What’s the most important event for an antenna? If you ask Polish locals, some will say: “Our Local Training Course, because if it is not good, the antenna is in trouble.” Ela Krótka wouldn’t go so far, when it comes to her own antenna, the hyperactive AEGEE-Kraków. “It’s maybe not the most important one, but definitely one of the most important events”, says the President. Her antenna organises at least four LTCs per year, and they enjoy an excellent reputation. The Golden Times wanted to find out more.

Fresh XXI cowboys2
The cowboys of Fresh XXI

The last LTC – titles FRESH XXI – took place one month ago, from 24th till 26th of October in Skawica Forest, around 60 kilometres south-west of Kraków. Almost 40 people went to the beautiful location together in order to gain new experiences, practical skills, great friends and get a huge dose of motivation. Theme parties like a cowboy party on the first night helped people integrating, but the staff members and participants also played a lot of teambuilding and icebreaking games. “The next day was very busy”, wrote participant Patrycja Kulewicz in an article for AEGEE-Kraków’s website. “Each group was sweating while carrying out the tasks of the Case Studies.” A pirate party served again as relaxation and the fresh members also got introduced to the Tunak dance – so they definitely won’t be surprised when they hear it at the next AEGEE party. The participants enjoyed the LTC a lot. “This was one of the most inspiring trips I’ve been to. It’s not only fun, but also hard work and therein lies its beauty”, says Patrycja Kulewicz. “The memories of crazy ideas and the extremely colorful participants of this training will remain long in my memory.”

Ela Krótka came with 42 members to the Network Meeting in Zielona Góra, where they had a VIP corner with soft mattresses.

Ela Krótka about the high number of LTCs:

“AEGEE-Kraków is one of very few locals, which organizes LTCs at least four times a year. Two of them are for the new members, who are interested in our organization and make their first steps. This LTC type is called FRESH. The others are made for the members, who have a little experience after a few months of activity and think about coordinating their own projects. They are called Management Training Course (MTC). The next one will take place from 5h till 7th of December: https://www.facebook.com/events/1397537923870854/.”

Ela about the importance of a secluded location:

“During the LTCs the group of 30 participants and about 13 staff members go to a quiet place, like mountains for example. During the three days we have time to get to know each other and spend a wonderful time together, which is a strong motivation for all of us. Lack of the Internet or phone helps us finding something in common and destroys the barrier between staff and participants – what we really take care of.”

Fresh XXI Ela
Lecture time at FRESH XXI


Ela about the popularity of the LTCs:

“Usually we have more applications than 30. We get 50 to 70, which is a big challenge for the coordinators. However, we do not close the AEGEE pathway for the ones who had no possibility to attend to our event. They are active anyway and can write their motivation in the next few months.”

Ela about the importance of the LTCs for the antenna:

“In Kraków we believe that a good LTC – especially FRESH – is a guarantee for a good term, or even a good year for our organization. Young members are our future and we are the ones who help them to find their way. What is more, they have a fresh point of view and help us see the things differently we got used to and do not think about changing them – although it is possible sometimes. What is more, they are very active and want to participate in many events with us. During the Network Meeting in Zielona Góra two weeks ago 11 of 42 people from AEGEE-Kraków were new!”

Fresh XXI casework
Case work at FRESH XXI

Ela about the content part of the LTCs:

“The first thing we think about when organizing an LTC are the workshops. For the FRESH, they are conducted by our board and active members; at the MTC the workshops are held by old AEGEEans, who have their own business or work in some companies. The participants get to know many things about AEGEE of course, but what is important as well, we try to prepare them for working in an NGO and in their future lives. They can gain knowledge about aspects such as project management, Public Relations, fundraising, human resources, business negotiations, self-presentation and follow-up.”

Fresh XXI evaluation
Evaluation time

Ela about the casework sessions:

“After every session the participants can out their new knowledge into practice. Our newbies are divided into groups and have to organize an event, such as a TSU. We always guarantee some surprises like a sudden media conference or recording their speeches. After that, they get a real feedback, which is hopefully useful for them in the future.”

Fresh XXI pirates
Pary time – this time: pirates!

Ela about the social programme:

“Let’s be honest, the most important aspect of an LTC is to let participants feel good in our organization. We pay a big attention to integration and the feeling what AEGEE is. In the beginning we play some games, which help us to remember our names. During the whole event we talk, we play, we dance, we sing, we spend time together… We do not act as if we were better than the new ones, just because we have some experience. This lack of distance between us creates a good atmosphere which stays in our minds for a long time. Dancing Tunak with us for two nights, photos with the flag and our mascot Buka, playing games with drinking, hugging, laughing… This is how AEGEE Spirit is always being created. They wake up with many great memories when they are back in Kraków on Monday morning…”

MTC Lexture
The next level: the Management Training Course

Ela about the follow-up:

“In the first weeks after coming back our participants try to attend all the groups – working groups and project groups. Later they find the place for themselves and we know that we will not lose these fantastic people. It is the best motivation to see them coming to the General Meeting after an LTC and talking to the old members – although they see them for the first time. They already feel like a part of the AEGEE family and want to be as close as it is possible. And for me, as the President, it is the biggest award and satisfaction when I see that our work is really worthy. Yes, I started crying because it is so nice – but you do not have to write about it…