Although I tried a lot to find out what EYP is like, I´ve never received an answer that would describe it sufficiently. Because even though you may think you know what it´s like, you will be surprised once you get there.
Every session of EYP is different. You get a different place, organisers, chairpersons and members of the committee, food and atmosphere every time you attend. However one thing does not change, and even though time goes by, you will always meet enthusiastic people in EYP.
For me EYP is a great place to enhance your skills and has a lot to offer. You can easily practice your English (the whole session is in English), learn to debate, learn to coordinate yourself and others in a team and a lot more. As a bonus you get to meet many people from all around Europe.
Each school can send up to 8 members (in 2 delegations of four, or in a delegation of four and individuals). Our school sent a delegation consisting of me, Barbora Soukupová, Tomáš Kovařík, Martina Nguyenová and an individual Viktor Karlíček. We traveled by bus to the 1st regional session in Hradec Králové.
On our arrival we were welcomed by one of the organizers, who navigated us to our accommodation.
We needed to check-in, to get our keys to the accommodation and welcome bags, which included the lunch for the day. Few minutes later we were travelling to a high school situated in the middle of Hradec Králové. It was time for general team building. All people from EYP attend general team building. It´s an event where the organisers, board, jury, journos and chairpersons introduce themselves followed by team building games. In our session team building games went from – “Repeat after me!“ to – “Build a battering ram!“ At the end of the general team building chairpersons called their committee members and each committee went separately to its own class. I was in EMPL II (employment, social affairs and inclusion), trying to solve the problems that come up with gentrification. Delegates from the same school are always separated to different committees. With that in mind, you can imagine, that you usually won´t meet anybody you know, unless you´ve been to the EYP session several times. For that reason team building continues even in the committee. First of all I had to learn my committee members‘ names, luckily chairs had prepared games, that helped us remember. Then we moved on playing games that showed how we can work as a team, usually trying to do something without speaking or without seeing. The last games were aimed to test our skills in arguing and agreeing as group. Afterwards the whole session moved to the opening ceremony, followed by a global village. What is the global village? Each school has to cook a representative food from the country they´ve been assigned (by the organisers), which they then bring to the global village. There was one crucial thing I learned during global village. Global village is instead of dinner and if you don´t hurry, you won´t get to eat much. Our delegation had great success as always and our Mexican delicacies disappeared in a minute.
The committee work began on Saturday. We had to figure out how to write a resolution, but luckily our chairs guided us through. First of all, our task was to write down ideas about the main problems concerning gentrification. Then we had to debate the ideas and structure them into single phrases for the first part of the resolution. We did the same process for the second part of the resolution, although this time we were working on solutions (it may seem as an easy task, however, in reality it took us about 7 hours and there are many midway steps that I didn´t include). To keep us alive and energized organisers prepared coffee breaks, which proved to be very helpful.
To give us a break, there was a costume party in the evening in a club, where one could dance or just talk with friends and enjoy the free time. When we came back to the accommodation, we received resolutions of other committees to prepare for the next day.
In the morning (a bit tired, because of sleep deprivation) we traveled to a museum in Hradec Králové for the general assembly, which was the same place where we had breakfast. General assembly is a part of the conference where you talk about your resolution, defend it, attack other resolutions, debate and vote. My committee was scheduled before lunch. I had to respond to the critique and after me was sum up speech.
Sum up is followed by voting, where people decide whether the resolution should pass or not. We were quite lucky because our resolution passed just by two votes.
After the GA, the conference was wrapped up by an ending ceremony. Unfortunately I couldn´t be there for the whole ceremony, because our delegation needed to catch a train. On the way back we talked about our experiences and funny moments. Week after, organisers emailed us, that our delegation was chosen for the national session in Písek.
I think EYP was an unrepeatable and great experience and in my opinion, it will be even greater once I get to see a four day session in Písek.
Petr Chalupský, kvarta A