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Bushcraft DNA - Developing Non-formal Activities in nature
Start date: 04 May 2015, End date: 03 Nov 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

'Bushcraft DNA - Developing Non-formal Activities in nature' is a proposal of an international training course which will take place in Birmingham and the Wyre Forest in West Midlands on 1-8 August 2015. It will bring together 35 participants from 16 countries across Europe to explore the ways in which the natural environment can be used as an effective tool for youth workers to engage with their young people. Outdoor activities such as bushcraft, survival skills and sustainable environmental management skills have been crucial to mankind in the past and are being re-discovered by a new generation as awareness grows about the impact of human activities on the finite resources of our planet. Outdoor activities in this field are a great informal learning tool, helping to develop a whole range of practical social and cognitive skills as they involve working together as well as individually on a variety of tasks. The very idea to implement the course was born out of the previous TC ‘Youth in Nature’ which Consilium DT implemented in the Wyre Forest in 2013. The course turned out to be an unprecedented success, resulting not only in valuable competences being gained by those attending, but also new realisations made as to the benefits of using bushcraft as a means to facilitate non-formal learning in nature. PARTICIPANTS: The very course is aimed at: youth workers and youth leaders involved in day-to-day work with young people; trainers, educators, mentors, coaches; volunteers engaged in supporting youth groups as well as preparation and implementation of youth projects at the local and international level; project coordinators and those involved in and/or responsible for setting direction for the development of partner organisations, etc. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the course are: - equipping participants with background knowledge and theory behind outdoor learning (for example the development of 'Forest School' in an informal context both in the UK and Scandinavia), - exploring the practicalities such as health and safety issues involved in running outdoor activities and residential youth camps - discussing the issues around inclusion when planning and delivering outdoor activities - developing practical competences related to implementing non-formal outdoor and sports activities in nature (including relevant knowledge, practical skills, delivery skills and confidence) - facilitating networking and exploring the opportunities presented by the Erasmus+ as a means of promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being. METHODOLOGY: The course is built upon the DNA idea that is developing non-formal activities in nature. Hence, the training will see a great number of NFE approaches being used. These will include: - discussions, presentations, one-to-one, pair and group work, team-building, interactive presentations, simulation exercises, creative workshops, reflections, etc. - used particularly when discovering the theoretical backgrounds to the themes covered. - highly practical outdoor activities such as fire-lighting without matches, building natural shelters, foraging and cooking over a camp fire, making nettle string, etc. - used as examples of bushcraft activities to be carried out with young people back home. The process will be facilitated by the team of trainers experienced in both outdoor education and NFE. EXPECTED OUTCOMES: The project is expected to leave the participants with the necessary the skills and confidence to develop and run outdoor learning projects with their young people. Reflecting on ways to be inclusive and carry out activities safely should encourage good practice in the day to day work of the participants and lead to further increase in their professionalism. At the organisational level, partner promotes will benefit from having their staff members and group leaders trained. This should translate directly into new and high quality non-formal education activities being implemented by the partners. Also, an added value will stem from networking with fellow partner promoters and possibly engaging in common follow-up projects.
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