By Antonella, Cristina and Sandra
“Lead the scene and keep it green!” was our plant that we (Antonella, Cristina and Sandra) have grown since the very beginning. It was a great learning experience for us, because we had the chance to plan an online study camp from beginning to end. Everything that was related to the camp, starting from the application form, to the content of the sessions and down to choosing guests, was part of our experience. Sustainability has a tremendous importance nowadays and even more so, is understanding its connection with every aspect of our lives.
Keeping this in mind, we structured an online camp by deciding to talk about our influence both as individuals and as a community in relationship to food, cosmetics, fashion and future behavior chances we can apply in our environments. Our sessions were structured in an interactive way, consisting of both theoretical and practical parts and built in a way where everyone could contribute in the amount they wished to contribute. We even made a deodorant live in one of the sessions!
One of the most interesting things was sharing our habits and opinions on sustainability with the rest of the group as we had participants from a lot of different countries and backgrounds. Moreover, the knowledge related to sustainability was also varied, considering the group consisted both of people that had no relationship to sustainability as well as of people with a lot of experience and even academic education on the subject.
Facilitating an online camp is definitely not easy. You can’t see all the participants, the body language or some of their needs and of course technical problems are not lacking on zoom (what would life be without some connection problems during this time?!). However, there is a great advantage to organizing everything online: being able to reach everyone, any country in the world and offer anyone the opportunity to participate.
We were nervous before every session even though we prepared a lot. We never knew if something would go wrong, and no matter how prepared you are, something always goes wrong. Sometimes we had to adjust our strategies in the middle of the session as we didn’t have the number of participants we were expecting or something was understood in a different way than we wanted. All this was part of the process and session by session we learned how to make the unexpected things part of the process. We always had backup plans/activities and the fact that there were 3 of us helped a lot in case somebody had to jump in and change something in an activity.
The overall feedback we received was positive both towards the organization and the content of the camp. We asked our participants for (anonymous) feedback after every session so we can adapt the next ones to their needs. And it worked! It helped us understand what they were lacking or wanted more of so the quality of our project improved with every session. It was a challenge but definitely a fun experience that we would repeat any time!