‘The Great Outdoors’ was held in Birgu and Ghajn tuffieha, Malta. The exchange was divided into two part. The first part we stayed at a youth hostel in Birgu. During this time the participants prepared and gained skills for the second part of the exchange. The second part of the exchange was hosted at the Malta Scouts Association campsite in Ghajn Tuffieha. During this time the participant applied the skills gained during the first part of the exchange and they also participated in outdoor activities. This was a multilateral exchange held over a period of 6 days, involving 4 countries. The participating countries were from Finland, Italy, Ireland and Malta, as the hosting country. 7 youth between the ages of 13 to 18 years participated from each country.
The theme focused on promoting outdoor activities as a way of leading a healthy lifestyle, nurture social inclusion and the active participation of young people in society in different ways, such as raising awareness about staying healthy through adventure sports and need to understand our body in relation to outdoor activities in the natural environment.The objective apart from making new friends from other countries and create a teamwork atmosphere was to promote different lifestyle alternatives. Since most of the participants were young people from disadvantage areas and backgrounds with challenging behavior, the aim of the exchange was to give them alternatives to their current lifestyle.
During the exchange, we started by getting to know each other through various ice-breakers and energizers, set the ground rules and conduct a team building exercise to foster cooperation. The exchange was divided into 2 parts, first the participant had sessions about outdoor activities such as how to pitch a tent, cook on a fire, and map orientating and during the second part, the young people went camping and applied the skills gained in the first days. During the camping the young people participated in adventure sports such as kayaking, biking and climbing. The young people also did voluntary work at a cat sanctuary. To learn about each other’s cultures and traditions, we had a cultural activity during which we went to play Bocci at a Bocci club. The cultural activity was conducted with the local community. Towards the end of the project we worked on to rise awareness to encourage other young people to lead a healthy life style through outdoor activities. This was done by a publication of a calendar distributed by the youth themselves in areas where young people meet. The methods used during the exchange were various but the majority of the activities were hands on. During the exchange sports athletes and physical instructors in the field shared their knowledge with us. There were also situations through which we had to discuss and debate.