Eurogaming in Bradley Wood - letter from participants
Letter from participant:
In August I spent a week in the YEU International Youth Exchange for EuroGames 2010 co funded by the Youth in Action programme in partnerships with local and regional governments and other stakeholders in youth. It was my first experience like this and in the beginning I even could not imagine how great it will be. I have always been curious person and like to Discover something new.
The day I took my plane from Italy I met my Italian group at the airport and we broke the ice with our smiles. I am deaf and at the airport I met my interpreter of Italian Sign Language and the other two participants, a boy in a wheelchair and his friend who was his assistant in the camp. The group leader was already waiting for us in England. We took our plane to Manchester where the cold weather greeted us. In the airport we also met the other participants of the games and started our journey to the venue - Bradley Wood Scout Camp
The Agonooree Scout Camp was a wonderful campsite full of trees. All the participants (from England, Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Portugal) had a different abilities Some people needed to use wheelchairs to move around, others had Down’s syndrome or other cognitive disabilities Some people had sensory disabilities like me, the only deaf one in the camp together with 3 blind people. There were so many people from so many different countries and backgrounds
The next day we started our activities with saying “Hello” to the Scout’s Flag. The UK partner in the project were Scouts and they were hosting the camp. After this we started the rest of the activities through which we learnt to know each other, shared experience, emotions and smiles. Also the theme of the games was introduced: James Bond and his adventures! Everybody needed to think like him during the games.
All the activities were very important and taught us how to trust to each other and overall how to communicate and make our behaviour more adapted to different disabilities. We also had lots of fun, because we tried climbing, the High Rope and Low Rope, and obstacle racing. Everything was adapted for different abilities as much as possible. In addition, we had to create a Potato Machine (a machine made by natural materials), a Hot Air Balloon that was a real disaster as it was burnt and to create an European Map made by natural materials like wood, grass, etc.
Furthermore, we had loads of activities with an aim to share our culture: the European greetings, the celebrations, and the Life’s Graph where everyone had to introduce the most important moments of their life and the most important feelings of their life until that moment. It was incredible to see how the participants were happy to be there with us. In the evenings we had intercultural nights and a campfire where every participant introduced their country’s typical song, dance or theatre sketch. Moreover, we had several different games and a cultural visit to York where we all took loads of pictures and examined how a city and its cultural attractions was adapted, or not, to different abilities.
I loved the experience and all the people I met a lot. I know that everybody has a piece of heart inside the others and I learnt how to love people in a week, maybe because I am a person who spread love and it gave me a lot of meaningful feelings! During the exchange I learnt how to change my mind, how to change my behaviour and how to smile always to the life. Everybody has a disability, different levels and types of abilities and everybody is different. This is part of life. Everybody gives something to the world despite difference related to cultural, gender and religious or disability!
Comitato Giovani Sordi Italiano (Italian Commitee of Youg Deaf)