This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
On Tuesday morning around 8:00, we started off towards Herbstein in the Vogelsberg area. We were all a bit tired on the trip, but at the same time, excited about what was to come.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the entire Event Days team and put to work right away. Following small carpet squares, we had to find our way out of the inner circle and into our designated groups. We then took part in a little get-to-know-you activity with the other team members in our group. Next we had to set up our room and make our first trip to the seminar room for the opening. As we didn’t quite yet know all the names of our team members, we got started with a little introductory game.
Teamwork & Communication
After learning everyone’s name (each in our own way), we moved on to sharing our expectations and fears to the group. Christa and Basti, both team members, then presented us with our schedule for the week, which included some activities new to us, such as “rope crossing” and “radio orientation trip.” We were looking forward to the week and events ahead about learning the basic rules for “feedback.”
During a “bridge-building game,” we quickly realized that our team’s objectives were team work and communication (it felt like we used these words 100 times throughout the week!) and how we could effectively learn both. But there was a lot more to these terms than we originally thought. Not only are clear signals and structure important, but also time, visualization as well as following up and having an overview, skills we all learned through various games. Each game came with a different obstacle, from a time limit to the eyes of one or more participants being covered. The evening activities were a nice finish to our strenuous and full days, giving us a chance to exchange ideas with other trainees while on night hikes or while baking French bread and making music around a camp fire.
The week came with a lot of “aha-moments.” After failing miserably at a few of the games (the code-cracking game and our radio orientation tour both gave us problems and brought us almost to the brink on a few occasions) we were that much more excited when we mastered a game together and were able to use what we had learned! On Thursday evening, all the teams met with the Youth and Trainee Council to grill for the last time and reflect on the week while enjoying sausages, home-made tzatziki, bread rolls, salads and much more. The highlight of the evening was a tricky game devised to test the teams’ knowledge.
My Resume back home
The week flew by and before we knew it, it was already Friday and time for us to pack our bags and make our way home. But before we left, all 72 trainees got to put their new skills to one last test. The goal was to form giant SMA letters out of carpet squares in a field without stepping on the grass. Thanks to good planning, we were able to master this task before we all got on the bus back to Kassel, tired but full of new ideas. It was a packed week which we will all profit from in many ways. Thanks again to SMA, to our trainers and the Event Days’ team members who made this valuable experience possible!