The nationwide Junior Ranger-program of EUROPARC Germany and WWF Germany exists since the 1st of July 2008. Together both institutions are guiding children between 7 and 12 years and their families to nature and the National Natural Landscapes.
Junior Rangers are a significant investment in the future for national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks. As ambassadors for the National Natural Landscapes they energetically assist to protect Germany’s most valuable landscapes. Junior Rangers develop appreciation of nature and the environment through concrete activities and projects. As responsible mediators they convey knowledge and values to their fellow human beings. Since the 1960’s the US National Park Service believes strongly in Junior Ranger-programs, and suitable offers of the national parks are in high demand. In Germany the programs are still in the initial phase, but already develop very well. The cornerstone for a youth movement similar to those in the USA was laid in the last years.
In the course of nationwide Junior Ranger-programs unitary standards for education are developed. Meanwhile several work groups consisting of the junior Ranger-coordinators of the parks in the whole of Germany were established. Their aim is to reach children in several ways. This project is borne essentially by four pillars:
- “Junior Ranger-Region”
- “Junior Rangers on expedition”
- “Junior Ranger-Web”
„Junior Ranger-Region“ aims at creating continuous offers for children and young people living in the vicinity of a protected area.
„Junior Ranger on expedition“ is meant for children visiting the National Natural Landscapes during their free time or on school excursions.
„Junior-Ranger-Web“ is an approach to accommodate the modern medium Internet. The existing web site of the project is going to expand into an E-learning platform. The idea is to reach as many children as possible this way and to guide them into nature with attractive hands-on activities.
In the future there are supposed to be compact program packages for schools within the framework of the project module „Junior Ranger-School“.
Events such as the annual nationwide Junior Ranger-meeting give the Junior Rangers opportunities to gain an interregional overview of the setting of protected areas and to socialize with other Junior Rangers.
More information on www.junior-ranger.de