We, Active Bulgarian Society, have always aimed to make our city a better place to live. We are interested in
creating outdoor activities to promote an active lifestyle, intercultural communication, and active participation in the local community. For this reason, our team is creating weekly outdoor events for last month – “Game o’clock”, ”Fair
play Football”, “Volleyball for all”, “Chat Club”, “Walking, Talking and Cleaning”.

The event “Game o’clock” is usually held every Tuesday.
During this event, we are playing different exciting games that are prepared by our team and usually 4 games each time. Some of the games are team games and the rest are everyone against everyone. What makes this event amazing is that the games are always with different themes. Many new
people began attending this event and also we received a lot of positive feedback.

In our town, many youngsters play football and for this reason, we created ”Fair play Football”. With this event, our team has the goal to propose a different sports event for football lovers in our town. Every time the stadium is full of positive people ready to have some fun.

“Walking, Talking and Cleaning” was one of our biggest events that we had made during the previous month. We invited some local organizations to be our associate partners. The goal of the event was to clean one of the parks in our town. Also, to make new friends and communicate with them about the importance of our nature and other topics related to the topic of ecology. Related to this, our team prepared some posters with quotes on them and stuck them on the trees in the park. We believe that with the help of the posters, people will start thinking before throwing their rubbish in the park.

Would you like to know more about our activities? Follow our Facebook page. ⛹️

Starting a group activity with an ice breaker is a very important first step. This helps in building confidence and familiarity between the participants so that everyone feels comfortable, and in a good mood to start the activities they’ll be doing.

To help, Rota Jovem has a suggestion. This game is called “The Line Up”, you’ll only need the people you’re working with.
The game consists of having the players form an orderly line according to predetermined criteria set by the facilitator (like height, hair length, eye color, etc.). The twist is that no form of discussion or verbal cues can be used in any way during the process of forming a line.
This icebreaker helps develop team collaboration and non-verbal communication, it can also provide a few laughs and smiles along the way. 🤝

Parcours Le Monde Ile-de-France was a sending organization for a youth exchange in Slovenia, using graffiti as a tool to develop creativity but also self-confidence: even if you do not know how to draw like an artist, you can dare to express yourself!

Such an outdoor activity is also a good way to overcome linguistic barriers, while letting the pencil speak for you.
All week long, the participants have discovered each other and themselves through creative activities while designing together a wall frieze in the village. By doing so, they also contributed to the beauty of the neighborhood. Knowing that you go home after the project, but you leave behind a graffiti that you made by yourself with the help of others is a nice emotion that nourishes the feeling of belonging to something greater / of contributing to the common venture.

Coming back to their local environment, our participants wanted to express their creativity everywhere, starting from Parcours le Monde’s office. ☺ We keep the idea in mind…

Every summer YOBBO – Youth Beyond Borders takes part in a project called “Back to Basics” in the Netherlands, from Cherry International Foundation. What makes it great is that the whole project and all the activities in it are created to make the participants learn through practice and action.

In particular, the participants have a lot of outdoor activities during the whole project where they learn how to cooperate and to achieving results all together after taking concrete actions and really going for their goals. Moreover, all this practice gives them the tools to experience a 3-4 days outdoor event all over the Netherlands.. during this outdoor experience everything depends on each team and on each member of the team; this makes it unforgettable and incredibly powerful in terms of learning for everyone.

Get yourself a ball, some papers and some crayons.. then the game is on!

When it comes to simple outdoor activities, all we need to do is to set up a suitable learning frame; the rest follows. Biking, walking, running, playing ball games, or even just laying in the grass – all these can turn into educational experiences with proper guidance and support.

But how do we create a tailor-made context?
That’s exactly what we are going to work on during the first training activity. Stay tuned for the dates! ⚽️

“Inclusion for Healthy Generations’’ brings innovative character thanks to its network that includes organizations from different European countries with diverse profiles, in particular bringing added value by involving organizations focused on different kinds of sports, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle; organizations targeting youth, old people, unemployed/ disadvantaged people, refugees – this will support the creation of a creative information campaign.
Link to the official page: https://www.facebook.com/Inclusion-for-Healthy-Generations-Erasmus-Sport-102624841354766/about/?ref=page_internal
Latest local outdoor events organized: https://www.facebook.com/events/277456373497606/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1034424966955606/

“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” 🌈🌈 That’s why despite the rain in Blagoevgrad, Active Bulgarian Society still managed to carry out the volleyball event. 🤾‍♀️🤾‍♂️
A lot of brave people joined and luck was on our side as well, as the rain stopped just before the beginning of the event. Former Azerbaijani national volleyball team member and our current volunteer, Konul, showed her excellence in this game and carried her team to victory. 🏆🏆
It was a very exciting and fun game, if you are feeling jealous because you missed this event, don’t worry, there will be more events coming up and we will keep you updated.✌️✌️
“Volleyball for All” was part of a series under the project “Inclusion for Healthy Generations” funded by the Erasmus+ program.😊😊

Wednesday afternoon, a group of young people from Praxis Greece responded to the call of the club “O-Siris Orienteering Club” and participated in this very beautiful game: Orienteering! In Serres – Greece.

We love our city, we work together and we support the efforts of the associations as well. It was an action adapted to the limitations of the pandemic. Safe action orienteering.

We took the challenge of the “O-Siris Orienteering Club” invitation: “From the 11th to the 19th of May explore neighborhoods of Serres, anytime you want, with the help of the map we provide. We ask you to follow the purple route, to match the photos with the points of the map and write down the path of the point. We suggest that you print them so that you can write down what you will find. There is no time limit but if someone wants, they can time the effort”.

We walked through the neighborhoods of the city, studied the map, and spent a beautiful and creative afternoon!

It was a good opportunity for the general public to try orientation without the stress of timing and failure with extra educational value: our participants tested their orientation skills, played sports; they had fun, discovered places in our city that had been previously photographed by the organizers. They followed the instructions and rules of participation, regardless of age or physical condition, regardless of the specific time. There was a specific starter, holding the specific map in hand, they followed all the points of the route correctly, sent the required proofs based on the instructions, and enjoyed the experience!

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.

For this reason, designing tailor-made learning experiences will always be on top of our list.

Image created by Revelatori.

“Connectivity” is a project that focuses on developing a method of sustainable inclusion for unemployed adults and disadvantaged groups by creating an accessible learning frame through educational outdoor activities.
Through this project, we would like to offer a solution to this challenge by giving high-quality learning opportunities, which are tailored to the needs of each individual disadvantaged adult, so that they have higher chances to enter the labor market. By creating an innovative playground and engaging people with limited formal education in the activities and work of the organizations, inclusion will be achieved and unemployment will be tackled.

The project brings together 7 partners from the Netherlands, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and France.

For us, Active Bulgarian Society team, “Connectivity” is a great opportunity to expand our partners’ network, learn from more experienced partners in the Adult Education field, and last but not least, share our solid experience in the field of non-formal education and outdoor activities, for the use of the unemployed adults and disadvantaged groups, the target group of the project.
Thus, this project will help us engage more adults who are either unemployed or with fewer opportunities in order to find a job.
Moreover, we are going to improve or extend the high-quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of each individual disadvantaged adult in our community to enhance their key competencies.

Excited about this learning journey and looking forward to achieving great results! 😎🍀