For the upcoming Learning Village at Statenberg manor in Slovenia, a group of people is preparing the settings for hosting the children accompanying their parents to the gathering.
We are looking not only into the practicalities of play and rest space, enough materials for creative play, special food setups etc ... We are also and maybe even more looking into how to truly integrate the children in the gathering, as full participants according to their capacities and wishes.
If this speaks to you, please join the conversation.
It will for now be very practical in terms of what we need to bring to Statenberg, but we are definitely also looking for good practices from other gatherings.
How can needs of children and adults be honoured?
I am putting this conversation in the category of 'community of practice' because I prefer to see it as a gathering ground with practical application around the question of 'children at gatherings'.
update: on a 2nd thought, the conversation fits better into 'exciting new developments' - it is not linked to a location, and it is a truly exciting new development ;-)
a 2nd more detailed email will go out to the parents and children!
both will be send out sometime after 5pm today, Thursday 23 August
Ulrike von Ruecker said:
hello and THANK YOU for all the insights, comments, and encouragement!
Tonight Waltraud and me are preparing an email to be sent out to all registered participants of the Learning Village - we will share it with you here as an example of how setting the scene for a gathering with 25 children.
Attached to this post please find an edited version of the harvest of a skype conversation a group of parents had with members of the hosting team, back in July. We have come a long way since then!
sharing the mails we sent out to set the scene for the coming week, to both parents and children
and as a last example here the 'safe travel' letter that went out to all participants
As we set off literally from all parts of the world to gather in Statenberg/Slovenia for our week at the International Learning Village, we’d like to give you some latest updates and wish you a very good and safe journey!
THE MANOR …
… awaits our arrival! Marjeta after her last visit said: “I was touched by the greenness, serenity, beauty of the place”. Our local friends under the guidance of the proprietor Franc Kociper have put much effort and energy into making the space as good, functioning and welcoming as possible for us – repainting walls, (re)installing sanitation, renovating bedrooms, setting up WIFI, park manicured, wooden benches set up, pot flowers added, some shadow (simple tent style), tables on the terrace etc. and taking on board how to cater for our many vegetarians.
The WEATHER FORECAST …
… at this stage looks promising. After some rain over the weekend we should have a sunny week with temperatures around 25°.
LOCAL COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS …
… Franc also has some ideas how our community could connect with the locals - who are proud that their village hosts such a gathering: perhaps the mayor would come (informally, in jeans) to say hello; or local teenagers could come and fetch our teenagers – to show them some place around; or a local folk dance group could visit … let’s see what will emerge.
ABOUT HOSTING OUR CHILDREN…
In July, a group of participating parents started a conversation on how we would like to approach the fact that 25 children and teenagers age 1 to 17, from different backgrounds, speaking different languages, are coming to be part of the process unfolding for a week. The aim is to have the kids be a full part of the gathering instead of organising a “child care program”. So let’s see together: What do we need and what do the children and teenagers need to make this a good and fruitful week for all of us? How can the older participants ensure that all their and the children's needs are met and everyone can both enjoy and contribute?
If and when children want to be away from the parents, or parents would prefer their children to be taken care of, there is a need for child care. Applying open space to coordination of child care will be one of our attempts to co-host and care in a new way! We will offer a matrix where everyone can sign up for 'playtime' and 'babysitting time'.
DON’T FORGET TO BRING….
* camping equipment, sleeping bags etc. if applicable
* your Bokken (if you have one…)
* music instruments (guitars, drums etc. would anyone be able to bring an e-piano?) and some music sheets
* sports equipment such as (foot)balls, frisbees, slack line, badminton rackets, etc.
* books to read
and maybe also an object that symbolises your work in Art of Hosting.
Also: For a colourful gifts table which we will enjoy together, you may want to bring some sweets or some other small products from your country or place you are right now .
With all of that – we wish you a pleasant journey and look very much forward to meeting you all!
In order not to get lost, here the GPS coordinates for the location N 46⁰ 19.541′ and E 15⁰ 40.330′, and also the link to the directions on the learning village website http://internationallearningvillage2012.withtank.com/getting-there/
Learning Village Hosting Team
Learning Village Logistics Team
WOOHOO! went there and came back, what a magic place, great people, lots of learning! and beautiful children almost running their own open space ;-) Harvest and learnings to be shared soon, it is sinking in, needs to be digesting and then will be fed back into the Art of Hosting practice.