Created by Ilze Zīriņa, Ieva Grundšteine, Agnese Bordjukova, Justīne Buliņa, in Rauna, Latvia (no4), 10.06. 2020

Anotation: hiking and balancing on ropes invites to experience well known pathways with another eyes. About 2 km long nature trail, filled with a variety of tasks that sharpen senses such as vision, hearing and touch. At the end of the pathway, there are ropes for balancing. There is a  team work task to make possible for a person to cross the distance on the rope.

Intention:  to meet again after the experience of pandemia, 2,5 months long. To reconnect and build the trust enjoying outdoor adventure together. To bring attention to self awareness, self in a group as well as well as physical development.

Duration: 2 hours.

Target group: a group of 9 young people 9 – 15 y.o.

Approach: non- formal kinesthetic learning trough movement and dance

Preparation before the hiking:

Arriving at the starting point of the journey every person gets a note with a name of one person from the group. And facilitator invites everybody – during the walk to pick one thing from the nature what could be a gift for that person.

Station 1: at the sandy rock by the river…

Task: to touch 5 surfaces as different as you can find. Then find a couple. Choose 3 favorite surfaces to “show” it to your partner who has eyes closed. Change roles.

Keep walking….

Station 2: on the road with stony surface…    

Task: take your shoes off and walk the distance, around 400m bare feet. Exaggerate the natural, spontaneous reaction from the hard surface what comes into the body in voice or movement.

Keep walking…

Station 3: on the bridge…

Task: find a spot on the bridge where you can feel alone. When hear a clapping with hands, move as fast as you can. When you hear the clapping again – stop, keep the silence and listen. There are several sets like this. Later you close also eyes during the silent moment. At the end of the task, lie on the bridge and listen.

Station 4: on the way to the cave (around 500m distance)

Task: on your way, while running, find at least 7 physical obstacles and let your body find natural way of overcoming them.

Station 5: in the cave…

Task: before entering the cave, everybody gets an eye folder. Enter the cave, find your favorite spot where you can feel alone and put your eye folder on. Stay still for a while. Then – start exploring the cave using your touch and hearing. Meanwhile facilitators provide little surprises: whispering, pouring sand on feet, making soft sounds with objects form nature ( dry leaves, stones, sand etc). After 5-10 min facilitator asks everybody gradually find the exit out of the cave. When you are out, take the eye folder off.

Station 6: on the way to post office (around 800m distance)

Task: NO TALKING during thisstation. Observe the lines in the nature – lines, circles triangles, dots etc. Take a picture of some favorite lines.

Station 7: by the post office…

Task: do you have your little gift for your secret friend? Approach that person and tell him/her why you present this gift to her/him!

Transition to the location of ropes (around 1 km distance)…

Task: walk in groups of 2 or 3. Talks through following questions:

  • How many times have you been walking along this path what we just did?
  • What was different this time?
  • Which task was your favorite? Why?
  • Which task was most challenging? Why?
  • In which moment did you overcome your fear or laziness?
  • What did you notice?

Choose 2 comments which you will share with the rest of the group!

Reflection about the hiking:

As a summary – most of the young people have walked this path many, many times and they appreciated details what was noticed this time. Most favorite moments were being in the cave eyes closed, overcoming the obstacles. Some overcame fear by climbing a tree during the obstacle task, some – found interesting to observe shapes in the nature, some – loved to show their favorite surfaces to the partner.

On the ropes: Task 1: Preparation.

Everybody participates to set up the ropes (there is one like a ribbon and another – a rope). Then the facilitators reminds about the security.

Task 2: Spider Pig

2 people on each side of the rope. They will walk to the other side of the rope, trying to exchange in the middle. Each of them holds a security rope in their hands. On both sides of this security rope there is a person, pulling the rope and letting it become a support for the Spider Pig.

The Spider Pig has to organize the support around her/him letting supporters know if to pull stronger or release a bit…

Change roles when the Spider Pig has made her/his journey to other side of the rope.

Task 3: Balancing on the ribbon

One person at the time on the ribbon having supporters by each hand. Just practice to get to other side of the ribbon, receiving as little support from partners as it is possible.

Note: this practical activity seemed exciting to everybody – preparation made the group team up. Everybody wanted to help. Also the sceptical ones. Not everybody took the challenge to be on the rope but everybody took supporter’s role. Couple of painful falls from the rope ( legs on different sides of the rope).

Reflection at the end:

As values participants noticed more active participation than usually, cooperation, supporting each other and overcoming fear (on the ropes). Nevertheless, there were young people ( age of 12-13) who chose be there but not participate. They could not tell the reason.

Photos from the process:

the Key to Connection is implemeneted in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action  programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences