2019 International Junior Ranger Camp

Photo: Margit Turb

EUROPARC Federation and Lahemaa National Park welcomed 30 participants from 15 different Parks, from 7th to 13th July 2019. With the collaboration of the Estonian Environmental Board, the camp was hosted by Lahemaa National Park (Estonia) one of Europe’s most important forest protection areas, situated at the coastal area of North Estonia. 

18th International Junior Ranger Camp – Parks connecting generations

This camp has been an amazing week for 50 young people (13-18 years old) who came in representation of their 15 protected areas, from across 9 different countries. In Lahemaa, forest, bog and coastal ecosystems, as well as semi-natural communities, geological monuments, and historic and architectural monuments are protected.

Check the photo album now and keep reading to discover the full adventure!

The camp offered young people the chance to discover this beautiful country, where nature, people, culture and history, are so closely connected.

Photo: Margit Turb

What is their history?

Photo: Margit Turb

At our arrival, the national song festival in Tallin was a unique opportunity to get a straight immersion in the Estonian traditions, culture, and passion for singing and dancing: a first great welcome for all the participants. Once at the camp we had then the chance to be officially welcomed by the Director of the Environmental Board, Mr. Riho Kuppart, together with his deputy, Ms. Leelo Kukk, who together gave a better overview of the role, priorities, and functions of protected areas in Estonia.

During the camp all Junior Ranger teams presented their own protected areas, sharing their knowledge, interests, and activities. A beautiful journey across so many countries and different landscapes: a chance for everyone to learn about new habitats, species and to get an insight into the different Junior Ranger activities. All this was nicely complemented with some delicious tastes from each of those areas.

During the camp we visited and learned the functions and relevance for biodiversity of different habitats:  bogs, forests, meadows, coastal areas. We discovered from expert, mentors and rangers different techniques for species and habitats monitoring, management and conservation. We also did some practical manual work clearing some meadows from invasive species, helping local communities to remove plants from an ancient cemetery and contributing to restoring local paths.

Photos: Margit Turb and Helen Kivisild

 “Parks connecting generations”

Has been the theme of the camp.

A connection that experts, rangers, mentors and youth have successfully made…Helping young people to reconnect with nature while leaving, learning and having fun together for a week in the Lahemaa national park.

We need to think about nature… In the actual nature! Only when we do, we discover that everything has another color…

The active support of some Youth+ from Estonia has been an added value for the camp: they have been of great help to run some of the activities with the Junior Rangers and have been of great support for the camp team.

The camp has also been a chance to organize a workshop with Rangers and Mentors where we presented the recent developments on the Junior Ranger and Youth+ programs and encouraged them to get engaged in the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto, in the Habitat Heroes Campaign and to apply for the EU Natura 2000 Award.

We would like to express our full gratitude to the Environmental Board of Estonia and to the Lahemaa National Park for the great support and making this International Junior Ranger Camp possible.