If you are a young person in love with our planet Earth and the people here, if you can no longer stand by watching as it is all being abused and destroyed, and you know that the only way to transformation starts from within you...
Join us a for a week of fun and adventure in the wild woods of Latvia, exploring and reconstructing your behaviour patterns and coming to terms with the wholeness of who you are, all in the name of living more harmoniously with our fellow humans.
werewolf as the shadow
For most people anything that takes them beyond the security of their conscious boundaries often evokes the compulsion to hold it back and deny its existence. This rejection parallels the psychological development of the shadow in individuals and in society. Denial of an aspect of wholeness is the key ingredient in the formation of the shadow - the dark, rejected part of the psyche.
The shadow contains what we do not like about ourselves, what we find threatening, shameful, and inadequate. Individually and as a culture we reject these denied and devalued parts of ourselves and do not allow them to flourish as part of our conscious identity.
Whenever aspects of the wholeness of ourselves are not expressed and accepted but rather denied and rejected, they become distorted, and they live within each one of us as the negative thought patterns in our minds. However, what is pushed down in one place will inevitably emerge in another. When the shadow is not brought into light, we will project it onto others, thus undermining our capacity to form safe and honest relationships.
We then perceive the outer world through the inner filter of our negative emotions and thoughts. When our minds are full of fear and hatred, we then see others as the personification of what is most frightening and hateful to us.
These rejected aspects of ourselves assume the forms of evil and temptation in our external world. They become all of our enemies - our abusers, terrorists, deceivers, and destroyers. Through our negative emotional states, we attract these kinds of people and situations to us. Furthermore, we also evoke and catalyse these negative qualities in others that are, in actuality, the reflections of our own unconscious self. Our shadow then becomes all that threatens our safety and security.
To explore and start to heal these distorted parts of ourselves and our world, we will recreate our own microcosm of fantasy and adventure, role playing characters we don't usually get to empathise with.
let's come together
Our main activity is an outdoor adventure role play, originally based on the fun-tastic party board game Werewolves. It is a game that takes place in a small village which is haunted by werewolves. Not only that, our real life version is haunted by greed, hunger and mosquitoes!
Each participant will be assigned a specific role that you will have to follow throughout the game. You might try to steal each other's positions, as well. You will live your (un)ordinary village life and each day a new, unexpected event will happen that will shape the future of your tribe, lower or boost your morale and take or give you more resources. But don't forget - you are not the only ones trying to survive in these woods. Another village has settled nearby and a strange group of merchants have appeared, raiding these lands for useful assets. Who knows how that will end...
as you arrive to Riga, we'll meet you for registration & picnic
then take a bus towards Bajari
go on a transition hike to the venue
get settled for the night
gather for an opening circle & ceremony
get to know the project objectives intimately
prepare for the outdoor
open the game & rulebook
leave to settle in the new camps, roles and motivations
bless the new villages
mourning ritual for the Dead
departure of the Excommunicated
educational activity by Minister of Education
challenges & unexpected events
exchange of resources
evening prayer by Priest
cultural activity by Minister of Culture
settling in at the venue
reflections & sharing
meeting the local community
planning, preparing and delivering an outdoor adventure role play game for the locals
planning follow-up activities based on Werewolves game
wrapping up the experience
reflections & evaluations
this is for you if
We remind you that this project is a youth exchange happening under the Erasmus+ frame.
We are here, creating Werewolves together, which will require your full involvement in all of the project stages - preparation (specific tasks will be explained after confirmation), program activities (that include you delivering your own workshops as part of the community exchange), and the local follow-up phase (bringing your discoveries back to your community in the form of a locally implemented Werewolves game).
The attitude we are keeping throughout the project is ''I create my own reality'', which means taking full responsibility for your own experience.
Care for planet is what drives this project, and so we also strive to implement zero-waste and Leave No Trace principles, making sure we leave the forest and the venue in a better condition than we found them.We reduce what we need, reuse as much as we can, send little to be recycled, and compost what we cannot.For this reason, we also ask you to take extra care for what you bring with you and how you show up in this project, limiting all waste both in terms of trash and unnecessary packaging, but also when using water, electricity and other resources of our planet.
there is none
When out of the forest, we will settle on a piece of land next to a tiny shop-free village Bajari approximately 35 km from Riga.
There will be access to electricity and water, but no permanent housing or fancy washrooms. We will have a larger tent for gatherings, but sleeping will happen under make-shift roofs, in your own sleeping bags. Whatever creature comforts you might need, bring them with you! A detailed list on the advised equipment will come with the confirmation letter.
During your days in the forest it will be up to your tribe to cook for yourself. Upon your return, you'll get to enjoy exquisite, 100% plant based homemade meals and sugar-free snacks.
As a rule, we are creating a space free from drugs and alcohol.
In case of disrespect for this rule, you might be asked to leave the program with no chance for reimbursement.
time frame and costs
If you wish to explore Latvia, you can come/leave 2 days before/after the project dates. All expenses during these days are up to you.
The partner countries of this project are Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece and Latvia.
Your travel expenses (that include a travel insurance which is MANDATORY for all participants) will be reimbursed according to the Erasmus+ distance calculator and the following limits:
The expenses within project dates are funded by Erasmus+ program.
Note on travel reimbursement limits:
The amounts written above have been calculated based on the partner organisations' home cities. If it differs from where you will start your travels from, the reimbursement limit might change. Contact your sending organisation for questions.
There is a free spot for a social media guru who would update our Instagram and Facebook channels with fresh news from the woods, insights of the game, reflections from the participants and other interesting material.
It is a special role that would allow you to always have a charged phone and WiFi, as well as have your contribution fee covered.
Drop us an email to mindfuljourneysLV@gmail.com if that's something you would be interested in.
Managing social media presence
All of this sounds amazing!
Where do I register?
Where do I register?
WAIT, THERE IS MORE!
The youth exchange Werewolves is actually a part of a larger project, Werewolves vs. Aware Wolves. In its very essence, Werewolves vs. Aware Wolves challenges the rise of hate speech and hate crime within our increasingly globalised and diverse society, and letting us see how we us individuals contribute to it. It is turning us into agents of positive change in our daily context and letting us see how our actions can influence the world for the better.
The first phase, Werewolves, is a fun, active, dynamic environment, meant as a bridge for participants to realise how conscious living can 100% alter our everyday experience, what happens to us and how we perceive and act towards others.
The second phase of the project, Aware Wolves, will happen in the second part of the summer and will focus more on each participant acquiring specific mindfulness tools to help us deepen our compassion for all beings and integrate these practices into our everyday life.
More information on that is coming soon, but just to let you know - as a participant of Werewolves, you'll have a special priority in being selected.