YFU Switzerland

Czech Ski camp 2017

[Generously sponsored by Movetia]
 

In order to preserve the international Connection between (YFU) Czech and Switzerland, every year one Volunteer gets the chance to attend the other countrie’s Skicamp – and 2017 I just happened to be the lucky Swiss girl to be present at both of them! Here are some reflections (mainly about my stay in the Czech Republic) that I would like to share with you guys:

As I just finished my Exchange last year, I have only been acting as a YFU Staff member for a few months and the Ski camp in Switzerland has been one of the best spent weeks that I can think of… Therefore I had high hopes concerning my stay in Czechia and was super excited to finally leave for it. I did not get a lot of informations beforehand: All I knew was that the Camp is set at Luka nad Jihlavou and I was supposed to arrive in Prague in the morning on wednesday february 8th.

 

 

I was lucky to have Kamila with me (a Czech friend of mine that I met at the Swiss Ski camp). In her I had my one go-to-friend that I could ask for help whenever I had a Problem. She was also the one to pick me up at the Airport and bringing me to the YFU office in

1200px-Luka_nad_Jihlavou_centrum[1]

Luka nad Jihlavou in summertime. From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luka_nad_Jihlavou

Prague, from where we started our trip to our final destination. The car ride did not take two hours and turned out to be a good opportunity to get to know some of the other Volunteers and Exchange Students that had joined us. The hostel we were staying at was rather luxurious compared to the one in Switzerland as there were maximum 4 people sharing a room, whereby each room had a separate bathroom. We had been cooked for the whole week and the food was very tasty and, as far as I consider, the way you imagine Czech food to be – with a lot of soup and potatoes. A big advantage was the special food choice for vegan respectively vegetarians.

 

 

luka-nad-jihlavou5[1]

The slope we were using during the three days.

The organizational part on my side was minor effort as there has been a lot of planning done before the camp started. Even the time spent on preparing the sessions was expected to be less than 15 minutes. If I had not had hold these sessions before in the Swiss camp, I’d have probably been overchallenged and disorganized, but this way it was working out just fine. We only had two afternoons of sessions which were accompanied by skiing in the morning and the spirit throughout the talks were more familiar then I’ve had experienced it in Switzerland. The volunteers were giving less input and the focus was on telling stories, giving advice etc. It went smoothly in the small groups we had, since they were open about their problems and not shy to share. I can imagine that in other cases a more serious strategy might have worked out better.

 

Even though the Exchange Students have divided themselves into smaller cliques, there was a good overall spirit in the camp, which made the planning of the evening program very easy. One day they were asked to present a PowerPoint (which they had prepared at home) about their stay so far and everybody would listen and be interested in one another. Besides watching a movie and playing some games the students had been given the opportunity to organize their spare time individually for themselves.

 

One point of order that obviously still was compulsory for everyone was the skiing. Even though I had been told many times not to overestimate the skiing network that side, the slope (there was only one) still happened not to meet my expectations. But I realized soon, that a small ski area comes along with many benefits: As there were about 20 Exchange Students and all of them were beginners, we were still able to retain control over them. After a while we could even allow them to go down the slope themselves – which made their skiing experience even better! Me as a leader for Snowboarders, was responsible for two Exchange Students, whereby one of them hurt his knee at the very beginning, and did not participate in the training during the 2nd and 3rd (the last) day anymore. My Student and I therefore basically enjoyed one to one lessons, which made her progress even more visible (Video above).

 

One of the main aspects I enjoyed during my stay was also the feeling that besides ensuring the Students’ wellbeing, also us the Volunteers had been given the chance to enjoy ourselves. Besides the spare time we had, one evening we let the Students in the hostel with one Volunteer and went night skiing to finish up the left over tickets (2nd Video). There was a healthy balance between working and enjoying our holiday.

 

6E220302-B3C5-4384-AD85-903A1EAA38C0D5CFDEE6-ED21-4E09-AEA2-73661AA804A4

The last day in Czech Republic I spent in Prague.

 

In general I felt very welcomed (I even received a birthday present the day I arrived) and I got along with all the Volunteers and Students. The last day – my flight would only leave in the evening – I had the possibility to get to see Prague a little more and Kamila gave me a personal tour through the beautiful historic city. I can honestly say that I enjoyed my holiday a lot and I recommend the signing up for next year’s event to everyone! 🙂