The project is organized for local schoolchildren in the age of 6 to 16 years old by the Language School “In Down-Town” and non-profit association “Alternative Language Programs Satellite”. The general project’s aim is to introduce the diversity of world cultures, national customs and traditions to camp participants, develop their cross-cultural thinking and tolerance. At the same time the project opens wide perspectives for the participants (both youngsters and volunteers) to gain and improve their soft skills which will make their educational and future working career more successful – such as communication and teamwork skills, language and intercultural competences. The project’s aims are achieved within the framework of international summer language camps where task-based activities, discussion sessions and creative workshops are organized by a team of the local staff and international volunteers providing meaningful summer holidays for youngsters - local and from abroad.
All summer camps are held under one common idea, though every camp has its own theme within which all the activities for teens are organized. Each day of the camp program has a special topic to be discussed and a related activity to work out the outcome. There is also a creative and interactive presentation of a country-participant every day to introduce general and interesting facts about the country as well as cultural customs and national traditions to schoolchildren. The standard number of days in a shift is 10, and there is a special agenda on the 1st, 5th, 6th and 10th camp days (camp introductory and final events, the mid-camp event, the day outside Tallinn). Every camp is thoroughly documented.
The samples of the topics to be discussed with youngsters are as follows: “Healthy body, healthy spirit”, “Good habits”, “My small home in the big world”, “War and peace”, etc. The samples of the related activities suitable to support topic discussions and country presentations are as follows: various intellectual and sport games for youngsters, creative team projects like posters and sculptures or board-games, pieces of amateur drama or other types of performances, actions for peace and nature protection, playing the games and music popular in the countries the volunteers represent, teaching their songs etc.
There are six-seven camps during this summer project which are of different length (5-10 days) and types (city or country), and for different ages. There is a two-week break for the volunteer in July. The working language in most of the camps is English. An average number of volunteers working with schoolchildren in one camp are 8; they work in pairs with one of the camp groups of 10-12 teens and change the groups every 2-3 days. An average number of camp participants is 40 who are split into four camp groups; most of local kids are Russian-speaking of Russian minority community. The volunteers arrive 3 days before the actual camp dates and are first trained to do their job in the camp; they have one day off during the camp shift.
Based on what is described, the work and duties of the volunteer include the following: prepare and facilitate topic discussions and camp activities for smaller teams of youngsters as well as larger all-camp events, support and lead youngsters in their work on team projects; help the youngsters and other volunteers in their performances and country presentations; assist the program leader implementing camp activities and trainings for other volunteers; work on the documenting camp events and support the local staff in their work with an international team of volunteers – organizing folders with working materials, making on-line reports and advert, making analysis, compiling the camp albums and leaflets, taking care of other volunteers, providing feedback, etc.
Please note: the work can be pretty hard, involving long working hours on some days, requiring high commitment and responsibility for the camp program.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD
In the specially rented furnished apartments in the residential area. No need for a sleeping bag (unless you want to travel in your free time). Volunteers will have to prepare breakfasts and dinners in their apartments; lunches will be organized for the whole camp in the city.
LOCATION & LEISURE ACTIVITY
Five-six camps take place in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. More information on www.tallinn.ee
NB! One camp takes place in the country side, near to Viljandi.
There are a lot of possibilities for leisure time activities as camp takes place in the capital where one can find attractions for all tastes: sightseeing and museums, festivals, concerts, live music, pubs, etc. The camp provides an excellent opportunity to establish contacts with young Estonians and to experience the local life.
You have to be really motivated to work with kids. Experience in work with children is an advantage. All interesting ideas of activities for kids, games etc. are welcomed. Please bring some materials, postcards, symbols of your country, posters, maps, music, etc. typical for your country. We expect active volunteers with excellent communication skills, good knowledge of history and culture of their country and ability to present it.
Motivation letter is required. The good level of English is required. The minimum age of volunteers is 20.
There is participation fee of 100 Euro which has to be paid by volunteer upon arrival to the project. It covers the whole period of stay.