Last weekend we were invited to run an NFT & Web3 workshop for young scouts at the biggest scout gathering in Slovenia called Zlet. An offer we just couldn't refuse, as we think it's important for the younger generation to learn about Web3 from an educational perspective and not from TikTok/Youtube influencers who get paid to shill the projects. Aside from the two workshops we did, we spent two nights at their camp and got to know the Scout community as insiders, which was a unique experience. Read on for our insights from the workshops.
The gathering was attended by about 700 scouts between the ages of 14 and 18. The purpose of the retreat is to bring young people together, teach outdoor survival skills, and develop the scouting program. In addition, volunteers try to give the young scouts a sense of routine, a sense of being together with nature and with their peers.
In educating the younger scouts, the initial emphasis is on coexistence with nature. But when they are a little older, they try to make them into engaged, independent, responsible, and solidarity-loving individuals within the framework of the scout motto." They encourage the young people to create something, find solutions and help each other.
And we are grateful to the organizers of the event for recognizing Web3 technology and its potential. We strongly believe that the Web3 ethos is especially suitable for all independent and proactive individuals who will be able to use blockchain technology to be more transparent, democratic and create a better future for all of us (including nature and our planet).
A look into the Scout gathering gave us a little more hope that we (as a society) can actually make it. We can make change happen. We can do better. And using innovative technology is a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
The workshop was attended by a handful of young teenagers who had already heard about NFTs and blockchain technology, but did not understand what the technology could be used for in a broader sense, aside from the ability to flip images.
The first part of the workshop provided an overview of what NFTs are and what are its applications. We focused in particular on travel, leisure and cultural examples from around the world. The topic of Web3 gaming was of course also something that appealed to the young people.
The second part of the workshop was the most interesting one as it was applying knowledge hands on - what scouts are known for. We called it the Camping MINT (Taborniški MINT in Slovene). But we didn’t just mint random photos. We decided to include a method called cultural mapping.
Cultural mapping aims to draw connections and articulate relationships between people and places, culture and nature. Mapping the intangibilities of a place is important to understand its identity and the “sense of place”. It reveals dynamics, and helps us understand and narrate the world around us better.
And as scouts are a unique community we thought it would be interesting to try out this method and build a cultural map of the gathering which happens only once in four years. We asked the attendees of a workshop to produce or gather photo material that represents the week of their stay.
One of the attendees decided to gather the best memes that were posted during the week in the Discord server where all the communications between the scouts were happening. For us this was a very insightful confirmation of how culture between generations is evolving. One of the staff members even said to us that she does not understand the majority of things that the younger kids write in the Discord. Yet this memes seemed to be a really important factor to the scouts experience. Maybe even more important than the traditional and symbolic elements of the scouting culture like: fireside gathering, neckerchief, tents, cold showers, etc. Those elements were included in our cultural map as well, but the memes definitely prevailed.
Before we could mint, we had to open wallets. Participants opened their MetaMask wallets and had their first encounter with a non-custodial wallet, which, honestly, we think it's quite powerful for teenagers to already get acquainted with. We instructed them to write their secret phrase on a piece of paper and keep it safe. Something that is (still) not such a common thing for people in the Web3 space, so we are glad they were able to learn this at a young age.
Once the wallets were opened, we could officially start minting. We created a collection on OpenSea designated for this workshop and added our participants as collaborators. We decided to mint on Polygon, of course, to avoid high gas fees.
Participants began uploading their photos to the collection. Just for fun and to give them a cool experience, we said they could set prices for their NFTs. A positive surprise was that they did not want to set high prices and wanted the NFTs to be affordable.
While this was definitely not the goal of the workshop and we do not think this is the most important aspect of NFTs and crypto assets, it is still a good way for them to see how this plays out in the real world and how artists or, in this case, society observers, can potentially make money in Web3.
The collection can be found at https://opensea.io/collection/taborniski-mint. The main takeaway, and the reason we were really excited after the workshops, was the gratitude of the participants that we had introduced them to this sometimes complicated technology and also introduced them to some non-technological, cultural concepts. One of the participants (a teenager) even came up to us, shook our hand and thanked us for the workshop. How can you not be excited and even more enthusiastic about the work we are doing?
Back to the work. Scalable and not scalable.
On that note; we still have open spots for the next two events we are organizing:
P.S. Give the kids the damn meat - they are still growing :P
**We do not earn any commission from the sales of minted NFTs in this collection