You-Hiker is a two phased experimental, experiential learning based outdoor learning project for youth workers. It enables youth workers to find a better contact with youngsters, build connections between those, who are involved in the process and offers space for deep learning to learn and reflection, aiming to:
- Empower youth workers and youngsters to use LARP in practice
- Use the Kolb’s theory in depth to experience full learning cycle
- Rise the competences and motivation of youth workers and youth
- Learn how to reach young people and prevent them from radicalization
- Digest known LARP and other methods and create new ones
- Create a booklet of methods for the outdoor education.
Video story of You Hiker
A Trainers’ Guide to Experiential Hiking
Arrival Day: Learning Outdoors
Day 1: Identify
Sun raises and the Day 1 begins. We weak up, have a breakfast. Come to the circle. Listen to the introduction. Present ourselves in front of others by showing our favorite outdoor place. Defining our contributions, expressing our fears, exposing our expectations. Discussing with the whole group the joint learning agreement. Playing a name game outside. First contact with the Lithuanian weather for a longer period. Everyone chooses a word and movement. We warm up by stopping and walking, jumping and sitting, clapping our butt and say our name. We meet our buddy with whom teste your connection while walking on a slackline. We do an impro theater, in which explored the ways to improvise and create a story. We got to know what LARP is, and get introduced to a story based on “Sweeth Tooth”. The day was concluded with an intercultural evening.
We forged unbreakable bonds through the captivating activities of improvisational games, music and movement. But that was just the beginning, as we fearlessly dove into the depths of the enchanting world of #LARP (Live action role-playing), unraveling its mysteries and exploring the myriad of captivating variations it offers like:
1️⃣ Demonstrative LARP
2️⃣ Horror LARP
2️⃣ Cosplay LARP
4️⃣ Theatrical LARP
We tasted Rules of LARPing, Functional levels (FL), Damage and Recovery, Removal from the game, Conflict resolution: resisting – social, emotional, physical, bidding, ranking.
Day 2: Play
Day 2 started with a preparation for LARP. Most of us worked to create hybrid characters, some prepared to embody the hunters. We went on an adventure involving different challenges: espacing, tracking, evading, connecting and resolving. Can you guess how many times we died while trying to cross the mine field? Or how scary was it for our characters to meet a ghost from their past in the purple flower field? Or how, despite being cold and wanting to go home, we managed to reach the conclusion of the story? Hot soup from our beloved chef waited for us in one room, and in the other room, no less tasty, Kolb’s learning model and the ETS competencies – that you were invited to explore by walking around the different spaces and engaging with the tasks that you wanted to.
Day 3: Hike
Day 3 began too early. We drove like refugees packed in a van to unknown forest. We were met by the soldiers, which made it even more dramatic. However, the initial appearance dissolved with the smiles of Kęstutis and Kąstytis, who kindly explained how to make a fire with a flint (titnagas in Lithuanian) and knife. We learned to understand the map, the coordinates, how to use compass for navigation.
Do you know how many your steps make a 100 meters?
Being split in two groups we went to find the hidden spots in the forest. It was a surprise for some of us that we walked 15 km and now the forest hike is over. We were back learning the knots and how to pass the bridge with the rope. Some of us tried for the first time tinginys, traditional Lithuanian dish, prepared by the soldiers. The ending however was not different from how we arrived – cramped like refugees in a van.
Day 4: Share
Day 4 opened with sharing the experience of yesterday’s hike. We were heading to the middle of the training, launching the process of stepping into the trainer’s shoes. We gathered in the country groups and based on the home assignment to research on the outdoor learning methods, offered six sessions to each other.
- Georgian team prepared Erasmus+ graduation party task, where we discovered that some members of preparation team had hidden roles. What did this make us realise?
- Lithuanian team offered Depth Psychology Journey, realising that there are 4 poles and we could synchronise with each of the poles at different times and with different moods. We danced with closed eyes.
- Third session was offered by Greek team. We created the sounds to express the different outdoor possibilities in Greece.
- Italian team offered us to delve into our senses. Divided into groups we ventured blinded from point A to B with only 3 helps: one visual guidance, one hearing aid and any of the two again.
- Belarus team wanted to remind Belarusian political situation and offered the simulation of getting rid of the protests in the streets.
- The open space was concluded by Ukrainian team, who split us into two groups and invited to share the personal stories blinded to a stranger that we don’t know.
This naturally lead to a session about surving in the Atlantic Ocean. What are your survival skills? Survival in darkness, navigation and creativity skills were tested in the Nigh Hike. Being thrilled and having fun at the same time.
Day 5: Create
Day 6: Challenge
Day 6 was a showtime. After visiting innovative Panevėžio atviras jaunimo centras youth centre, we went on a hike that participants organized. It started in the center of Panevežys from which Danielle led us, alongside the river, to the forest. What was our role in the activities or activity that we led and the activities that we participated in? We noticed flashlights, darkness, shadows, the cold, and eventually the satisfaction of reaching the end, coming back here to Vila Sanzila where we sat in a circle lit by candlelight and reflected on our experience. The Big Challenge ended with a Hot Barrel and for some jumping into the canal to widen the range of experiences.
Day 7: Love and Care
See you next time
“The project was very educative, there are many things taken by me. LARP and outdoors education are at the top of my list.”
“You hike improves my competence in every sense, unfortunately probably I am too skilled for learn more things about hiking, but on the other things I learnt a lot.”
“By providing a lot of different innovative activities, giving the opportunity to be facilitators and also using several great tools”
“I believe that my understanding of youngsters needs has increased being in contact with all the participants to the training. Through LARP and treasure hunt I could learn a new methods to engage youngsters in outdoor activities”
“I’ve learned a lot through learning outside. I have learned a lot of new methods to conduct self-study and I am ready and willing to share outdoor education methods. I will miss these people and the emotions I got here very much”
“Yes, they created a great atmosphere, food, activities and memories. Share motivation, skills and knowledge.”
“The chosen lecturers gave us some new information, tools and practices to use in our personal life and working with others”
“For these purposes it was really useful for me to interact with different ages and experiences individuals, to create my own learning outdoor method for them and to experience their tries to implement them. For me it is very important to get feedbacks and have common experience of going through challenges provided by organisators”
“Hiking in a multicultural environment and other exercises highlighted the importance of group work — something I sometimes forget about”
“I learned how to use non formal methods, I learned more how to turn ideas into action. I felt that I was a participant in every activity, an important part, to create something bigger and beneficial for everyone”
“They created a friendly comfortable atmosphere between participants, used a lot of learning methods to improve our skills, created tasks in which all participants got to know each other and became closer”
You Hiker project
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