Training course for youth workers, 8-16 August 2016, Sluňákov Center, Olomouc, Czech Republic
By Maria Gkountouma
People just love telling stories! Since the beginning of mankind storytelling has been an integral cultural activity of all social groups of people, conveying feelings of love, hate, anger, frustration and hope via drama, songs, games or simply words and gestures. So, for the sake of storytelling 25 people from 13 countries around Europe gathered in the Environmental Education Center of Sluňákov, in August 2016, to write their own stories and share them in an intercultural group of storytellers. I was the only Greek participant, sent by the partner organization Inter Alia.
During the training the group gathered around a fire, shared stories and explored what is storytelling, who can be a storyteller and what makes him/her good at it, how voice is given to people to share their stories, what is the myth/fallacy of a single story.
In order to achieve their learning goals, participants followed the path of the “Hero’s journey”, danced the 5 rhythms, walked the Earth’s path, went down their own “dark cave”, followed the 4 shields of human nature, watched films, played games (board, role-playing, videogames, mobile app action games), did some group counseling, explored the story behind Taroh cards, created their own graphic facilitation projects and comics and enjoyed some nights out biking, hiking, watching the meteor shower, staying overnight in the wood and visiting the nearest city of Olomouc.
Evaluation took the form of reflection time (either group or in pairs), counseling and learning badges, which were quite fun to play with. The wildness of the woods and the rainy summer weather did not prevent the participants from having a great time and forming a really enthusiastic group of storytellers.
Overall, the experience was worth every minute of it. Many learning tools and methods, alternative practices of personal development, opportunities for enlightening intercultural experiences, all composite an enthusiastic group of people who shared a great week.
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© Inter Alia 2013