Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Manual

Last couple of words. Our project is about to end at the end of December. We have had fun. The whole project has been lovely and we hope that this is just beginning.

We leaders have made a MANUAL which has written by using comments that we have heard and read from participants.
You can find the Manual here.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Summary of Fri 21.10. & Sat 22.10.


On Friday, we just focused on the performance. There was quite a lot to rehearse, but in our opinion, we managed everything well and got the work done in time. (Good management and dramaturgical skills from leaders!) The performance itself was a great success – especially the opening! The atmosphere was really holding the ceiling a bit above the usual level!

In the evening bead ceremony, many people were anxious but relieved to hear that Saturday would be the last ceremony. The excitement and climax was starting to break down slowly, and even though it was lovely to think that the “hard work” was over, it also meant that the camp was coming close to an end. We’d better check that there are a lot of beads available for Saturday night.


In the morning, the workshop was outside in the nature. It included questions about nature and grilling sausages and corn on a bonfire. The only unfortunate thing was that it was one of the coldest days during the whole week, and many people were freezing. Luckily, nobody got sick! Everybody warmed up properly in the afternoon.

The afternoon General reflection session wasn’t very well received because people were tired of being outside and fresh air, and also because they didn’t understand what the session exactly was about and why we wanted to run such a thing. (They didn’t quite understand our idea of cooking their own youth exchange…) But, on the other hand, maybe it felt a bit odd to the participants, because they did evaluate the camp all the time, day by day, on their personal journals, own photos and during discussive Youthpass sessions. In that sense, we could have made this grand evaluation session much better – it would have needed just much more planning! Next time, we want to make an evaluation session where you have so much fun you don’t even notice that you are evaluating and reflecting! New challenges for leaders! Still, we can congratulate ourselves that we really have made reflection and evaluation such an integral part of the project.

The evening party was our own Talent, pizza and snacks. The end of the evening/beginning of the night was the last bead ceremony, which took two hours, and which made everybody emotional. Nobody was complaining the time that the session took. It was somehow a magical holy moment, where we all cried out together the feelings of the last night. Apparently, everybody was grateful of the time being together, and they all wanted to thank each other.

Because we cried together, it made our hearts lighter and easier to accept that life had to go on after the camp too. The session helped everybody to smile in the morning when the Bulgarians left. Sadness is part of leaving, but we think the young people are grateful of having an opportunity to meet each other and having shared the last 10 days together. And the leaders can think that we kept our promise – we all really met in Finland. Dreams can come true.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Feeling about the camp

Hello everybody, it's Steisy, Dimitar and Teodora (BG). First of all the whole camp was wonderful and we wouldn't change anything if we could and also the nicest thing was the ceremony with the bracelets. We were trying to be nice and cool with everyone so we think that that's the main thing. We had some difficulties with the language but everything else was fine. :)

Monday, 5 December 2016

Communicating with foreign language


Speaking on English language was feel different, when you must try to speak right. But it feels also nice and of course there was own challenges. Why it was different, because in normal life I don't use the English language during the day all the time, but in the camp you just must to speak it all the time every days. It was good solution that we speak English all the time, because it made own language skills more stronger. Actually it felt awesome!

About challenges: Yes, there were challenges. For example when i tried to explain something difficult thing for somebody, when it was hard to explain even in own language. Or then when you try to understand or tell something, Also was hard to explain something for other person in english, when it don't understand you and you try your best. At least, challenges were nice, because you was learned something over theme.


English is easy language for me so it felt easy to talk it but I still was scared to talk it. Of course there was challenges because either of us don't speak english as mother language. Example if I didn't know what some word was in english then I just explained it somehow with moves or something else. Easy was communicating with Bulgarians because actually they didn't care if I said something wrong. And that's why communicating went so well but of course there were parts that we didn't know what they meant. With translating everything went great if someone needed it then he said that he need that. I think we did pretty good job with english.

- Alona & Bertta (FIN)

Friday, 25 November 2016

Summary of Wed 19.10. & thu 20.10.


On Wednesday we started with Bulgarian workshop Voice/Movement on stage. For the Finnish participants, the approach to own body and voice was somehow new and therefore a good lesson. This sort of basic actor’s skills training would be most welcome to our daily routines, as well.
The second workshop was Smartphones in the Shadow of Nokia, where the participants made performances out of smartphones’ disadvantages and took pictures on a certain theme outside.
In the evening we learned about the interesting tradition of to martenitzas, traditional Bulgarian handycraft, and we all wear one self-made martenitza now in our wrists.
We tried to make the fresh air available for everybody, once it became an issue – and it’s true, we need it. The morning-shake up was outside, and the organized breaks outside worked quite fine.  It was a tough decision to make, but we didn’t have an option. The lesson learned was that this should have been solved before the camp.


The day started with Voice acting/dubbing workshop. The three girls had done a great job and they kept the business tightly together.
We wanted to say thank you to the elder people’s centre, which made food for us everyday. We put together some Bulgarian and Finnish dances and National hymns, and performed to elder people in the afternoon. The showstoppers were of course traditional Bulgarian outwear and music, which the audience hadn’t seen or heard before. But Finlandia hymn also warmed everybody’s hearts and eyes. Cultural awareness was definitely spread to an audience who otherwise wouldn't have been able to experience it.

In the evening it was time to start putting bits and pieces of the workshops together, and make them as one entire show for the public. We rehearsed our most-loved opening, which was brought to us by the Bulgarian actor teacher, Dimitar. We leaders learned a lot about running the Youthpass sessions! The confidence, and the good practices were gained towards the end of the week. This is our first time to run Youthpass, and thinking of this, I think we can put a smile on our face. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Summary of mon 17.10. & tue 18.10.


On Monday we had a day trip to Tampere. First we separated into two groups. One group went shopping and the other to walk a tour in Tampere. After that we went to eat to Rax -buffet. We walked from Rax to Tampere theatre where we had a guided tour as we had in Helsinki too. People seemed to like the tour even though everyone was a little bit tired. After the visit in the theatre we switched the groups so everyone got to see Tampere and go shopping. As leaders we thought that the day was just in right place in the program. It divided the camp nicely. The first two days we were accustoming to the system and after the day trip we could start really focusing on working.


First workshop of the day was cooking intercultural food at local restaurant premises. Participants were separated in three groups and groups made pea soup, korvapuusti (Finnish cinnamon bun) and baklava. In the afternoon the workshop was about making comedy on stage. People made short sketches in groups. Evening workshop was called ”first steps in classical & jazz ballet”. There participants could make a dance performance in groups. Most of the performances were wonderful if you think in how short time were they made.
On Tuesday there was also a little dissatisfaction episode with some of the participants. We leaders had tightened the rule about the permission to go out to have some fresh air. Before the participants had a permission to do that whenever they wanted, but now it’s possible only in one long break of the day and after that only with a leader. We tried to explain the situation that we have a responsibility of all the participants so if they are out on their own and something happens, it’s leaders fault. After a moment of discussion we all got in balance with the situation. This little episode was once again a good lesson for us as leaders. We have been very nice leaders and we have given a lot of more free time to the participants that they have usually had in this kind of projects and now we recognize that it might be more easy or reasonable to be a little more ”bossing” leader. Still we think that it is important to show participants that we trust them, that we want to treat them as responsible people. Once again, the middle road would be the best - we are still discovering it! But discovering yourself and your ways of acting never ends. :)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

What did we learn about our countries?

Emilia, Finland

What I learned most about Bulgaria as Finnish young was the culture in Bulgaria. We have many differences with the society and the model of the family between Finland and Bulgaria. For example, grandparents belong to the nuclear family or are very important part of the family in Bulgaria. They aren’t often so nearly in the everyday life in Finland.

We cooked Bulgarian food and I tasted first time baklava which is a Bulgarian dessert. They eat baklava at Christmas time and I can see why. Baklava was very delicious and festal dessert. There are big sales in Bulgaria under the other international celebrity, Eastern. They also solemnize Grandmas day there. I’m not sure if it is like Mothers’ day in Finland or not, I have to ask. Anyway, I didn’t know about the tradition of Marteniza before. It was very interesting and beautiful tradition!

I heard the national hymn and language. Actually, I also learned couple words in Bulgarian. I can’t remember every word anymore but at least I would recognize the language if I heard Bulgarian. We danced their folkdances. I didn’t know how popular folkdances are there.

The theatre styles are different. Both traditional and modern theatre is more artistic in Bulgaria. The style of Finland is often entertainment, like summer theatres. Bulgarians told there are coniferous trees on mountains; we have these everywhere. I noticed they use more perfumes and make-ups in Bulgaria than in Finland. And ketchup is more popular too, some guys put ketchup almost to every food!

Can Finnish person learn anything about Finland? Or does everyone know everything about the home country? Of course not! I surprised because everyone didn’t know Finland for Nokia! I have always thought it’s one of the famous things which from people know Finland. The other interesting surprise was difference with shops. There are different shops in Bulgaria than in Finland. I have supposed that big Swedish companies (for example H&M and KappAhl) are over the world!

What else… At least I learned to dance cicapo. It is nice because I didn’t choose the course of old dances in the upper secondary school. It was like our own old dances with our international group.

Elena, Bulgaria

I learned that Finland have lots of woods,bricks and mountains.I learnt what is the traditional food and I really enjoyed it.I learnt how in Finland dance at their home.I learnt the system of finnish school. Now I know more for the Bulgarian Nestinarstvo and practice more rachenitsa. I learnt that Finnish are really great friends.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Summary of sat 15.10. & sun 16.10.


The working actually started today. In the first workshop we learned about Finnish theatrical acting and directing styles and in the second workshop we learned about Bulgarian theatrical acting and directing styles. Those workshops showed instantly at the beginning differences and similarities in participating countries style to make theatre, especially the different tradition in visual and psychological theatre. In the evening we learned about each other’s folk dance traditions and got to try both Finnish and Bulgarian folk dances.
The whole day was a little bit unsure for everyone as they tried to find their place, and we all started to go through how this whole program and camp works. At least we all learned a lot of new things during the day.


Sunday was a bit (too) relaxed day. We had a couple of more little breaks because the two workshops didn’t take the whole time that was planned for them. That meant that the participants got more free time. Youngsters themselves were excited about that, but we leaders realized that if there’s too much free time, people get lazy and don’t do their work passionated.
That was an important lesson for us as leaders. Even though one of our goals was to put more free time in the program that participants can have ”quality time” together (what they specially asked for), it didn’t work in practice like we thought it would. The time at the camp becomes more like holiday to participants and they forget that they still need to work hard on this camp too, even though our program is not that strict. Luckily we can try different variations of doing things at this camp, so we haven’t lost anything yet.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

How did it feel to host the workshop?

I was really scared before we started the workshop but after a while it was kind of fun and nice. We had one problem and that was when people didn't understan the excercise. We solve the problem by explaining it more.

It was little bit scary to host the workshop but at the same time fun because we get to decide what is going to happen in our workshop. Our problem was that people didn't understand and they didn't listen everytime. We solve the problem by explaining it more and saying be quiet.

It was really nice be in others workshops because they all were different and it was good that the leaders didn't do everything so we get to decide.

- Laura & Ellis

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Summary of thu 13.10. & fri 14.10.


You can find pictures of our project in social media by using hashtag #themanual2016

Bulgarians arrived to Helsinki. We went to walk in Helsinki city center, where we went to see Senaatintori and Tuomiokirkko. After that we had a tour at the National Theatre of Finland. It was a great success. Everyone seemed to enjoy to see the theatre. When we came back to Loimaa, everybody was very tired (Bulgarians had started their traveling at 2 a.m. on Thursday night so they had been awake almost 24 hours without good sleep) so we just sorted out mattresses, duvets and pillows and went to sleep.


Day started relaxedly. People woke up at 9 and had breakfast. After that we went to see Loimaa High School. There the international group of the school had prepared an informative slideshow of Finnish education system for us. They also guided us a tour at the school. Bulgarians seemed to be very excited about the school and people there. After visiting at the school, we took a little Loimaa sight-seeing by cars. We went to see two summer theatres in Loimaa: Krekilän myllyn kesäteatteri and Kertunmäen kesäteatteri. Our guests were excited about those places too. Then we got back to theatre. Finns arrived and we could officially start the camp. We had ice-breaker games and got to know each other, at least everyone’s name. In the evening we leaders were so glad to see that Finns and Bulgarians started communicating and spending time together immediately, on the first day of the camp.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Today is the day!

Hello, it’s Lari and Mekku here again.

Wow. We came to theatre at 8 a.m. this morning. Just exactly 12 hours later than we leave the building yesterday. We were at the theatre the whole day preparing Bulgarians arrival, which is today! Oh dear, it sounds so surreal! But at the same time we have talked about that we’re not nervous about the coming week. We just have a good, peaceful feeling about this project now, still. We are ready to welcome our friends from Bulgaria to Loimaa! :)

The project has gone ahead quite smoothly so far. Participants have prepared their workshops actively and they have also been lovely conscientious writing blog posts about topics they’ve chosen. The communication between both participating countries have worked well too. We had an idea to have a Skype-meeting at some point, but it didn’t happen. And actually we think it’s not a bad thing. Maybe now the reunion will be more powerful when we haven’t seen each other live since last year.

What have we learned so far as facilitators/ leaders? We have noticed that it’s not a big deal if absolutely every little thing we planned haven’t been put in practice. On the other hand we have seen that there are really a lot of practical things that have to be solved before the camp. And that we have to solve them. But we have done well.

Now we’re just preparing to that that we can’t be prepared for everything that’s going to happen during the week. We’re learning to face every situation with approval whatever kind of the situation will be. We will enjoy every moment and we hope that all participants can do so too.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Possible problems & how to solve them

Hello! We are Annika and Michelle from Finland.

In the beginning of the camp some people might struggle with shyness. We think that the ice breaking games will help a lot and of course when we get to know each other better it’s easier to communicate.
There could be some situations where we have language barrier problems. For example when we explain rules etc. We will use google translation to understand each other.

Thoughts about the project


We are Milena and Ilia (from Bulgaria) and we are so excited for the project.
We can exchange experience and we are so glad about that. Also we are so happy that we can communicate through Facebook cause it's easier than e-mails and in that way we are improving our English. From the whole project we expect to get useful skills for both our work and life. Our common work - Bulgarian and Finns gives us only great experience.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Improving our skills in E+ projects

Hello everyone!

It's Marin and Bobby from Bulgaria.

At the previous camp we learned better how to work in a group and with other people, we improve our language skills and also we learned some new things about different cultures.

At this camp for us it will be easier to communicate and work because we already have some good experience and most of us once again will improve our English. And again we will have so much fun! :)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

What do we know about Finland?


We are Cvetelina and Plamena ( Bulgarian participants ) and we decided to write for this topic because we want to learn something for Finland before the camp.

The capital and largest city is Helsinki . Finland is a land of thousands of lakes. The traditional dish is in Finland's kalakukko.

All in our group are so excited to meet in this camp. And we hope to really enjoy in this period of time when we are together. We can't wait already to work and have fun together.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hosting workshops

Hi! We are Tiia and Elsa from Finland and we write about how does it feel to know we are going to host workshops at the camp, how are we preparing to it and how does it feel to go to the workshop that other participant is hosting.

So we are very excited to host workshops and it feels good that we can make these workshops by ourselves and that we can use our imagination when we plan this workshop. It is amazing that we teenagers can make these workshops without leaders. We prepare ourselves and this workshop by seeing eachothers few times a week and then we are discussing about the theme we have. We are looking forward to other workshops because we want to see what other participants have produced for us.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

What would we like to learn?

Hello! I'm Aada L. from Finland. I'm wondering what I would learn during this project.

With this project I would like to learn to speak and communicate in English and possibly a little bit in Bulgarian too.

I would like to meet new people and learn how many different ways can you make theatre. I would also like to know what kind of differences Finnish and Bulgarian theatre have or how they are put into practice. What kind of different methods do Bulgarian and Finnish people have on stage? What are they thinking when they are acting?

- - - - -

Hello I’m the other Aada from Finland.

What I want learn about this project? I want meet new people and get friends. I want learn Bulgarian language and improve my English skills. I want learn new skills over all.

Bulgarian culture is too very interesting and I want see and learn a lot about it. I hope I learn Bulgarian theatre too ‘cause I know just Finnish theatre. I hope this project will be very interesting and fun.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

What do we know about Bulgaria?


We are Hanna and Rosa (Finnish participants) and and we have chosen to write about what we know about Bulgaria before the camp. We do hope to know more after. But here is what we came up with.

Bulgaria’s capital is Sofia and the second largest city is Plovdiv. Sunny Beach is a popular resort. Cyrillic script is basically from Bulgaria and is used there.

We really don’t know that much about Bulgaria because it isn’t that common subject to talk about here. But we are very excited to learn more about Bulgarian culture.

Friday, 12 August 2016


Welcome to follow our project blog, Manual for European Teenager 2016! Our project has been officially on for 12 days now. Almost two weeks! Wow :)

During this time Lari has opened this blog, Bulgarians have sorted out their flight tickets and made the reservations, Mekku and Sari have made the first money transactions and Lari and Mekku have planned the workshop system.

At the moment we (Lari and Mekku, the Finnish leaders) are writing this from Loimaa Theatre where the Finnish group is about to have its first meeting. Exciting to see everybody for the first time together!

Yesterday we (Lari and Mekku) travelled to Helsinki for Erasmus+ training for those projects that have received the EU grant. Training gave plenty of new ideas. The trainers themselves provided us with helpful information, but it was most interesting to hear what other projects are about. This gave many new viewpoints to how Erasmus+ programme can be used. We heard useful tips HOW things can be done, and that helps us to take our project with the young people. A lot of ideas to discuss today and later with everybody.

Erasmus+ is about learning. We feel that we are learning the most about project management at the moment: how to keep everything together and running smoothly.

We are sooooooo excited about this project!! It’s a pleasure to work with it! Let’s see how everything goes on from here. :)