2018 International Junior Ranger Camp

International Junior Ranger, Mueritz National Park, July 2018

EUROPARC Federation, EUROPARC Germany and Mueritz National Park, Germany, welcomed over 40 participants from 9th to 15th July 2018. The camp was hosted at the Environmental Education Hostel “Steinmühle” in Müritz National Park, which is situated between Berlin and Rostock, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 

17th International Junior Ranger Camp – “Discover Europe’s wild Heritage”.

Photo by Mueritz National Park, Park Archive

Another great experience for young people and rangers from all over Europe. As everyone said it was an “AMMMMMMAAAAAAZING camp”!

Junior Rangers and their mentors had the chance to discover a part of these ancient Beech Forests of Germany which belong to the UNESCO World Heritage site “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” and discover wilderness in the Park area.

What made it so special?

Surely the hard work of our host, the Mueritz National Park, which welcomed us in such a beautiful and remote location, with an exceptional team of rangers.

An important element of success has obviously been the rich camp programme, with a good mixture of learning exchange activities, excursions to discover the park area, practical nature conservation work, games and international gatherings.

But clearly the main ingredient for the success of the camp, was the young people who came from 13 different countries (including a delegation from Israel!) and representing 19 different Protected Areas. They all very nicely presented to the rest of participants their home parks and shared their experiences as Junior Rangers.

What did the Junior Rangers loved most?

Singing together in the bus and at the campfire, biking in the forest and canoeing on Mueritz lake, discovering the 1000 years old oaks and the many species living in the park area, helping to restore paths, bogs, and to manage orchid’s habitats… They enjoyed discovering the beautiful landscape of the park made of numerous lakes and large forests – which are now given back to wilderness.

They are now bringing back home many new friends; more confidence in speaking in English and in front of a wide audience; better knowledge about species (fishes, oaks, osprey, bats…) and the JR programme in other countries; interest for research; new songs and dances and much much more…

As every year, without the support and active contribution of the Rangers and Mentors from all participating parks, the camp wouldn’t be possible. Taking advantage of their experience and knowledge, we organised together a specific workshop to share experiences, collect inputs and discuss the future of the JR programme and the development of the Youth+ programme.

Dr. Till Backhaus, Minister for Agriculture and Environment Mecklenburg-Vorpommern officially welcomed the Junior Rangers at the start of the camp, and tested their knowledge on species and habitats during the opening game.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank once more the Muritz National park Director Ulrich Messner and its team of Rangers (Johannes Herweg in particular) for the hard and successful work in organising and managing the camp. A special thank you also to EUROPARC Germany for the support given.

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