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European YMCA Treehouse Leaders Trainee Camp
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The treehouse project of the Swiss YMCA (Outdoortech) at the European YMCA Festival in Praha in 2013, the experiences of YMCAs in Germany and of the YMCA in the Netherlands makes us prick our ears up and draw our attention to new possibilities of encounter, of living and learning together in this natureand action-oriented and experience based project. With the spirit of appreciation for the individual, fellowship, learning from each other and imparting guidance and values while living and working together in nature, treehouse projects offer young people a multifaceted opportunity to gain valuable experiences and to develop personally – thereby empowering them to reach their full potential. It is also inclusive for disadvantaged youth and raises the awareness for questions connected to sustainability and the environment. That is why we would like to introduce and multiply the YMCA’s treehouse concept within Germany and Europe as an innovative method of youth work in the partner countries, to qualify youth workers to lead treehouse projects, to connect the existing projects and to get to know and reflect on educational training and safety concepts, and to propagate the idea and practice of Treehouse Camps in Europe. Thus, we will invite 39 participants from 15 partner organisations in 13 countries to participate in the European YMCA Treehouse Leaders Trainee Camp in Michelstadt. The participants are employed and volunteer social workers, outdoor and experiential learning specialists, camp managers and YMCA secretaries from different European countries. During the Treehouse Leaders Camp we will develop and convey leadership skills, training expertise and program implementation skills. The participants will learn, exchange and reflect on training and safety concepts as well as educational and value oriented concepts together and will create spaces of learning of living together in nature. At the same time, participants will get trained in pioneer-techniques, techniques of tree climbing, handling robes and other materials, making nodes, etc. Specialists working with young people in the area of child and youth welfare can further develop their skills in outdoor and experiantial learning pedagogy with the innovative specialisation of Treehouse Camps on a European level, which will further strengthen the quality development of child and youth care in Europe.

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