What drives a person who becomes a volunteer? Each of the 38 participants of our training might have a different reply, but they all wanted to do something for others, and become involved in the initiatives organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation. From playing an essential role at the biggest open-air festival in Europe to helping to hold a massive international charity drive, and with all events in between, there is never a dull moment in a life of a Peace Patrol volunteer.
The first step of our weekend training took us across the streets of historic Malbork, where our future volunteers took part in a short location-based game. The fast-paced challenges allowed to break the ice between the participants and prepared them for our forest 'walk' around the picturesque woods surrounding Szadowo-Młyn. Once there, we always focus on team-building activities and try to discern which of the participants of our training are cut to become leaders.
Key elements of each training are always first aid classes and lectures about Health & Safety regulations at mass events. Our AHA-certified instructors teach how to perform CPR on both adults and children, how to use AED, and how to dress and tend to injuries. Theoretical parts of the training are interspersed with practical exercises, where each trainee practices on manikins and receives feedback from the instructors. This serves to ensure that each participant stands a good chance of passing a standardised test, which serves to prove that they know their first aid.
The ultimate test came in a form of night maneuvres, so realistically organised, that we even received a visit from the concerned police officers, who wanted to know if there really had been an accident in the vicinity. We had to explain that the overturned burning car was just a part of our training. We tested our future volunteers for skill, resilience to stress, bravery, and ability to keep their cool in extreme situations.
Peace Patrol training is a getaway to an adventure which might take you to some unexpected places. Friendships forged in the ranks of the Peace Patrol often last decades, and the community of volunteers is often referred to as a 'family'. We are looking forward to seeing everyone we met that weekend at Woodstock Festival Poland. If you would like to take part in training, you can find more information here.