This summer AMURTEL organized two exciting outdoor adventures as part of its Vistara program to prepare our young people for life, in a fun, challenging and memorable way.
The first project, “Ready to Fly” was a project financed by the Local Council of Buzau, with 10 participants ages 10-13. Five of the participants were our smallerchildren from FamiliaAMURTEL, and the other 5 were selected from our Fountain of Hope after school. The aim of the project was to help foster life skills needed for independent living, such as communication, cooperation, teamwork, cooking, cleaning, and money management. The camp lasted 7 days, and was held in the AMURTEL summer vacation house in the countryside of Poieni, “Casa Iedera”. Atrainer named Loti from “Outward Bound Romania” was involved in setting up a variety of fun, challenging games and problem solving exercises for the kids, as well as our AMURTEL team who set up creative activities, daily exercises, and involving the children in menu planning, cooking, cleaning and shopping throughout the event.
A special highlight was a trip to the nearby city of Buzau. Each child was given a small sum of money to spend as they wished on school supplies, according to a simple budget plan that they made. The children were delighted to choose their own supplies, and very proud of themselves. They also went to a restaurant together and enjoyed the train ride! For some of the Fountain of Hope children it was the first time they had the opportunity to travel on a train and they had never had the chance to spend money on their own! It was a wonderful enriching experience, and they appreciated it very much.
Here is a link to the photo album from the project: Photos from Ready to Fly
Outward Bound Adventure with Mountain Bikes and Kayaking
In September, the older young people from Panatau, and their friend Gabi from Domnesti went to the Outward Bound center in Sovata for our annual adventure camp.
This year, we went by mountain bikes through forests and villages to a lake with an interesting history. The lake had originally been a village that was flooded during Ceaucescu’s time in order to create a resevoir. Only the steeple of the church could still be seen above the water. We learned how to kayak, and then went by kayak to visit the church steeple.
We also constructed catamarans using surfboards, wood, ropes and a tarp. The wind wasn’t very cooperative, blowing in the wrong direction for the first group and disappearing completely for the second group – but both groups came up with creative and functional designs. It took another dayof mountain biking to reach the camp, and on the final day we did more challenging exercises in the ropes course – including one particularly difficult one that required climbing to the top of a pole, and then jumping to a trapeze bar. Everyone managed to make it through all of these challenges quite well, having become veteran Outward Bounders!
As many of our young people are over 18, this may have been the last Outward Bound experience for several of them, as they will be busy with jobs and work (we hope!) by next year. Already we were quite proud of several of themwho had held summer jobs so that they could help cover part of their expenses. Gabi and Mircea worked in Budapest at a hostel, and Elena and Mircea worked in the Bucharest kindergartens. It was good to see their increasing sense of responsibility.
Here is the full photo album from the adventure: Outward Bound 2010 photos