Don’t let go of the rope!

The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

In the spring of 2022, right after Easter, a handful of youths and I set off for a camp in Szelterszfürdő, hoping to spend three unforgettable days together in the guest house of the Saint Gellért Foundation. The campsite is familiar, the young people are new to the group and they will have to get to know each other. The spring buzz could be felt on the bus and foreshadowed the excitement, the upcoming challenges and that we will break out of our comfort zones during the time we are about to spend together.

On arrival, young people were sad to discover the fact that we had already told them: there was no signal. “Well, maybe we can talk” – I jokingly replied to their indignation. With no social media and only one or two places with signal for phone calls, human interactions has blossomed spectacularly.

We took the rooms and got to work: we started with name learning and team building. We found out what kind of hobbies, habits, favourite foods and activities each of us had. After lunch, we played board games and the so-called LifePath-RopePath based on topics like life, school and certain attitudes necessarry for work, such as perseverance. The participants had to follow the rope blindfolded, while they had to overcome several obstacles that tested their determination, perseverance and confidence. Everyone excelled at taking the obstacles at their own pace.

The RopePath was followed by a career guidance board game, where one could miss a round if they didn’t study for the exam, or could gain a one-point advantage if they worked harder. They were totally real life games. If we extrapolate them to everyday life, we can recognise, that we are on a journey every day, but maybe we are blindfolded and we cannot see what lies ahead; or we are developing pretty good, because we have worked harder in order to complete a process successfully.

On the second day, thanks to the invited experts, young people were confronted with a problem-solving situation that was very demanding on their negotiating skills and highlighted how difficult it is to make a decision without prejudice, taking into account others’ opinion and needs. Tempers flared, objective and subjective points of view clashed, arguments and debates took place, but compromises were also reached. It was good to see that the participants were so involved in the decision-making situation. In the afternoon, we evaluated the exercises, learned our lessons and shared our experiences. Then we wrote various good things and wishes on our partners’ backs, which everyone could take home. Our evening was made unforgettable by the bonfire, the party, the deep conversations and the non-omittable story of Pancsinelló we tell in every camp, indeed.

On the last day, everyone had the opportunity to express the lessons and experiences they took home: the things they had learned about themselves, the skills they had improved, their expectations, unexpected surprises and understandings.

For me, these three days have been a great experience both professionally and personally, because they have been diversified by new people, stories, goals, paths, relationships and experiences. After the intense work, I did not feel tired but recharged. I think it was because I was inspired by the young people’s attitude to the camp, their willingness to take action and their hard work.

I would like to thank our guests Tünde Dimén-Varga and Lehel Asztalos for their precise professional work, our volunteers Nikoletta László and Lilla Demeter for their help, and Alexandra Benedek and Imola Füzi for their hard work!

Written by: Norbert Tókos
Translated by: Andrea Árkosi

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The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

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