Play your cards right! was 9 days training course about effective methods of outdoor learning in winter and experiential education for youth workers. The training course took place in the Czech Republic in Orlické hory in February 2014.
There were 24 youth workers from 8 countries (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Turkey) and 9 organizations who got first hand experience with experiential learning via outdoor experience, the programmes, games and activities used in experiential learning, understood the theory behind, shared experience and good practices from their own youth work, tried out the role of an instructor leading the activity for other participants and planned and developped their own projects based on the experiential learning methodology in their home country.
The program flow was based on the experiential learning method and the Kolb’s learning cycle:
Firstly, the participants went through three days winter outdoor adventure to get personal experience with the methods of experiential learning in winter conditions. They practiced outdoor skills necessary to survive on the snow (packing for winter hike, orientation in winter nature, building a camp, cooking…) as well as experienced the adventure games and activities.
In the second step they reflected on their personal experience and gained knowledge about the methods used. They went through several methodical workshops ( principles of the experiential learning, building a game/activity, group review/reflection leading, risk management…)
Then the participants practiced the skills gained by leading an activity for the others and by gaining a feedback after.
In the last part of the training participants created and presented their own project to be realized later in their home country. They got feedback for their project as well and created coaching triples to support each other in realizing the projects.