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Rebooting with The Bridge in harmony with nature

Rebooting with The Bridge in harmony with nature
The Bridge Reboot camp at Zajezova

Every summer, the Bridge takes teachers on a journey of discovery to Zajezova. The reboot camp is our school´s specialty. For one week, teachers have an opportunity to take a break from their daily routine, become students instead and dive into the learning process. As the teaching job may get quite challenging, it is necessary to switch off, get together with peers and find inspiration and motivation for the new school year.

The reboot camp is part of the Erasmus+ program and it includes everything: accomodation in eco-friendly premises, yummy meals, picturesque countryside (where you can escape if you don´t feel like being around the others), morning yoga, evenings by the fire, trips, and last but not least amazing people. The atmosphere of the place is really unique, and the energy of the group truly opens hearts and minds.

You can choose between:

Coaching and mentoring led by Mike Shreeve and Andrea Zahumenska, and get familiar with coaching and mentoring techniques you can apply in your own teaching practice.

Or the CLIL course led by Judit Feher, in which you dive into the global and intercultural aspects of the Content and Language Integrated Learning.


Read more in the report below.

Where is Zajezova?

In the middle of nowhere.

What’s there?

Cows, deer, grass, a pond, a meadow, and a learning center.

Why is Zajezova special?

It was one of the first places in Slovakia where people returned to living in close connection to nature. They reconstructed old houses, or built new ones from eco-friendly materials like straw or clay. They recycle things, e.g. dishes, furniture, or decorations. They produce their own electricity through photovoltaic and solar panels. They have their own well with water of excellent quality, suitable even for infants. Or you can get water from a nearby spring. 

They even have their own bacterial waste water treatment system. Of course, they compost food waste and first of all, they do not waste it. The food is home-made, prepared from local products only, without chemical additives and cooked by local people. Some ingredients are grown on site in their own organic gardens.

There is a strong community there and people help one another with whatever they need. 

Is the community open to others?

Yes, they offer seminars, workshops, retreats and education programs for both adults and children. You can learn to grow vegetables or fruits, or you can learn how to recycle things, or make your own cosmetics. 

When you go there for a stay, you should bring biodegradable cosmetic products, or they have them for sale in the café. 

There is an open-air classroom in the garden, suitable for workshops, movement activities, or relaxing. As we were close to the forest, we had an opportunity to go out for a walk, or for a run. 

It is truly a place worth visiting if you want to recharge your batteries, rejuvenate, and restore your balance.

How long did it take to reboot?

6 days.

What do you mean by “rebooting”?

We disconnected from our daily lives and connected to ourselves and the people who were there with us. We were enjoying the nature and the peace that was literally present there. Some were lucky to find a cellular signal, but others were blissfully totally disconnected from the world.

So what were you doing the whole time? Just chilling?

We had a choice between two programs for the week. One was a CLIL seminar led by Judit Feher and the other was a mentoring and coaching seminar led by Mike Shreeve and Andrea Zahumenska. In both seminars we stepped out of our comfort zones, expanded our knowledge, and developed deep connections to both our work and our colleagues. The skills we learned are easily applicable in our daily teaching practice. The atmosphere was very friendly and supportive, while still challenging the participants to improve both personally and professionally, as we explored our values, goals, and hopes.

This can happen only in an atmosphere of trust. Did you know the other people before?

Not really. A few of us work for The Bridge, but most of the participants came from across the region. Despite not knowing most of our peers at the beginning of the week, the chemistry of the group worked straight away. Everyone was enthusiastic, supportive, and ready to share. There was a very nice flow in the group and it often happened that we just forgot the time, totally focusing on the things we were doing. Besides the workshops, we spent a lot of time together.

That sounds extremely intense. Did you have any time off to relax?

Every morning we practiced yoga outside in the garden, so everyone who was willing to get up early had a chance to start the day with a positive vibe. It felt really special to begin our days listening to the birds singing or feeling the wind in our hair. 

After lunch, we had two-hour siestas, during which we could hide in the tea room, hike to the meadow or the surrounding hills, go on a trip to nearby towns, or just take a nap. In the evenings, we enjoyed activities like a pub quiz or a book swap, or we simply sat around the campfire, listening to music and talking the night away. The meadows were full of flowers and the nights were astonishingly dark and full of stars. 

What was the food like?

The diet was vegetarian or vegan. Surely, some of us were craving more cake, ice cream, fruit, bread or coffee. With so much brain work, more sugar was simply necessary. Last year, we were lucky enough to have Rakesh Bhanot with us, who cooked a delicious Indian dinner for the group.

What was the outcome?

We all left the Reboot Camp at Zajezova with renewed energy and more tools in our toolbox for teaching, mentoring, and life. 

Would you go back next year?


You can find more information about our re-boot camp under the following links:

Written by Alison Orton and Kamila Jancikova.

The authors are both language teachers at The Bridge, and they attended the Bridge Reboot Camp in Zajezova.