The EUROPARC Junior Ranger Programme
The EUROPARC Junior Ranger Programme was launched in 2002 as a pilot project embracing four partner parks. The network has grown ever since. Being part of an extended European Junior Ranger network enables young people to connect with their peers across Europe.
The EUROPARC Federation Junior Ranger Programme is aimed at young people aged 12-18 who are living within or close to the Protected Area. The programme involves around 50 Protected Areas across 19 different countries, working with ~1000 youth every year.
The Junior Ranger network has also grown beyond EUROPARC. The Junior Rangers of Germany were the inspiration for the EUROPARC Junior Ranger programme and this nation-wide programme is run by the German EUROPARC Section, Nationale Naturlandschaften. Similar national networks can be found in Switzerland and Scotland both run by the national ranger associations.
For those Junior Ranger programmes who are interested in being a part of the European network, all it requires is to become a EUROPARC Member and register your programme with us by completing our free registration process. The map below shows all JR programmes that have completed this new procedure and are active in the international scene.
Is your JR Programme not on the map? Fill in the form and send us the signed Partnership Agreement, we will update the map as soon as we receive both. If you have photos, feel free to send them with the Partnership Agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will also appear in the map.
But what do Junior Rangers do?
To learn more about the work of Junior Rangers, you can watch the documentary “A European Tour of Junior Rangers: Working for Nature“. This film portrays some of the activities that some of the Junior and Youth Ranger teams carry out to protect endangered habitats and species in Europe.
What does it mean to belong to the EUROPARC Junior Ranger Programme?
Being a respected participant in Junior Ranger and other youth activities in a Protected Area enables young people of the community to feel they have a role to play and can see their actions having an impact on improvements to their areas, as well as building strong interpersonal skills that will contribute to better relations in education, business, and society.
Such Junior Ranger programmes we have found:
- Are good for the development of the Ranger Service (or park staff);
- Facilitate social cohesion by improving relations between the park and the local community;
- And can make positive, confident and healthy young people
Requirements and recommendations to join the EUROPARC JR network:
- A 5 – days programme per year is the minimum required expected: it can be one week, or different days activities throughout the year.
Activities should provide real nature conservation work experiences, and possibly also include cultural and social topics. Most of them should be done outdoors, in nature.
Parks running Junior Ranger activities must be a EUROPARC member. For detailed information on how to join our network, visit this page.
Connecting Junior Rangers from across Europe!
Being part of the network also enables to connect Junior Rangers in Protected Areas across Europe. Perhaps you want to find a Junior Ranger Programme to twin with from another part of Europe. We can help members with support and advice and connect across the network. Some of our sections encourage programme, for instance, the very successful programme in Germany.
The main event of the network is the International Junior Ranger Camp, coordinated each summer by EUROPARC and hosted by one of the network members. This event is a great opportunity for many young people to gather, have fun and discover Europe’s biodiversity (more information here).
Please contact us at email@example.com to: share your ideas; if you want to start or develop working with young people in your Protected Areas; if you already have a programme support Junior Rangers to attend an International Camp; or host one of your own!
To learn more about this program, please download the brochure below, as well as the very useful guide of good practice published by EAI, or take a look at our Junior Ranger Toolkit, created to help you starting your Junior Ranger Programme in your Park!