We organised youth exchange for 35 participants from 7 EU countries. Here is what we were during all 10 days:
We arrived to the Scouts’ Center of São Jacinto. Despite long journey that our participants had to make, everybody was ready for the first activities: getting-to-know-each-other games and let’s-learn-our-names exercises. We continued next morning after breakfast. First: some energisers, then we put our fears, expectations and contributions on the “Tree of expectations” and learnt about Youthpass and its 8 key competences. At the afternoon we worked in groups. Without internet access, each and every group had to find a way to collect information about São Jacinto’s nature, history and geography… And, of course to discover some fun facts! Who was São Jacinto? What is the flora and fauna of the village like? What are the towns nearby? – those were some questions that our participants had to answer with the help of the locals.
We started the day with workshops and sharing about nutrition and composting with worms. In the afternoon we had Olympic games, which later were chosen for one of the best activities of the project! There was canoe, frisbee and slack line challenge waiting for our participants. Three teams: Salty Water, Numero Uno and Super Sexy Bocks were competing in these three disciplines. The winner was Numero Uno and they got a prize. In the evening we organised the Intercultural Evening, when participants from each country cooked some traditional food and made presentations about their countries.
During the fourth day we continued with workshops about healthy eating and after lunch we rushed to the forest to make a peddy paper game. Again, divided into groups, participants had to get lost in the forest to find they way out. On the way, there were some tasks they had to accomplish. Some of them were: finding the swamp, some kind of species, the smallest pine tree, and of course, to collect some garbage if they see it. This way they got familiar with the unique nature and dunes of São Jacinto. After a few hours long walk through the forest they ended up at the beautiful beach of S. Jacinto.
At the evening we watched documentary movie called Lixo Extraordinário.
After we got to know about the importance of recycling and reusing, how to eat healthy and why it’s important to take care about the environment, we had to learn how to transmit this kind of messages to different groups: elderly people, kids, youngsters. Some groups decided to do it using the theatre, others used posters, presentation etc. In the afternoon we divided our participants into groups: video team and design team and assigned the specific tasks. Other two groups went to local institutions: one to the kindergarden and another to an elderly day care center, to make upcycling workshops.
This was the first day of surfing! To keep our participants, all beginners, safe, we had our first lesson in the lagoon (Ria de Aveiro). In the afternoon we watched the first results from yesterday’s “garbage challenge”: wallets and other items made from plastic bottles and cartoon milk were on exposition! Also, there were manuals how to make them, so that everyone can reuse an empty milk package and other items in a nice and even fashionable way.
This day was very important for groups that were preparing workshops for children and elderly people. They spent all morning in the day care center and kindergarden. It was important not only because we wanted to spread our upcycling ideas, but for participants to bond with local community.
In the afternoon we practiced ultimate frisbee with our friends’ team Gambozinos Ultimate Frisbee. This sport can be played at the beach (as we did), but also in the city, and it’s the only sport where even in the highest level competition (world cup) there are no referees!
This day was mostly dedicated to surfing classes. First time in the ocean! Photos say it all! Also, we saw a beautiful little film that our video group made during the “Garbage Challenge” activity! See it here.
At the last day of the activities we had sessions about the Youthpass and Erasmus+ and made final evaluation of the project. The next day all the participants of the Youth Exchange Wave 2 departed from the camp of São Jacinto, after a small good bye session in the morning.
“I am really grateful for meeting so many beautiful people with lot of experience to share during this project. Most of all, I am thankful for having new experiences during these 10 days and for accomplishing some stuffs from my wish list. WAVE 2 Project was like a dream. I have no other words that may describe it better. The best possible beginning for the summer!” (participant from Romania, 19 years old)