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Exercise, Report, Group Building Activity

Nature and Youth

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A booklet for youth workers to deal with youth radicalization through nature based learning. The booklet is a result of the project “Trees that are rooted”. The project was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Aims of the tool

enhancing the youth workers’ work with young people, especially the ones who are vulnerable, hard to reach and at risk of radicalization

- To equip youth workers with competences and methods for their professional development, in addressing the needs of the young people and in particular the ones who are hard to reach and at risk of radicalization.
- To share innovative theories, educational approaches and tools that youth workers can use in order to improve their work with young people.
- To promote diversity and sense of initiative among young people
- To increase youth worker’s motivation and inspiration to work further with youth
- To create a cascading effect by developing sustainable follow-up actions targeting hard to reach young people

Description of the tool

The number of young people being drawn into radicalization movements is dramatically increasing. According to EU, “radicalisation is understood as a complex phenomenon of people embracing radical ideology that could lead to the commitment of terrorist acts”. The report “Preventing the radicalisation of children by fighting the root causes” explains that youth are drawn into violent radicalization in their search for identity and a meaningful place in society. The main root causes of this are the profound feelings of injustice and frustration about their social exclusion and their vulnerability. These increase their willingness to adhere to extremist, sometimes violent groups, which offer an apparent social purpose to them.

The Paris declaration 2015, gathering all EU member states Education Ministers, discussed how education and training can best meet the challenges of social inclusion, radicalisation and citizenship. The declaration outlines that “the primary purpose of education is not only to develop knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes and to embed fundamental values, but also to help young people - in close cooperation with parents and families - to become active, responsible, open-minded members of society.”

Extensive research done in the field of youth work proved that youth work cultivates active, responsible and open minded members of the society. The research “Working with young people: the value of youth work in the European Union” has profoundly shown that through (sustained) engagement in youth work, young people develop certain skills and competences and strengthen their network and their social capital/social skills.

After discussing the situation of the young people in Europe, the booklet offers a number of tools that can be done with young people.

Nature based activities
Learning in nature has proven astonishing benefits on young people which include among others better health, decreased stress levels, increased motivation, real world problem solving, increased self-esteem and self-confidence and more active learning. What is even more important is that it stimulates a better overall behaviour, it reinforces teamwork, it builds awareness of the needs and contributions of others, it fosters the ability to sustain effective relationships, it helps to cope with a rapidly changing world, it strengthens the belongingness and it cultivates the responsibility to be an effective member of the community.

Available downloads:


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Tool overview

This tool is for

Youth workers

and addresses

Social Inclusion, Group Dynamics, Personal Development, Youth Participation, Environment

It is recommended for use in:

Youth Exchanges
Training and Networking

Materials needed:

Forest, nature

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was created in the context of

Project “Trees that are rooted” cofunded by Erasmus+ programme

The tool has been experimented in

Training course

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Ivan Kobelev (on 3 March 2022)

and last modified

27 January 2022

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