The first sessions of the Polish group of participants were held. A group of eighteen participants and their teachers from high schools in Augustow, Suwalki and Sejny were involved in these workshops.
They were introduced to the concept of the overall project and then learned about the history of the Manor at Krasnogruda and the family history of Czeslaw Milosz.
The second part of the workshop dealt with Geocaching, as a potential tool that we will use to form a cultural trail leading from Sejny and Krasnogruda via Kėdainiai in Lithuania to Kaliningrad in Russia. Geocaching is a field game which consists in finding treasures. With the help of GPS devices or smartphones, players try to find a geocache box, and then share their experiences online. After the lecture, Leo Walotek-Scheidegger presented his ideas about Geocaching and rules of the game. www.geocaching.com
Our geocaching guide was Leo Walotek-Scheidegger. Leo is a German journalist dealing with maritime and tourist issues. He is a member of the ’68 generation and a logistician of foreign trade specializing in South-East Asia (University of Koeln and Düsseldorf and the Technical University of Krefeld), a member of VEUS, the elite Association of European Shipping Journalists and its only representative in Poland.
His only hobby is geocaching, a mixture of alternative tourism and treasure hunting with a GPS in hand. He has co-created a few hundred geocaches in the land of Rhineland Palatinate under the regional economic revitalization projects. He co-authored a similar project in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province with the crowning it Megaevent in Górzno (24-26.05.2013), the first Polish international meeting gathering geocachers from a few countries. The outcome of the project was creation of nearly 1000 caches in the province. During three weeks, the caches were logged over 30,000 times (as opened). In recognition of his activities, Leo Walotek-Scheidegger received a letter of thanks from the Management Board of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province.
He has published in German, Polish, Swiss and Korean press, and co-operates with such titles as Spiegel, Stern, Hamburger Abendblatt, and German TV stations: ARD and NDR and the Deutschlandfunk radio. In Poland, he has collaborated with, among others, the National Geographic Traveller, Fokus Śledczy, Przekrój, Nasze Morze, Jachting and with the Polish TV (TVP).
Here’s the powerpoint presentation about geocaching (in Polish): Pogranicza – geocaching
In Kėdainiai, the selected participants presented their creative work, meeting with their local project coordinator, Mr. Żirgulis Rimantas, Director of the Regional Museum in Kėdainiai, and the manager of the Multicultural Museum, historian Ms. Audronė Pečiulyte, and the archaeologist of the museum Mr. Algirdas Juknevičius. These first sessions outlined the programme and agreed on a series of topics and activities.
In the second session, the group looked the most important historical facts of Kėdainiai and surrounding areas. They looked at the most valuable exhibits collected in the Regional Museum, expressing their opinion about what the current exhibits should emphasise. They learnt about the story of the Carmelite Order, whose original building now houses the museum.
In the third session on April 27th, they explained about the creation of Kedainiai and the surrounding area based on data from archaeological research. Particular emphasis was placed on the geographical location and natural accents and highlights the emergence and development of the city.