This morning the group created the Pathways Tree.
To start the session they started to learn about what each of the participants could bring to the growth of the tree in the form of nutrients. The group split into pairs and gave each other a first impression about their partner until every participant had three.
Buzz, Sandra and Steve then went on to explain the four forms of recognition that will be used throughout the programme, the bees that will pollinate the tree. All the participants will be able to monitor their progress using Digital Badges, Youth Achievement Award, the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio and the Erasmus+ Mobility Tool.
They also explained the objectives for the programme which form the trunk of the tree. These will be to develop youth leadership, realise youth work potential, explore and test youth work recognition and build on valuing youth work opportunities. All of this will be underpinned by working towards intercultural leadership understanding as a part of everything.
They filled the watering can with with thoughts about how they want to work together as a group. They felt that a supportive and respectful atmosphere where everyone accepts each other would be required. There would need to be sunlight; enthusiasm, humour and warmth bringing good vibes to the group. Everyone would need to listen, advise and support one another and be open and honest, creating an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.
The group went on to discuss their expectations for the programme, these would be the leaves that will grow on the Pathways Tree. Many of the group expressed the desire to build new connections and friendships, with strong bonds throughout. New approaches to working with young people, fresh philosophies and learning leadership tools and skills also featured in the list.
They then went on think about what they wanted to take away from the programme, the beautiful apples that the tree would bear. New ideas, happy people, memories and an unforgettable experience were all important. Many were also seeking new skills, knowledge and tools – plus a passion or fire for youth work.
Finally the group identified their fears about the programme, the woodworms which could eat away at the tree. Misunderstanding, arguments and lack of inspiration were worries for the group, as well as fear of the unknown, unfriendliness or lack of cooperation. Not to be forgotten were also tiredness and snoring – nobody wants that!
So, the group had formed the Pathways Tree that would create the strong roots for the programme.