Armenian Scout Leaders exploring Danish Scout Camp programs
This summer Asocio hosted two Armenian Scouts who visited Danish Scout Centers throughout the month of July. The goal of the exchange program was to have the two participants take-back their new-found inspiration, knowledge, and methods to Armenia and share it with the Armenian NSO. The Armenian Scouts are in the process of developing new activities for their own scout centers within Armenia. Anna and Gevorg, the two visiting young Scout Masters from HASK, got the opportunity to become International Instructors and Staff members within different Scout Centers in Denmark.
Anna and Gevorg visited the following Danish Scout Centers: Port Arthur, Houens Odde Scout Center and Assenbækmølle. Before and after the main part of the exchange, they stayed in Copenhagen and participated in intense introduction and “way-ahead” programs.
As foreigners and English speaking scouts, Anna and Gevorg brought a new culture and dimension to the Scout Center Camps that they visited. In the beginning, it was a little daunting for them. They found themselves asking permission to take photos of programs and were not sure why certain activities were executed in a particular way. However, they experienced the helpful nature of Danish Scouts: "All the staff was great. Always ready to answer [our questions] and to help", Anna said. Anna and Georg tried to explore as many activities as possible during each week, eventually founding that summer camps in Denmark were not that different from such camps in Armenian.
Of course there were differences as well: "Sometimes, the camp staff Leader decided who was going to do an activity just before the activity time. In HASK each member of the staff knows his or her duty and activities before arriving at the camp." Anna and Gevorg discussed the ‘pros and cons’ of these and other differences; and agreed that it was ultimately a question of priorities.
This kind of thinking and “mental exercise” is an important part of the project: it is not possible just to copy'n'paste; Anna and Gevorg must decide which of their experiences will work in Armenia, which can be directly applied and which can be applied with slight alterations.
After four weeks of intense summer camps, several activities and methods were explored and the project took on a more concrete shape: "it has been more than just a great camp or experience. I have really learned something", Gevorg said. He continued: "In fact, I can use all the tools in the project plan in my civilian job as a manager in Armenia".
The objectives for the rest of the project are to develop activities into different “self-contained” boxes of reasonable size, which can be stored at the Armenian NSO’s scout center, which the scout patrols can use without assistance from others. The activities will focus on environmental issues and team building. Martin Kristensen (YMCA-Scouts in Denmark) and Henrik Enggaard Hansen (Danish Baptist Guide and Scout Association), Project Managers and International Trainers from ASOCIO, Denmark, are assisting Anna and Gevorg in developing this follow-on project. In 2016 and 2017 there will be regular follow-up of the project and Asocio will support its activities until the objectives have been realized.
For more information, please go to Facebook.com/AsocioDenmark.