Our story takes place in a small, charming Lebanoras where young adventurers from Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, and Romania gathered to dive deep into the business world and to foster entrepreneurial and critical thinking.
The place at Vilijos Cepulijenes Sodyba was nothing short on marvelous nature, fresh forest air, and peacefulness of an ancient farmstead. We did a lot of ice breaking during the first two days, playing fun games and spending time outdoors. Together, we set the ground rules for our adventure to ensure everyone felt safe and included.
Each day was packed with sessions, led by our amazing volunteers who cooked up engaging program…with the help of the participants, of course. Building a team from people from different cultures seeing each other for the first time sounds like a challenge, but it went more smoothly than one could think. We started our adventure with icebreaking games to get to know each other and learn all the new names. When we managed it, we started forming a team. We played meaningful games that fostered the team´s integrity and trust to create safe environment, in which you can be yourself.
The best game was a Shark Tank simulation, in which we created our own companies or enterprises. We were figuring out the overall business planning, such as preparing the business plan, writing a pitch or building up an extraordinary marketing campaign for our ideas. We learned how to use arguments reasonably and communicate our ideas more clearly. Practicing public speaking was also part of the process. We needed to introduce our ideas to the world… and by world we mean our fellow participants and facilitating volunteers.
During nights we had an epic Just Dance show and karaoke contests. Talent night was a revelation, showcasing everything from killer dance moves to mysterious card tricks. We also talked about each other’s cultures. Comparing differences and similarities, we concluded that prejudices are just prejudices and we shouldn´t let ourselves to get influenced by them.
The highlight of the cultural nights was savoring the delicious food and beverages served with interesting fun facts about the local gastronomy.
As the project came to a close, we said our farewells, reflected on our experience, and vowed to stay in touch. We also revealed our secret friends, the ones who brightened our days, and handed out the certificates of attendance – Youthpasses.
Saying goodbye was tough, but the memories and experiences were totally worth it. We discovered so much about different cultures and met incredible people who left us inspired. We can’t wait to reunite and catching up on each other lives.