This is a reference for Eliza Popper

Find Your Place

The training activity took place
in artefact, Glücksburg, Germany
organised by Jugend für Europa
8-14 June 2013

Aims & objectives

To raise awareness about the variety of learning opportunities that the local environment can offer within the non-formal education of young people
To allow participants to experience, and reflect on, the use and the educational value of innovative outdoor methods that support youth workers to promote the involvement and initiative taking of young people in their local communities.
To explore the different understandings of what ”interconnectedness with the natural world“ means in terms of educational work with young people.
To connect and contribute to the local community (of this training course) and reflect on the potential values and competences that such activities encourage in young people’s sense of responsibility and initiative taking.
To encourage participants to share good practices from their own experiences in order to facilitate peer learning and future cooperation.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The 13 participants and 4 trainers of the Find Your Place training course came from 8 different countries which in itself provided great intercultural learning opportunity throughout the course.
Trainers: Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and Switzerland
Participants: Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Turkey, Croatia,France

Training methods used & main activities

The project aimed to promote empowerment of young people and their active participation using nature-based education. The activities were all selected to bring a particular awareness on how nature and the sense of community can trigger, through a heightened feeling of belonging, a stronger willingness to participate in society.
The core of the Find Your Place programme was arguably the Solo Time. Participants were invited to spend some time alone in nature, without food (only water), with a plastic tarpaulin to build an optional basic shelter and to stay at one place they would find and to just experience the nature through the senses and the play between thoughts and environment. We also invited participants to stay overnight, to experience a night in nature. They could choose either to return for 9 pm or 6:30 am the following morning.
This was the main bone of our training course, and thus we could divide our in three main parts:
a) Getting to know each other and the place and building up to the solo
b) The solo and the mirroring
c) Transference and going back home
The methodology of the training focused a lot on sharing stories, experiences and different perspectives, thus learning from one another and deepening the understanding of other cultures.

Outcomes of the activity

One month after the training course ,participants were asked to fill in a post-evaluation survey which aimed at evaluation the impact of the training course in three aspects:
 impact on personal life,
 impact on their work,
 impact on the community they work with.

Impact on the participants personally:
1. Stronger connection to Nature
2. Non-formal learning experience
3. New contacts from all over Europe
4. More confidence and self-esteem
5. Inspiration
6. Improved English
7. Better understanding of Youth in Action programme

Impact on the work of participants:
1. Planning future projects on the topic of nature based education
2. Planning future projects within YiA
3. Meeting possible future partners of projects
4. Ideas for non-formal educational methods and activities

Impact on the community participants are working with:
1. Better leading, communication and social skills
2. Easier approach to the people they are working with
3. Applying the knowledge gained at the TC within their communities

Last but not least: 10 out of 11 participants who answered the survey said they already have follow-up projects in mind which they would like to realize in the near future. We believe this is a great outcome, and we hope these projects will have even further impact on young people and youth workers, and nature based education will be more and more recognized in the youth field.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I was one of the 4 trainers. There was equal distribution of work load from preparation until follow-up of the project. The whole concept was developed and carried out by the 4 trainers.

I worked on this training for 5 days as a full time trainer.

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