Foundation Conservation Carpathia aims to raise the next generation of leaders for nature and is launching the Junior Ranger programme. The project is aimed at children over 12 years old from the southern regions of the Făgăraș Mountains and will engage children in a series of outdoor activities around nature, along with the rangers of the Foundation, thus expanding their career horizons.
The Junior Ranger programme developed by Foundation Conservation Carpathia is free of charge and is currently aimed at children from Rucar, Podul Dâmboviței, Dragoslavele, Lerești and Nucșoara regions, and will be extended during the next few years. To register, children can send a letter or a short video to Ioana Duică, Education Programme Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April, introducing themselves, explaining why nature is important to them and why they would like to take part in the programme.
All applications will be reviewed, and 40 children will be selected to attend a five-day camp where they will learn the basic notions relating to ecosystems, protected areas and the main responsibilities of a ranger. Ten of the most proactive and curious children will be selected for the second phase of the project. They will benefit from a five-month programme of continuous training that will entail field activities along with the foundation’s rangers, as well as a trip to a national park in the country.
The Junior Rangers programme is a non-formal education programme that aims to guide children over a long period of time, during which they can choose to continue with the project, to develop, and in 3-4 years become volunteer rangers.
“Long-term transformations are made with commitment and consistency,” says Victoria Donos, Communications Director of Foundation Conservation Carpathia. “In view of this, we need to raise a generation of leaders who care about nature, who understand its role, who are committed to protecting it and promoting its values. The need to conserve nature created the profession of ranger, as an employee in national parks and protected areas. We believe that through the Junior Ranger programme we offer a future opportunity for children in the Făgăraș Mountains area to stay in their neighbourhood and do one of the most beautiful jobs, that of a ranger.”
“Junior Ranger is a long-term journey, a process where you learn out in the field with passionate people, whom you can have as colleagues for years to come,” says Ioana Duică, Education Programme Specialist, at Foundation Conservation Carpathia. “Although there are similar programmes in our country, our programme is unique precisely because it aims for long-term development and training. We are very happy to have the support of the Bavarian Forests National Park in creating the curriculum, as they have 25 years of experience with this type of programme.”
The profession of ranger has been introduced during the last decade into the Romanian Classification of Occupations, and it has a long tradition in national parks abroad. Rangers monitor and protect biodiversity in the area where they work. The ranger’s responsibilities include checking compliance with the legislation and regulations of the natural area, guiding and informing tourists, education activities, wildlife monitoring and flora inventory, and supporting research teams. The ranger collaborates with local people and with the relevant authorities who can intervene in case of emergencies. Foundation Conservation Carpathia currently numbers 41 rangers.