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This is an octopus which has been studying in the university like any other octopus. It's got thick books and has learned everything about life. It hasn't done lots of swimming but technically knows how to do it! The day comes for it to swim. It starts feeling its legs moving, enjoys the smell of the sea and the waves above. It realises that there is not just mind but also body and feelings. The more it uses its legs the more they keep growing and becoming stronger. It communicates with other octopuses, they plan together where to swim, how far they can go and how to do it. The more they swim together the more trust they gain. They chat and one day they realise this: "hey, we learned a lot by doing..."

drawing by Matt Groening (a Captain Beefheart fan)

Yes! It is Bart! But which one??

Many months ago a group of four people sat in a sauna.  Arturas and Dirk were trainers and Evija and Jaqueline were participants in the Long-Term Training Course of the European Youth Centre.  They were talking about different ideas of training and, by magic, the idea formed for them to organise a training course in Lithuania.  A course where youth workers could get a taste of experiential learning and then think about how to use it with the young people they work with.

To get from an idea in a sauna to a real project requires a lot of hard work: support from Outward Bound Belgium and the Lithuanian State Council of Youth Affairs had to be found; an application to Action D of the EU's "Youth for Europe" programme had to be made; participants had to be recruited; the Bebrusai camp had to be booked; Bart and Kristina were added to the team; a preparation meeting in Lithuania was arranged in July; someone called Mark was asked to be the "Third Eye" or reporter; and ropes, tarpaulins, helmets, spades, computers, pens, paper - all had to be transported to the camp.

they came like this: and like this: drawing by Matt Groening

Let us look at all these people in their homes a few days before their departure for Bebrusai.  There they are in Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Greece and France.  What questions are  going through their heads?  Lets listen:
"How can I really spare those ten days?  I've so much to do here!"
"Will I need more than two pairs of socks?  I can wear one pair and wait until they stick to the wall before I have to change"
"Will people be able to understand my English?"
"Have I enough equipment (or the right shoes) for the hike?"
"Will the participants like our programme?"
"What will I really be able to use from this course?"
"How long will it take me to write the report?"

The Story continues here...(and it is finished)


A joke from Michaela!

An English, a Lithuanian, a Latvian, a Belgian and a Greek meet in the sauna. The English guy asks: how do you get yourself dry with a wet towel??? The Lithuanian says: you set your roof on fire and you wait for it to dry... The Latvian says: you don't analyse it, you just do it... The Belgian says: well, I don't have any answer but we could talk about it over a beer... And the Greek says: you should have been more organised, why didn't you bring 2 towels???

The Roof The Roof The Roof is on fire!what is that? (parental advisory)

The essentials!

Here we go now: let's see what the team members wrote: Who are the team? What did they feel? And even Jaqueline has now written her part only 9 years later :o)))

The Story of the course

What did the basic programme look like?: Day-by-day in Bebrusai

You want to check out some of the problem-solving exercises used at the beginning of the course? Then go to: knots, minefields, spiders'webs

You need to read the original version of the sauna story? Then: open a beer!

You want to find out what happened to the workshop that never was? Then you can see: the missing link between conflicts and pillows

You are sure that it is possible not to communicate? Then: try to keep your mouth shut!

A great combination of theory and practice:
* group dynamics + the experiential learning process

You want to see the amazing exercises created by the participants? Well take a deep breath and click away:
* hedgehogs crying for rabbits
* hulala!
* going over the little house
* the bridge in the middle of an earthquake (scarey, huh?)
* blindfolded boats
* climbing on the rope circle
* the spoons, the cups and the roped legs

Bebrusai photo gallery!

Many thanks to Annick, Hilde, Evija and Sarunas - you can see the real people and places



So far, so good. But, perhaps, you're still wondering:
* WHY experiential learning?

And you can find out what people wrote in the
* final evaluation!

Palmira has given us a method to add to the site. It's called
* the Rescue Team


If you copy anything from this web site, please quote the source!says Mark..

and if you want to go somewhere else, click here for some suggestions: HERE!

Last update: 11 September 02016

Do you realise? You are visitor number

Mark E. Taylor e-mail:

keeping the Roofonfire since 28 September 01998!
and that's quite a long time, really...

alea non jacta est!

Now there is something really exciting to go to: via Experientia our new adventure which started back in 02010 and just keeps on getting more exciting!

intercultural teamwork is a wonderful thing, isn't it?!

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