Sunday 2 January 2011

Just another summer course for teens?

I know what you are thinking, they’re all the same these summer courses, lots of sports, late night discos and nobody there to check what’s really happening after lights out.
Last July I went to the closing event of a summer course near Toledo, just over an hour’s drive from Madrid. It was special for me because I know 4 of the teenagers who attended from another context, and it was really impressive to see how these teenagers had been challenged, and how they had obviously met the challenge and triumphed.  I’m talking advantage of the personal forum of my blog to write about this completely separately from the organization I work for.
YPD summer course, which stands for Young Potential Development, was brand new in July 2010, and the organisers claimed it would give teenagers training in leadership skills and creativity, along the lines a multinational company would arrange for its own staff. Most of the time you have to take this kind of claim with a pinch of salt, but in this case the camp delivered on its promises, and the luxury hotel setting, the mix of nationalities and the excellent crew lived up to the marketing blurb.
The YPD summer camp is the brainchild of Franco Soldi, a specialist in company training and motivational-style conference speaker. I have met him several times, and after each meeting you leave the room pushed along by his incredible energy and positive attitude. You could see at the closing event of last July’s camp that he had communicated his perfectionism and energy to the YPD-ers, and they adored him. If you’re ready for a blast of energy, take a look at Franco at:
The YPD organisation are planning  additional activities during the year: I can’t wait to follow their progress.
If you want to find something for your teenage daughter or son for 2011 which is not just another summer course, and if your offspring are prepared to work hard for 16 hours a day, follow strict rules,  be denied their laptops and smartphones and be challenged in all their prejudices, look out for YPD. This is intercultural dialogue and education in action.
If you don’t believe me, watch the video:

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