Our Adventure Sports Experience

Adventure sports course is coming to the end. During this autumn we have learned a lot of new and important skills. We have had many lessons for example about instructor skills, orienteering and goals of adventure education. We have learned about hiking skills, kayaking and climbing.

Kayak lessons

Kayaking - a cold but interesting experience
Erasmus students´ Adventure Experience. Part 1

On our first week it was already time to shine. “Kayak lessons” we read in our timetables. But to our surprise we started in the swimming pool. Wet exits sounded exactly like what they turned out to be. There we went, 18 fresh Adventure Sports students, going underwater in the swimming pool. We did it and that meant we could do the real work: kayaking! The first moments on the water were difficult for some but definitely a lot of fun for everybody! We learned a lot about different paddling and steering techniques and luckily nobody fell in the water. Well.. until Friday then, when we had to do the real wet exits in the lake. A cold but interesting experience!

Experiences in northern Finland

Adventure Sports in National parks

We started our experience in the national park Pallas Yllästunturi, in the north of Finland. 4 days walking across the park, sleeping in a hut on the first and the last night, and in a tent the second night, with bad weather. The trip was nice and a great experience, because we have learned a lot of things, for example, how to use an axe and a knife to make fire and also how to shit in the woods. We enjoyed the trip but have had some stressful moments.

After one week we had another chance to improve our survival skills, this time in Nuuksio National park, without tutors, in little groups between 3 and 6 people. Sleeping in temperatures of -5 and -7 degrees, according to that we had to improvise our form of sleeping this two nights, some groups have slept around the camping fire to keep warm, others in the tent with all their clothes on. It was also an experience that we will never forget.

Our experience with climbing in Finland can be summary in two parts: high rope and low rope.

Adventure sports: high rope

Climbing: It is essential that safety is taken care of

We have been in Salmisaari, in Helsinki, at the biggest climbing gym of the whole Scandinavia and it was the paradise of climbing. There we had a basic lesson with Eeva and Kai, our lecturers, about climbing with rope where we learned a lot of safety and we also enjoyed a lot on the wall and we got really, really tired.

After this we changed the style and we were in the boulder place where we had about one and a half hour as free time there.

Low rope

The other part of climbing is low rope. Here we learned a lot about how to set up slack lines, how to make lots of knots and to be creative using the nature(trees), ropes, boxes… And we used this to apply it in the project “Schools on the move” which was really successful enjoying the time and the activities with kids of the finish school. For most of us, it was the first time to climb and we had the opportunity to discover another style of adventure sport.

During this whole course, we have had an exercise, independent training. Independent training has been a big part of the course. We have done independent hiking trips, independent climbing, kayaking and other new “exotic” sports. During this course we have marked our independent training to the logbook. The idea is that at the end of the course, there will be at least sixty hours training. We have had the opportunity to borrow all needed equipment from our school storage. It’s been very important part of the independent training. That makes us feel trustworthy.

The schools on move project was a really good experience for all of us, not only because we learned a lot, also because we could improve our skills in leading, instructing and making projects with all the needed parts (project plan, lesson plan, risk management and risk analysis, time tables), we also had really good team work, everybody helped each other and all of us cooperated and worked together to succeed and achieve the goals. In this project exist different roles that we could play or observe (leader, instructor, coordinator, observer). It was also an opportunity to practice all of our knowledge with a real public, and also challenging ourselves.

Winter trip

Cross-country skiing
Experiencing winter: skiing

The last adventure sports trip will be the winter trip to Ruka, where we will learn and work on our snowboard- and skiing skills and of course visit the famous Finnish husky farms. After this the exchange students will fly back home and our adventure in Finland will be over. We enjoyed our stay and had a great time in Kiljava, meeting a lot new interesting people and experiencing the real Finnish lifestyle!

Julia Uusikari, Marga Rigo Portell, Lara Veldkamp, Martí Vinyoles Busquets, Enric Garcia
Photos: Sini Lahti

Adventure Sports students: Schools on the move

Erasmus exchange students at Humak had the opportunity of participating  in a  national project – “Schools on the move” – aiming to establish a physically active culture in Finnish comprehensive schools. The students describe their cooperation with the pupils of Tähtiniitty school in Espoo.

We have worked hard for four weeks. That means planning, organizing, instructing, and fun active games with pupils of Tähtiniitty school (2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade).

Schools on the run aims at establishing a physically active school
Schools on the move: The pupils from Tähtiniitty school started the project at Humak Nurmijärvi campus.

First of all

In the first day we arranged activities to the children in our Humak Nurmijärvi campus at Kiljavan Opisto. We worked with the pupils of 2nd and 4th grade, in total 50 kids. For some of us, it was the first time, to instruct children in English, one reason to become a bit nervous!

We have to remark that it was a successfull day, they enjoyed the activities, worked like a team and we established a good relationship with them. We finished the first day a little bit tired, but after a few hours we were ready for the next day!

Second day

We started the second day with the children of the 5th and 6th grade also at the campus. Activities were more challenged, because of the age. It was also a successful and fun day. Teamwork and coordinate to the groups was much better compared with the other day. Maybe some reasons of that were that the children were older and we were a bit  more experienced to lead compared to the first day. After that we had a week to prepare the big event, that means our whole day at Tähtiniitty school.

Third day

In the third day some of our group members saw the school for the first time. It was a big challenge. Pupils were used to the environment and felt safe, the weather was not the best but in the end we SURVIVED!.

To summarize, the project was for us a great and new experience, because we were able to train our leadership skills and learn to instruct. Thanks for the opportunity we really enjoyed it.

Some opinions of the foreign students:

It was a great opportunity to improve my leadership skills” Marti, Spain (Catalonia)

Great project to change the learning process of (learning by doing, fun and active activities) children. And I think it’s good for the children to have a different learning process.” Aline, France

I think this project is good not only for the children also for us to try out ourselves.” Ann-Kathrin, Germany

 

 

Written by Piotr Rozwadowski, Francisco Juan Vives, Dorothee Reichel, Peppi Turunen and Juri Kettula, Students from adventure sport 2015

Photos: Sini Lahti