Camp Leader Training:
“FWD: Train your Leader!”
From July 3rd to 9th, 2013, Vadul lui Voda hosted a group of international and local volunteers, who met in order to exchange experiences, promote the European values and also to improve their leadership skills. All these activities took place in the frame of the Training Course: "FWD: Train your leader!". This project was implemented thanks to the support of the European Commission and the active involvement of the 8 partners, mostly members of SCI (Service Civil International). The program of the training was mainly based on the principle of message forwarding (best practices and knowledge) from volunteers who already have experience in organizing and proceeding international volunteering projects (workcamps and youth exchanges) to volunteers who are beginners.
Many factors contributed to the success of this training, including good understanding that persisted throughout the volunteers’ stay at a guesthouse in Vadul lui Voda. Although the group of volunteers was culturally diverse and had different experiences, the participants became friends since the very first day with some help from the trainers and the members of the staff. This friendship facilitated the process in which the volunteers got acquainted with each other, but also it relaxed the atmosphere by playing a lot of energy games (energizers) selected from the box that the volunteers filled with the games they knew.
The volunteers tested their leadership skills starting with the first session of the training, when a TV show was improvised and they had to share some information about the organization they represented, in front of all the people. After that they used the map of best practices in order to reveal their volunteering experience and marked all the countries and projects they had been involved in till that moment.
The intercultural communication was even more consolidated due to the intercultural evening, when each participant had the opportunity to present some general things, customs, specific dishes of the country they were coming from, and, at the same time, they enjoyed the food that was beautifully arranged under the flag and the pictures that showed the scenic places of that particular country of their roommates/ neighbors.
During the training, the volunteers discussed over a cup of coffee about pleasant or less pleasant experiences that they had while they were organizing a work camp or a youth exchange project, within the "World Cafe" session. Meanwhile, the team was divided in two groups that discussed about work camps and volunteer exchange and then they prepared an entire program for each kind of project. Moreover, they learned to negotiate while they were building a bridge, without allowing the teams to see each other.
It’s important to know that all materials elaborated during the training session will be published on the website of the page IamaCampleader, a wiki started in 2012 by the IAL and SVIT organizations in order to provide support to future leaders. In addition, the experience that AVI team has gained will be used for the projects that will run this year, including the one that’s going to be in August – a camp for young people: "Bring your English to Moldovan Youth", but also international volunteers will share the experience in their local groups in order to use it in projects which are going to implemented by partner organizations in the next future.