Summer activities, an opportunity to educate in freedom, plurality and tolerance

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'Esplais' and scouts are the only projects offering camps that are completely self-managed by instructors, children and families.

Caterina Pedregal


President of Esplais Catalans

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Esplais Catalans are characterized as having an educational model that is based on learning values that encourage the transformation of our society. We are a school of citizenry whose aim is to educate in diverse values and different ways of living life, through games and outdoor activities.

For Esplais Catalans, summer activities are a great opportunity to educate in freedom, plurality and tolerance, always with secularism at the heart of our teaching methodology.

For instance, summer camps are organized by young volunteers with a clear social commitment. Everything going on at the camps has a pedagogical intention: centres of interest, activities, workshops, educational proposals, free time, excursions… they are all proposals that are organized in a coherent manner to ensure the learning of values, social skills and emotional skills: loosing fear, living together, sharing, naming feelings, autonomy, habits, feel that you belong to a group of people; to stop thinking individually and start thinking collectively.

'Esplais' offer a comprehensive education to children and youths to develop their knowledge, and the skills and attitudes that are necessary in a society of rights and freedoms.

Then we have camps and routes. The Groups and Esplais are the only projects offering camps that are completely self-managed by the instructors, children and families. Going to a camp means living an experience in the middle of nature. It is an experience to learn to live with nature and makes you think about the way in which we relate to our environment and the many opportunities brought by community life. It is an activity that encourages degrowth and sustainability, as we make the most of resources and we work on aspects such as personal care, caring for the whole group and the space. You learn to love and respect the environment, which is providing you with resources, and also the space that will be your home for some days. Also, children have the educational opportunity to explore the world around them and to get out of the cities to experience and learn from a different ambience. There’s a growing number of sustainable camps, and this is thanks to the responsibility of instructors with the environment: building solar ovens and showers, hand-operated washing machines, reusing materials, etc.

Last but not least, come the routes. Routes are an experience that allows you to feel part of a group and learn from teamwork. Unintentionally you learn to take care of yourself and the group, taking care of your friends and gaining awareness on your health as this has an impact on the whole group: going to sleep early, resting, freshening up, eating healthy…Also, the route brings you the opportunity to work on getting to know oneself better: learning from your limitations, frustrations, fears… you learn to value little details, to live only with what you need and to take decisions.

This is just a small sample of the things you can learn through summer activities. There are many more values that surface with these experiences and that sink in inadvertently. Values that are part of our educational ideals and projects. What marks a difference comparing with other projects is that, when you see a group of young volunteers who use their holiday time to offer an educational experience to children and youths, and who organize and plan all of the activities, committed to the environment and the society in which they live…It’s also a learning experience for the volunteers too.

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