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(Dis)Connected in nature
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

(Dis)Connected in nature is a youth exchange between 49 youths from 8 countries - Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Romania and Hungary. The participants are from 18 to 25 years old, of different backgrounds, and represent the youth of their country. The exchange will be held near the city of Karlovac, in a nature camp next to the river Mrežnica and beautiful natural beauties. Since the rise of the Internet and the high popularity of social networks, young persons are relying more and more on on-line communication as their main form of interaction with the outside world. They are withdrawing into seclusion thinking that meeting someone and talking to them over a screen is easier than meeting them in real life where they are completely exposed with all their good and bad sides. With all of its benefits, development of technology has led to changes in the behavioral patterns of children and youth in a way that they no longer get their primary socialization from their immediate environment, but from a global net of services, media, applications and so on. And not just that, but they are leading a sedentary lifestyle with little or no physical activity and unhealthy diet, which leads to a diminished quality of life. We want to carry out this project to remind young persons how fun and exciting it can be to meet new people and interact with them in a relaxing and stimulating environment. Trough different activities the participants will increase their self - esteem and learn how to approach other people easier. They will become closer with nature and learn to cherish their environment and enjoy in it and also adopt healthy habits and lifestyles. We also want to facilitate an exchange of experiences and cultural differences among the participants to make them more socially receptive and promote European cooperation in the youth field. During the activities of the project, the participants will acquire new tools and knowledges trough informal and non-formal learning. All methodologies and methods used will promote participants active participation and active learning. The emphasis will be on learning by doing, which means that the participants will learn about non - formal and informal education by experiencing it on their own skin. The main methodologies and methods used are: experiential learning, cooperative learning, participation and peer learning, brainstorming, buzz groups, team building and energizers, presentations, role plays, Open Space Technology, evaluations, debates, etc. The main focus of the project is on outdoor activities which promote healthy lifestyles and require team work which further benefits the socialization of participants. In this aspect we will use activities such as building a kite, cycling, learning skills for surviving in nature, yoga, water sports, hiking, but also other activities such as debates, Youthpass workshops, exercises on non - verbal communication, conflict management and boosting self - confidence and others. The expected impact of this project is to improve the lifestyle and communication skills of 49 participants and show them how they can make their healthy habits fun at the same time. The participants will get acquainted and interact with others on an international level during these 7 days, which will teach them many communication skills, new information about themselves and others and make them more receptive to different cultures. They will also start spending more time outdoors, when they see how much fun they can have, especially in activities with others. This experience will bring closer to the participants the Erasmus+ opportunities, and it is very likely that many of them will participate in other projects in order to repeat the good experiences gained here. Other longer term benefits are achieved through the dissemination of the project results to other young persons and organizations working with youth, with the aim of encouraging them to organize similar project themselves, and trough joint efforts of many projects ensure the promotion of Erasmus+ values in a long run.
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