate to their left or right). SAFETY

Draw their attention not to hit each other when looking quickly for another place. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Who is moving at each question.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


DEBRIEFING

Debrief only if needed, depending on the goal of the activity.  How many times did you change places?  At which question did you change places?  Did you pay attention to the others, when did they move?  Did you learn something new from the others? VARIATIONS

The person in the middle of the circle will always be the trainer. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

It is a good activity to use with questions related to a  topic. When only the trainer stays in the middle and calls out the statements, in case there are more trainers, they can change each-other. The statements can be formulated purposefully, so that they give an image for the trainer about the group, opinion of the participants, about their involvement, etc.

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FOUR DIRECTIONS/FOUR CARDINAL POINTS TIME

1-1,5 h

MATERIALS

AGE: 14+

12+

LOCATION

Important: activity needs time for preparation, 5 people (trainers and/or assistants and/or teachers and/or participants) – 4 people in the 4 workshops and 1 person in the Bank. One sample with quote for the trainer, Outdoors, an area big samples without quote for each team, enough to put 4 different 4 samples with the letters for the person who workshops on it, in is in the Bank - these samples have 4 different 4 directions. Different colours, one colour for each workshop. places for the “offices” (Samples attached below, page 152). of the teams, according Pen for each group. to the number of small Materials for the workshops as needed: ropes teams. Different place for for tying knots, small pieces of wood, stone, the Bank. plants for eco-memo, soft balls and plastic container for throwing down targets, etc. 4 different types of game coins, or something to use as “money”.

118 GOALS

 Developing team-work.  Giving participants the opportunity to work on different levels, as an example of project management, to better understanding of how project management works. DESCRIPTION

The facilitator sets up 4 workshops in 4 different locations, corresponding to the 4 cardinal points: North, South, West, and East. Workshops can be: tying knots, Eco-memo, throwing soft balls to a target, singing, transporting water without spilling it, etc. – it’s up to the creativity of the instructors and the materials available. Each direction is marked with a different colour on the sample papers. The group is divided into smaller groups of min. 4, max. 8 participants. There has to be three up to six small groups. The trainer explains the task for them while they are still together, then they are given an empty sample (one for each group) and go to their offices. Groups have to send their members to the workshops located OUTDOOR ACADEMY


in the 4 different directions, where they have to accomplish the tasks. If they succeed, they get a coin in the colour that matches the colour of the workshop. With this coin they go to the Bank, where it’s possible to change the money for a letter. The participants have to say the coordinates of the letter they would like to have (for ex. A1, D5), the person from the Bank has to find the letter on the right sample (if they give a red coin he/she has to find the letter on the red sample) and tells the letter for the participant. The participant with the letter goes back to the office and writes the letter in the right place on their sample. If they don’t succeed in doing the task, they won’t receive the coin and can’t buy the letter. They have to go to another workshop and send another member of their group to this specific workshop to try again. To do this, the small teams can choose a coordinator, who will stay at the office and will send group members to the workshops, telling them the coordinates of the letter they should get. They will also have time for planning. They will have a time limit for collecting all the letters, and completing the quote, for example 1 hour. Rules:  At each workshop participants can get only one coin at once.  It is not allowed to write the coordinates of the letters and/or the received letters on the hand of the participants or on a paper. They have to memorize and remember it. SAFETY

General attention required when moving around. At different workshops tell participants the safety rules: for example when throwing on targets, nobody should stay near, or behind the targets, in the direction of throwing. DEBRIEFING

First we debrief the activity with the help of the following questions:  What were your aim, and your objective?  Did you have a plan? If yes, what was that? Did you change something during the activity?  Which kind of roles/responsibilities had the team members?  What kind of resources did you need?  Are you satisfied with the result? OUTDOOR ACADEMY

119


 What went well, what can you improve?  What is the learning from this activity for the future? These questions/answers are related with the steps of the project management and also with the experiential learning. After this discussion the facilitator can explain the short theory of the steps of project management to the participants in an interactive way. The facilitator presents the steps one by one. After the theoretical part, each group will review their actions during the activity, and will identify the steps of project management. When they are ready, one team member will present their conclusions to the other groups. The parallels are: STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

I. PREPARATION

120

1. Needs analysis: answers to the question Why? (Why is the project necessary? Why is it relevant? Why should everybody be interested in it?) To get the answer for this question we can do brainstorming, we can ask some relevant representatives of the target group, or we can use some existing studies. The project we embark on should reflect the needs, conditions and specific aspects of the target group(s) it addresses and should be coherent with it. Needs analysis reminds us that no matter how wonderful our idea may be, how important and crucial our role may seem, nothing makes sense if it is not needed. 2. Defining the aim, and the concrete objectives: answers to the question What for? What? From the needs analysis we now know why the project is important. This should lead us to identify what we are going to make the project for – what its aims are, what it sets out to achieve on the long term. OUTDOOR ACADEMY

The facilitators did this analysis

before choosing this activity. They’ve taken into account the number of the group, their interests, the purpose of the activity, the place, the age of the participants. We based our decision on our knowledge and on the information what we had about the target group form previous experience with them.

The aim of the activity was to find the quote (the hidden aim was to present the steps of the project management).


STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Aims are often defined as overall objectives or goals: what the project or organization would achieve if it was 100% successful. It defines why the project exists, its purpose and reason for being. The aims are similar to the mission statement. The aims should not change during the project: a change of aims would mean a change of project altogether!

POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

The objectives:  to collect as more vouchers as possible – to change the vouchers to letters  to write the letters into the table  to read together the letters

Defining the objectives is crucial to making the project realistic and achievable. By reading the project’s objectives one should have a fairly clear idea of what will be concretely done or achieved by the project. The objectives are a translation into practice of the project’s aims. While the aims are general and far reaching, the objectives are concrete and if possible precise. Objectives are not only things to be produced, they are first of all targets to be reached. Material and immaterial. 3. Planning and timing: answers to the question What? When? Where? Through what? All that has been mentioned above in the project must now be practically put together in a plan, with a calendar, assignment of activities to place, etc. It is also what we will think of the most when we think of what the project consists of. The activities are the means through which we will try to get results for our project. Because it is a project, the activities need to be thought out and planned in relation to each other. Similarly, the results of the previous ones will influence the subsequent ones. The activities are the ways to carry out the project, to pursue the objectives. The most important and delicate issue in the planning of the activities is time. When drawing up your plan of activities, consider:  A starting date and a closing date for the project (a project has a beginning and an end).

121  the participants did the plan (here each small group should explain what was their plan)  the timing (here each small group should explain how did they managed their time)

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

 That preparatory activities are also part









122

  

of the project, and therefore part of the calendar of activities. You must at least put them in your schedule. Checking that each objective defined is defined and can be effectively pursued in some activity. Check also if each activity corresponds to an objective. Interaction between activities. How are the results of one activity going to be used in the following? Which activities depend on others? What does each activity need as preparation? That may have to be taken up separately as an activity of its own. Does the plan and calendar correspond to the reality around you? Does it take into account institutional schedules (e.g. school holidays)? Does it fit with imposed deadlines (for applying, for finishing reports...)? Is it manageable? Is it feasible? Are you taking into account any previous evaluation of similar projects or activities to know what may work better? What is the margin left for contingencies? Which alternatives have you considered? What will happen if an activity is cancelled?

You can also put the different activities into perspective by writing the different activities and under each month what needs to be done for each of them. II. IMPLEMENTATION

1. Managing the resources: Knowing what we intend to do, when and where, will help us determine what we need (and check what we have) in order to start preparing and putting into practice the program. The resources can be financial (money to run the campaign or to go on holiday), OUTDOOR ACADEMY

 they should present the timeline of the activity  they should present the roles and responsibilities, and should tell about the teamwork


STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

material or technical (a room to meet), human (staff or volunteers to actually run the program) or time-based (time to carry out effectively all the stages of the project). In reality, the resources are considered already during the first planning stages. The obligation of realism in the project’s objectives forces those in charge to at least mentally take into account the scale of their own resources and of those available in principle.  time management: to manage our time and our lives more effectively we should: plan our activities, vary our activities through our time table, set priorities, make a TO DO LIST, difficulties first – tackle the most difficult jobs first not last,  human resources: Teamwork is important in developing a project. Teams need to be able to make decisions on organizational and financial issues and at the same time to create a feeling of energy and excitement around the project. In other words, teams have to work effectively. Each person involved in the project should have his/her own role and responsibility and to be motivated should get something from the project.  material resources: every project must have a budget. A budget is a calculated estimation of the value or price of the project and is always composed of the expenses – the costs of the project – and the income – the resources brought into the project to cover the expenses. Budgets must be balanced. A budget is important because it provides an idea about the realism and dimension of the project. Found raising tips: writing projects, asking for sponsorship, individual donation, and donation in kind.

POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

 they should present which kind of equipment and other material/financial things did they use, and how did they receive these recourses

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

 You have to think about the technical and any other equipment what you need during the implementation, and you have to think from where can you buy, borrow or rent.

124

2. Ongoing monitoring: Applied to project management, monitoring means to keep track of the progress of the project, of the implementation of the plan, of the management of the resources, of checking whether what is being done is within the framework of the aims and objectives. Monitoring is done throughout the project, when it is still possible to introduce changes, change course and adapt better to reality. The monitoring is very important in case of long term projects. Checkpoints in your project plan. Monitoring also needs to be planned. Foresee moments when you will review the progress accomplished and how it scores against your targets. You can do this on a regular basis (e.g. every month), but you can also have monitoring points after each major activity (to take on board the impact of the activities). Keep track of results. The best way to secure a regular and useful evaluation is to take time to take note and record what you achieve. It means also writing your objectives down for each activity. It means asking people’s opinion about what has been achieved.

 they should present what happened with their plan during the activity, did they change something, if yes why. They should present what was the focus: the individuals, the group or the task.

3. Putting in practice the plan: acting III. EVALUATION

Towards the end of the plan of activities the project is becoming complete.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

The debriefing of the activity. The steps: review, positive,


STEPS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

But before formally “closing it”, a final evaluation is necessary. Generally, we should conduct evaluations because:  We want to learn further and develop our own capacities and skills  We want to check what has been achieved as a result of our efforts and actions  We want to consolidate and validate a learning experience  We want to check how effective we are  We want to see where we can improve  We want to commit people to their learning; or development process

POSSIBLE EXAMPLES FROM THE PREVIOUS ACTIVITY

negative aspects, conclusions, what can we learn from the experience and how can we put it in practice in the future.

After this presentation the facilitator can answer the questions and clarify everything. The facilitator can tell before or after the presentation the purpose of talking about the project management: for the next 3 meetings/sessions the participants have to plan, implement and evaluate their own project. The facilitators will coach them during this process, but the participants have to take initiatives. Ask the participants to think about project ideas and come with concrete ideas for the next meeting/session. VARIATIONS

A simpler version is to not use coins (here we need them for the financial management and resources aspect), instead participants can get the letters right away, after they successfully completed the task. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

For this session we need more than 2 hours.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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#18


ICE BREAKER: HUMAN MACHINE

AGE: 12+

10-15

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15 min

none

outdoors/indoors

GOAL

 Getting into the atmosphere of the topic: create synergy of the group for planning. DESCRIPTION

First part: The aim of the group is to build a human machine without any verbal communication. The group forms a circle; one person enters in the middle and starts to move in a way to imitate a part of a machine. Then another person enters to the middle and joins to the machine with a new movement and sound. The game ends when everybody joined and the machine is complete. Second part: The goal is also to build a human machine, but this time the participants can prepare a plan before starting – they are allowed to talk at this phase and can divide the roles. The execution is the same – participants join one by one to the centre of the circle and build the machine. SAFETY

Draw people’s attention to not hit each other. WHAT TO OBSERVE

 The difference between the two machines.  Differences between their acting styles during the two parts. DEBRIEFING

 How did you feel during the first and the second part of the game?  Which kind of differences could you observe?  Are these observations valid for the project management? If yes, why? How can you use this experience during the project?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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PLANNING OF THE PROJECT TIME

2h (depending on the active participation of group members)

     

AGE: 14+

12+

MATERIALS

LOCATION

flipchart flipchart papers markers paper glues coloured papers

better indoor, but it can be outdoor as well

GOALS

 Putting in practice what the participants learned about the first big step of the project management.  Developing the presentational skills of the participant.  Encouraging the sense of initiative. DESCRIPTION

128

The participants present their project ideas and the facilitator writes them on the flipchart paper. Next, there is a brainstorming as a whole group about the needs of the local community and the surrounding environment, identifying the target group and choosing the aim and the objectives. The participants prepare the plan of the project (the activities they would like to carry out, the timeline, the responsibilities, the material resources). They present the plan for the facilitator, if needed the facilitator, with the help of questions, clarifies things and influences the project: why do you consider…? how do you imagine...? who can help you…? what is the purpose...? The role of the facilitator at this point is coaching the group. When the plan is complete each participant chooses a role, they consider themself competent in, and one or more responsibilities. Till the next meeting/session each participant prepares, does their own responsibility. Between the 2 meetings the facilitator will coach the participants personally and/or by phone, internet. In this way the project will be ready to implement.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


WHAT TO OBSERVE

    

The motivation, enthusiasm and the engagement of participants. Who is the leader. Who takes more roles. Who has more ideas, who is taking more action. How decisions are taken.

DEBRIEFING

If necessary the facilitator can debrief the activity, but if there are no problems the facilitator can use their observations during the 4th meeting, when the whole project will be evaluated (debriefed).

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#19 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM BY THE PARTICIPANTS


#20


ICE BREAKER: STRONG WIND (2) TIME

15 min

AGE: 5+

10-30

MATERIALS

LOCATION

small plastic or wooden pieces for each participant to stand on

outdoors/indoors – if the group is about 10-15 participants and you have a large conference room or inner space

GOALS

 Getting into the atmosphere of the topic.  Getting to know facts about participants, or opinions of participants regarding different topics. DESCRIPTION

132

The group forms a circle; everybody stands on a plastic or wooden plate. One person – at the beginning the facilitator, then somebody from the participants – stays in the middle of the circle, this person doesn’t have a plate to stay on. The person in the middle calls out different things, saying the sentence: “The strong wind blows away those who….” and completing it each time with another thing. If there are two facilitators, they can “organize” themselves so that each time one of them stays in the centre of the circle, and they can ask the specific questions they have prepared in advance. It is possible also to let participants be in the centre, and specify the topic they can relate to: their project. Some examples: The strong wind blows away those who...  ...were thinking on the project in the last two days (or whatever period needed).  ...were satisfied with their roles in the project.  ...were involved in the planning/implementing/financial management/etc.  ...had to change something about the project.  ...had a good time while working together.  ...had a hard time communicating.  ...felt challenged while implementing the plan.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


Rule: When participants change places, they have to choose a place at least two plates away (not only step on the plate to their left or right). SAFETY

Draw their attention not to hit each other when looking quickly for another place. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Who is moving at each question.

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EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT TIME       

2h

AGE: 14+

12+

MATERIALS

LOCATION

flipchart flipchart papers markers paper glues coloured papers coloured pens

better indoor, but it can be outdoor as well

GOAL

Evaluating the projects set up and lead by the participants, see what went well, what could need improvement, what have they learned through their actions for the future. DESCRIPTION

134

Each small group draws a map of their project: a creative drawing, which will show in details, what happened, important highlights, feelings, how things happened, in chronological order, etc. In the next step, they will present these drawings to the other groups, so the other groups will be informed about all the projects too (in case there are several groups working on different projects). If all participants worked on one big project, they will present the drawing to the trainers. The facilitator introduces the 3P model, which will be used for the evaluation. Planning, organising and implementing a project can be seen as the interaction of three major aspects: Product, Process, People. All of these three are very important, and influence one-another constantly from the beginning till the end of the project. To have an efficient team-work, there has to be a balance between these three elements. PEOPLE

PRODUCT OUTDOOR ACADEMY

PROCESS


Product is the final result of their project. Process refers to the actions they took as a group, the teamwork, communication, includes the different steps of the project management. People means the group members working on the project, the individuals with their roles, actions, feelings, knowledge. The participants work in the small groups again, having conversations separately on the three topics, then present their conclusions to the big group. Product – examples of questions:  What can they consider as the product of their action? (can be one or more things)  How satisfied are they with their product?  What turned out good, what could be better on their product? Process – examples of questions:  How did they work together?  Did they have a leader/roles in the group?  What was communication like?  How did the different phases work: planning, implementing?  What did they change, how? People – examples of questions:  How did they feel as members of the team?  How satisfied were they with their roles?  How do they appreciate their personal involvement?  Were they listened to, helped, effective? Last closing question in big circle, for everybody: what have they learned from this project for the future?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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Part 5 TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

Our program is coming to an end. Use this time to summarize it, make participants aware of what they have learned and say goodbye.


#21


GROUP PICTURE

AGE: 10+

10-30

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

15 min

camera

outdoors/indoors

GOALS

 Energizer.  Introducing to the evaluation. DESCRIPTION

138

Divide participants into groups of up to 6 people. Ask them to recall 2 significant moments of your work over the last months. Next step is to create a static picture/scene that evokes this moment. Each group presents their own stage and the rest of the group is guessing to which moment of program it refers to. At the end, the trainer can take a picture. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Which moments turned out to be important for the participants?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


BACK TO THE PAST

AGE: 13+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

 ropes for every second participant  “gifts” of the forest: cones, stones, leaves

outdoors

10-30

GOALS

 Individual reflection about goals.  Supporting trust to yourself and others. DESCRIPTION

In this activity one person is a “traveller” and one is a “supporter”. They are going together to a short journey in which the “supporter” asks the “traveller” some questions and helps them to reflect about personal achievements in a program. The trainer asks participants to divide into pairs. The “traveller” places on the floor a word, symbol or picture that represents their goal and explains it to their “supporter”. Both walk about 5 meters away – optionally laying down a rope to mark out the journey. The “traveller” puts a symbols of keymoments of the program next to the rope. The “traveller” faces away from their goal and towards their “supporter”. The “supporter” asks what “traveler” has or did that help on their journey. See below for sample questions. Whenever the “traveller” states a helpful factor they take a step (backwards) towards their goal. Large steps indicate very helpful factors; small steps indicate slightly helpful factors. When “traveler” pass symbols or object, “supporter” could ask why this item is here and how that moment was important. After the journey is over, they are switching roles Useful questions to ask the traveller:  What knowledge and experience helped you on this journey?  What skills and strengths developed that helped you on this journey?  What values or motivations did you have that helped you on this journey?  What do you know about your strengths as a goal achiever that helped you achieve this particular goal?

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 What resources and support you received that helped you on this journey?  What existing contacts, networks or relationships you earned that helped you on this journey?  Has this conversation helped you to think through what strengths and resources you developed during a program? SAFETY

Be sure that participants have enough space to go backward. WHAT TO OBSERVE

What kind of key moments participants mentioned? COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Inspired by Reviewing Skills Training by Roger Greenaway.

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OUTDOOR ACADEMY


GIVING AND RECEIVING

AGE: 13+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

40 min

 “gifts” of the forest: cones, stones, leaves.  craft materials like coloured paper, magazines, glue, strings, scissors, etc.

outdoors

6+

GOALS

 Group reflection about contributions during the program.  Personal reflection. DESCRIPTION

‚Gifts’ is an appraisal activity in which people make, find or mime gifts for each other. It is a fun activity which tends to bring out surprising amounts of creativity and sensitivity once givers realise the responsibility they have towards the receivers. Receivers will be more receptive knowing the time, thought and care that has gone into creating personalised gifts for them. The qualities represented by the gifts should have been in evidence during the activity being reviewed. The session should be arranged so that ‚appreciative’ gifts outweigh ‚critical’ gifts. The trainer divides the group in two or three, and asks sub-groups to prepare gifts for individuals in the other sub-group(s). Gift should somehow refer to the contribution of this person to the program. The trainer interviews group members one at a time (perhaps for one-to-one reviewing) while the rest of the group is preparing a gift for the person being interviewed somewhere else. Individuals or pairs prepare gifts for everyone else in the group, with the result that each individual receives several gifts. SAFETY

Be sure that participants have enough space to go backward. WHAT TO OBSERVE

Making gifts: an example of a ‚made’ gift: light blue paper (representing calm) on which is drawn an outline of someone’s hands (representing help), above OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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which is a photograph of a bird cut out from a magazine. The giver of the gift explains what it means: „We admired you for your courage when trying to rescue the bird, but we wish you wouldn’t go it alone so much, and had asked us to help too. (This is your hand helping the bird. This is our helping hand which you didn’t ask for in time.) We admired you for staying calm (the blue) when you were rescuing.” VARIATIONS

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Making three dimensional gifts (e.g. robots, pets, toys, hats) gives greater scope, but is more time-consuming. Finding gifts: define an area within which gifts can be found (inside, outside or both) and ask pairs to find one gift for each other person in the group. Explain that the gift should represent two positive messages and one critical message. Here is an example: „This fir cone is for you because you’d just lie around doing nothing if we didn’t make you join in. All the bits sticking out show the talents you’ve got but don’t use enough - like problem-solving (finding the easiest way of doing things), singing, mimicking other people. And there are bugs crawling around inside because you’re friendly to everyone: people always come to you if they need someone to talk to.” COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Inspired by Reviewing Skills Training by Roger Greenaway.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


LETTER TO YOURSELF

AGE: 13+

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

20 min

 stationery (cards and envelopes)  stamps  pencils for everybody

outdoors/indoor

6+

GOALS

 Personal reflection.  Extending the effects of the program. DESCRIPTION

This task is much nicer if it happens outdoors, surrounded by nature. The trainer asks participants to write a letter to themselves, answering positive question(s) about the program, for example: What am I proud of? What nonobvious goal did I achieve? Next, each participant puts the letter to an envelope, closes it, writes an address and sticks a stamp. The trainer collects all letters and send them to participants in a month.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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#22


EVALUATION OF SKILLS DEVELOPMENT TIME

30 min

MATERIALS

 paper or cardboard to make a sign and marker pens  flipchart paper

AGE: 14+

10-30

LOCATION

indoors or outdoors

GOAL

Encouraging participants to assess the development of their skills and competences. DESCRIPTION

Each participant is handed three images: an image of a suitcase, a light bulb and a spanner. The idea is that each image stimulates reflection on the learning process in a different way. The suitcase stands for something that the participant will take with them. The light bulb stands for something that has become apparent (a realisation). And the spanner stands for something (a skill or competence) where further work is required. Participants are given a couple of minutes to reflect on their progress using the aforementioned props. Then, the trainer invites each participant to hold up each prop in turn and to share their reflections for each with the rest of the group. The next step of the evaluation is to divide the participants into three smaller groups. During this stage, participants are invited to evaluate specific skills and competences related to three themes of the project that they have engaged with so far: Communication, Teamwork, Self-development. Participants are asked to describe two positive and one negative example of the aforementioned themes drawing on their participation in the project. Participants are given five minutes to do this and after the time is up the groups go to a new topic. The process is continued until each group has engaged with all three topics.

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DEBRIEFING

Active feedback is recommended to debrief this activity as allows the trainer to visualise how participants view their skills-development. Active feedback can take many forms. One simple way of active feedback is to pick an object (a tree, outside for example or an interior wall if the debriefing is taking place indoors) as a barometer. The object in question indicates complete satisfaction with skills development, and participants are invited to position themselves spatially in relation to this object in order to show their self-evaluation of their progress. This method can be used to engage with a number of themes, such as participants overall satisfaction with the programme. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

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The evaluation can integrate and revisit the materials created in the introductory exercise ‘participant profiles’. In this exercise, participants were asked to articulate their: expectations from the project; their expectations from their peers and trainer; any fears or worries that they might have; and a personal goal that they choose to set themselves. As a  means of either opening or closing the evaluation, participants could be invited to re-visit these statements and to reflect on the extent to which their expectations are being met by the programme.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


#23


EVALUATE THE WHOLE PROGRAM – PART A TIME

90 min

MATERIALS

 flipchart  colourful markers  calm music (optionally)

AGE: 8+

10-20

LOCATION

indoors/outdoors

GOALS

   

Remembering all stages of the program. Comprehending competencies gained through the program. Analysing feelings and experiences. Farewell the participants and trainers.

DESCRIPTION

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The trainer creates a long white canvas on the floor as a timeline by sticking together several flipcharts and paints or writes down some important stages of the project. They spread colourful markers across the canvas. Then they ask the participants to sit or lie comfortably and in silence around the canvas and close their eyes. The trainer then starts reminding for 15 minutes in calm voice several moments and stages of the projects while suggesting to the participants to recall their feelings, actions and results at those moments. After finishing the story the participants are asked to open their eyes and imagine that the canvas is a timeline of our project. They are asked to draw, write and complete the canvas in silence with the things that they remember and value most. After 20 minutes they are asked to start completing each other drawings for 10 minutes more. Finally they are asked to sit around the canvas and participate in a long debriefing session. DEBRIEFING

 What did you draw and why?  Which drawing impressed you most and why?  Was it something that you couldn’t draw but you think it’s important?

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


VARIATIONS

The trainer may skip the timeline and just let the participants complete a piece of the canvas with something they remember. Then the part of interacting with the other participants’ drawings should be longer. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Try to create a peaceful feeling that will allow the participants to reconnect with their feelings and express themselves.

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EVALUATE THE WHOLE PROGRAM – PART B

AGE: 8+

10-20

TIME

MATERIALS

LOCATION

90 min

 flipchart  colourful markers  calm music (optionally)

indoors/outdoors

GOALS

 Setting goals for the near future.  Committing to change. DESCRIPTION

150

Based on the collective drawing created in the previous exercise, participants are given a frame and are asked to cut a piece of the drawing to keep as a postcard. Then they are asked to write a commitment they are making for the future, on the back of the postcard, as an outcome of the whole program. The trainers collect the postcards and send them 6 months later to the participants. VARIATIONS

The trainer can also offer the option of creating postcards for other members of the team as a farewell gesture. COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS

Try to create a peaceful feeling that will allow the participants to reconnect with their feelings and express themselves.

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


ANNEXES


SAMPLES FOR ACTIVITY: 4 CARDINAL POINTS (page) A

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SOUTH

Ecomemo

WEST

Singing a song

EAST

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APPENDIX


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ABOUT THE PROJECT AND OUR GOALS

“Outdoor Academy” was an Erasmus+ program, in a framework of strategic partnership between European organizations:  Foundation Institute of Animation and Social Development (IAIRS) - host organization (Poland)  Outward Bound Romania,  ASD L’Orma (Italy),  Grüner Grashalm e.V. (Germany),  Votsis Youth in Action Club (Greece). The goal of a  project was to create educational program for youth and materials for their educators and trainers, based on outdoor education. It contributes directly to the  development of trainers, as well as competencies and skills of youth educators. Moreover, it establishes strong partnership in frame of outdoor and adventure education, in order to support the improvement of the youth work quality. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


Our idea was to create a ready to use program, and test it in our organization – what we have done! We tried our program in different settings based on our groups needs and our possibilities. Various ways of implementing our program gave us a lot of reflections and encouraged us to improve or add some parts to the program. Below we would like to share conclusions from our trials and findings. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM PILOT

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IARIS (Poland) – The group was gathered in an open recruitment. Some members were recruited from volunteers of a friendly organization. In final report trainers wrote: “Participants came from many different communities and didn’t have common goals.”. Group was led by constant team of trainers with some guest trainers. They were meeting in a 4-hour blocks on Sundays. Every meeting took place in a different city park of Wroclaw (always outdoor), what was an extra benefit for trainers and participants. They were exploring their own city and did program in places that, in other occasion, they would never have visited. This idea has a  disadvantage – because of no base place, they faced challenge to do activities that require flipcharts, scissors, paint and had to carry them every time to different spot in a city. Because of big fluctuation in a group and always different size of it, trainers had to adapt prepared program quite often. It can be considered as a advantage and disadvantage in the same time. As a  final meeting they went on one day trip for climbing, which was perceived as a  very good ending. As a  social project, participants prepared an open – outdoor day in Wroclaw. It was a good example of using content from the whole program to create something new by participants. Generally people were happy with the course and enjoyed the activities. There were a few complaints about the duration of the course and gaps between the workshops. In the end the trainers had some suggestions: “The  group has to be consistent, I  think that it’s best to gather people who work or learn together. (…). The program should be conducted in a  shorter period. At the beginning it was suggested to make one 2-hour meeting each week. That sums to approximately 20 weeks of duration and it’s too much. I think that 4-hour workshop is an optimal solution. The shorter period also helps to keep the motivation at a proper level and reduces the risk of resigning from the group (…)”. OUTDOOR ACADEMY


OB (Romania) – Trainers from Outward Bound underlined that recruitment process was challenging for them. They wanted to work with a school group of teenagers, at the age of 15. To do that, they changed a setting of a meetings for a few 6-hour sessions. As Outward Bound has strong traditions and experience with low and high ropes courses, they included this activities to the program. It made it a lot more high-performance and outdoor. Romanian team believes that in their working conditions and youth needs the 6-month program is too long. Next time they would do it more intense and shorter. Group was led by team of dedicated trainers. General recommendation to use this program for already existing groups, that will stay together for longer period of time. VYiAC (Greece) – Votsis Youth in Action Club is an organization using a lot of art techniques in their youth work, so they add them to the outdoor program. This turned out to be an interesting combination. Due to the need of preparation every meeting, they changed a setting and organised 4-hour meetings every second week. Group was recruited from a  school and the meetings were carried out just after school, what made organizational process much easier. From the  beginning of a  program, even the group’s teacher participated in meetings, what changed into supervision towards the end of a  program. As a final project, the group prepared one day outdoor trip, which was perceived as a good summary of the work. “The participants started expressing themselves more and they felt more and more comfortable as the time was passing by (…). They were excited while organising the excursion (…). The group’s bond was becoming stronger and stronger during last month, they were very supportive with each other and focused more on learning.” VYiAC trainers decided to work more on group process, so they realised that sometimes the tempo suggested by manual was too fast. They spent more time on getting to know each other and building trust – what is exactly how trainers work. Adapting program for group needs is one of a key competencies of trainer. Grüner Grashalm e.V. (Germany) – decided to try out completely different settings; organize outdoor academy meeting every day in a one-month period. L’Orma (Italy) – as a sport club, having close cooperation with schools, L’Orma decided to try out the program in a  framework of physical activity classes. It is an interesting example how non-formal approach could be implemented in formal education. So their group was one of a  school classes, at the age of 16-17. Knowing each other very well, they skipped some introduction OUTDOOR ACADEMY

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activities and concentrated more on problem solving and trust building games and exercises. L’Orma trainers delivered 10 sessions of two hours each, held in English, given that the students have a good level of English, that allows to understand the tasks and take part in discussions. Because the group was quite big, they adapted some activities and sports games to the bigger group. Teacher was always present during Outdoor Academy meetings. As a  final project, teenagers decided to create a performance – which was a little bit surprising for all adults. However, results were really great and from trainers’ perspective they helped achieve one of most important goals – encourage youth to take responsibility and organise something on their own. L’Orma trainers did a small study about impact of a project: “During the first and the last training the participants were asked to fill the survey lists for making conclusions about changes and results of the pilot course. In the initial survey the higher positions were “Achieving common goals is important for me”, “I  listen to others”, “I  can confront misunderstanding/ conflicts”.

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The final survey – “Achieving common goals is important for me”, “I can collaborate with my team”, “I can confront misunderstanding/conflicts”, “People trust me”. It showed the changes in understanding of the term “cooperation” and “teamwork”. The lowest position of the statement “I’m self-confident” didn’t change. Maybe it would be necessary to focus on activities connected with this topic. Generally speaking, trainers noticed a  rise of awareness in concepts like teamwork and communication. The class witnessed different group dynamics from what they were used

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


SUMMARY


All organisations were happy to tried out the created program. Experience shows that organisations’, trainers’ and groups’ needs have to be carefully studied before the next edition of “Outdoor Academy”.

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We tried different settings, which showed that the program can be adapted to various circumstances. Organising regular 2-hour meetings can be good if you have an opportunity to work in cooperation with school and students can come to workshops just after class. If you decided to use more outdoor and do not have a specific place – maybe it will be easier to organise 4 or 6-hours meetings. As a result of our trials we can suggest that this program is good for an existing groups, with no experience in non-formal education. Adding final excursion, trekking or even hiking or kayaking can be a nice idea to summarise the whole process. The most fruitful result for us was a  project prepared by participants. Every organisation underlined that this was a fresh, high quality idea appreciated by the participants.

More about our project you could see on

www.outdooracademy.pl

OUTDOOR ACADEMY


ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN CREATING THIS BOOK:

INSTITUTE OF ANIMATION AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Grüner Grashalm e.V.


Profile for Outdoor Academy

Outdoor Academy - manual of educational program for youth groups  

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