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.

Arrival Day: We are all different and loving outdoors

Today 22 participants from Erasmus+ programme countries ???????? Lithuania, ???????? Greece, ???????? Italy, ???????? Georgia, ???????? Ukraine and ???????? Belarus gathered for You Hiker training course in Vila Sanzila, Panevezys, Lithuania.

Everyone arrived for outdoor education. Over the next 7 days we will dive into the topics of
1️⃣ Outdoor education and education through sports extends the comfort zone
2️⃣ Live action role-playing (LARP) during the hiking (day & night) raises self-esteem and motivation to learn.
2️⃣ Using GPS, geocaching and open-badges address better the needs of nowadays youth
4️⃣ Active lifestyle changes variety of habits

Day 1: Lets build teams

During first training day not only we got to know our personal individual stories and not only we bonded with games, music and movement, but already dived into what is #LARP (Live action role-playing) and what are the different kinds of it:

1️⃣ Demonstrative LARP
2️⃣ Tabletop LARP
2️⃣ Historical LARP
4️⃣ Salon/Parlor LARP

We tasted Rules of LARPing, Functional levels (FL), Damage and Recovery, Removal from the game, Abilities (conflict and non-conflict), Conflict resolution: resisting – social, emotional, physical, bidding, ranking.

Day 2: LARP

During 2nd training day everyone got a chance to embody the characters they received and practice LARP (Live action role-playing) in real setting – hiking 8 km around Sanzila natural park.

We played Sweet Tooth LARP, when some of us turned into playable characters hybrids, such as strong bears, colorful birds or lambs, while others became non-player characters (NPC), who took into prison the hybrids. The turning point happened when hybrids managed to escape during the night. NPCs were trying to catch the hybrids and finally they meet deep in the forest to resolve the situation. After the dramatic change of scenes, a marriage and a final dance united all together to celebrate the peace and joy.

Have you done LARP yourself?

Day 3: Forest therapy

Today we dived into
1️⃣ Making an envelop for others to write about us in secret or not. The purpose – to collect messages that are sometimes forgotten in the process.
2️⃣ Discussing and differentiating forma, non-formal and informal learning, sharing personal experiences and finally grasping how come “I came for a hiking project and we dont hike”. This project is far beyond just hiking. It is a toolset and expriential learning devoted to cut through and analyse what could be applied in outdoor education in terms of the toolset to further apply with youngsters.
2️⃣ Youthpass is very valuable to self evaluate our learning and it is at the core for non-formal learning.
4️⃣ Open batches is another tool to evaluate the achievements in a playful way, just as scouts do in their activities, just making it digital.
5️⃣ Exploring Non violent communication topic with the help of nature, via closed eyes walks, trying to recognise hands of another person, explore the smells, sounds of forest.
6️⃣ Together with a guest speaker youth worker, art and forest therapist Vaida Virbalaite we delved into:

1. Experiential hiking: theory and simulation practice.

2. Forest therapy (Shinrin Yoku): theory and simulation practice.

3. Art therapy in nature: practice and reflection.

Forest therapy: have you ever walked slowly : 2 km in 2 hours?

Day 4: Night Hike

4th day started with chanting Om Um Rrr to open our day for an intensive pathway:
1️⃣ Non violent communication (NLC) based on LARP – creating jointly the scenario of A ruler Queen, who is mean initially and could only be walked to sanity and understanding with proper NLC. We were divided into groups of 2 to explain to each other the difference between Jackal lanaguage (using generalisations, judgements, labeling) and Giraffe language (including 4 main NLC steps: make an observation, explore feelings, needs, and make a request). We picked the cards, roled the dice, improvised and tried to calm the queen. We did not manage to succeed, but learned a good deal about the matter.
2️⃣ Zhibek from Italy walked through the Body flow workshop. Kamil entertained us with the phylosophy of Martial Arts and a workshop. We heard also political overview of Belarusian situation.
3️⃣ Finally the big moment of the day arrived – a NIGHT hike. We started at 20:00 in the evening and finished passed the midnight 00:30, a total of 4.5 hours walk of 15.71 km, burning 1670 calories, at 10.33 min / 1 km moving time and 17.13 min / km with breaks. The night was cold but beautiful – full of starts and no wind. The trees and wild animals were questioning our selected paths. On the way we crossed the magic world (crossing the rope method), explored mushroom world, crossed the rivers, shared positive and negative perspectives of the same topic and returned tired but enriched.

Day 5: Preparation for Orientation Game

5th day was slow after yesterday’s night hike:
1️⃣ Mariam meditation was a good tone to set up the day for the right temperature.
2️⃣ We teleported to the childhood by using LEGO to build sculptures and pictures to support the reflection of the hike.
3️⃣ We brainstormed 10, then again 10, and then again 10 different uses of a stick – empowering us to believe that we can be extremely creative if we want.
4️⃣ Finally went to preparation for tomorrow’s Orientation game in Panevezys, dividing into groups to create the experience for local community of Panevezys.

Day 6: Urban Hiking

6th day was dedicated on urban hiking:
1️⃣ We opened our day by visiting Panevezys located innovative youth centre in the library PAVB Atvira Jaunimo Erdvė, which started a small test initiative by Malvina Zimblienė and now has more visitors than the whole library.
2️⃣ The remaining day was focused on meeting the local community and organising the orientation game “Finding the Lost Crown of Vytautas The Great” ????

Day 7: Wraping up

Last day arrived to wrap all the experiences for the further experimentations and applications back home.
1️⃣ Some want to hike within clubs and experiment LARP methods. Some want to organise hiking trails for colleagues. Some crave more Erasmus+ experiences. Some want to apply methods in the schools, organisations. Some want to organise training experiences. Everyone is keen to share their experiences and we are curious to see how many new initiatives will be born out of this gathering.
2️⃣ All things end. This You Hiker programme is also wrapped and closed with stories, reflections, youthpass, open badges. Let it be the beginning of something new ????
Meanwhile, we are waiting for the YOU HIKER 2:

See you next time

“We were provided with tools, methods, equipments for non formal activities and tasks”

You Hiker project

Erasmus + training course You Hiker #1 and  You Hiker #2

Story You Hiker: 1

Story You Hiker: 2

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