Last November, the team and youngsters from Rota Jovem decided to take a break and go camping – an activity called “Time-Out” in the framework of “Connectivity”. Out there in the woods at the beautiful and mysterious Parque Natural Sintra-Cascais, the group had the chance to have a good time and learn together with one another.

Outdoor activities like this one are important in order to develop teamwork, creativity, and communication skills while connecting with nature and with other people.

With a very diverse group, and a weekend full of surprises (from the weather to last-minute changes), the group had the chance to have fun with cool games and activities, support a local organization regarding the local conservation of species and try out some outdoor sports.

Always involving the group, this activity required, not only a continuous participatory approach, but it was also based on outdoor education and experiential learning approaches.
Learning by doing and with our peers was essentially at the basis of the “Time-Out” experience. Adding various values such as team spirit, cooperation, and respect for the environment – we made it a very nice learning experience for everyone involved.

We are still here, inspired, and ready to work with you!
Since meeting in person is rather difficult at the moment, we decided to create an online learning opportunity for you. 🌍💻

Are you curious about our project? Would you like to develop your facilitation skills in an outdoor context? Would you like to practice creating and leading educational outdoor activities? Then this might be for you.

In order to keep on creating content and exchanging ideas (as a warm-up for our future training activities), we offer you the following: join us in the upcoming months and discover the basics of facilitation through exclusive videos, tailor-made online content, outdoor games and activities, workshops in small international teams and support group meetings.

This is all free of charge and it only requires your wish to learn and to explore something new!

Would you like to know more? Are you ready to sign up?
Then reach out to one of our partners.

This project is co-created by Olde Vechte FoundationRota JovemActive Bulgarian SocietyEurope House Slavonski BrodParcours Le Monde Ile-de-FrancePraxis Greece, and YOBBO – Youth Beyond Borders.

Funded by Erasmusplus-NL.

One of YOBBO – Youth Beyond Borders‘s favorite outdoor activities is the so-called “Spider web”.

What is it about? And how to do it?

The best is to create groups of 6 to 10 people.

In order to arrange this activity, you are going to need space with poles or trees and rope – using the rope you can create a web between 4 poles or trees, make sure that the holes that have formed in the web are less than the number of team members.

Rules to consider: the goal of each team is to reach the other side of the web, the activity will be over when all team members reach the other side. The participants are not allowed to touch the rope or the poles/trees (if that happens the whole team has to start again from the beginning). Only one person can stand in one hole of the web. If a person who is standing in one hole moves to another one, the previous one is “burned” (the team can’t use it again unless they start from the beginning).

We really like this activity because it’s so simple yet so powerful. To reach the goal, the team has to cooperate and to find a solution that includes all members. Cooperation is not the only aspect of this activity. In teams, our participants need to communicate with each other in order to come up with a winning strategy. Moreover this activity can be focused on inclusion, solving it takes a group effort.
We believe in the effectiveness of this activity since after the participants reach the final goal and understand the solution, all together, they have the possibility to prepare it again and facilitate it for another group; so there is an experience in the activity and, at the same time, a learning possibility while facilitating it. In this context the inclusion is created not only during the activity but also in the preparation of it by a group who already found the solution and learned how it works while doing it.

Getting down to something new!

While in many ways we are on hold, the given situation has also some benefits. For the last few weeks, Olde Vechte Foundation has been busy trying to figure out new possibilities within the restrictions and as a result, an adjusted system has been developed for all volunteering activities.

Being outside as much as possible and keeping distance from others – these are the guidelines and gardening seems to fit just right in. Spinach, onion, dill, beets, arugula, and parsley is growing soon, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin, paprika, and beans will be added later to our homemade vegetable garden. Can’t wait to taste these own grown vegetables! 🍅🥬🥒🍆

This is how an outdoor activity can turn into a learning process and a benefit for everyone around.

Would you like to follow the work of our volunteers?
Then check out our page, Vrijwilligers werk vechtdal.

Is doing activities still possible?
Our colleagues at Europe House Slavonski Brod have organized a mini-environmental campaign called Solidarity Bouquet this Monday, in order to celebrate the European week and to create visibility for our project.

In the frame of this event, few excited youngsters joined a clean-up activity on the Sava riverside. 🌍

What about safety?
Ensuring small groups and welcoming new volunteers every hour seemed to be the best way to keep the event optimal and enjoyable for everyone.

More information about the event for our Croatian readers:
https://bit.ly/EHSBoutside
https://bit.ly/EHSBvolunteers