субота, 20 червня 2015 р.

Žemaitija National Park Volunteers Work Camp

     This year Žemaitija National Park organized its first working camp for international volunteers. The aim of such camps is to combine working, learning and cultural exchange. The concept of this work camp is the following: volunteers are getting tasks from the park representatives, contributing their skills and time to working for the park or local community. Volunteers live in a camp located in the old military town among the forest, get full food supply and covering of travel expenses. The camp hosted 9 volunteers from France, Italy, Germany, Ukraine and South Korea. I was the leader of the camp, responsible for communication with the park administration and all the aspects of the work and leisure activities. 

     The first day after arrival of the volunteers was about getting to know each other and explore the territory around our living place. The volunteers had excursion at Cold War museum, visited Plateliai lake. Every day in our free time we were playing a lot of sport games - volleyball, basketball and football, made a campfire with barbeque every night. Twice during the camp we went to the stadium of Plateliai to play football and to learn to play traditional Lithuanian game ripka with the locals. One of the first tasks of working camp was to install boxes in the forest for geocatching quest. Also volunteers made a lot of improvements inside the military town - cleaned the flower garden, brushed and painted old playground. During the weekend part of the volunteers went to hitchhike to Tallinn, other people including me went by bicycles to Klaipėda and Curgonian spit. During this trip we visited our colleagues in Klaipėda, travelled by bicycles through amazing bicycle route at Kuršiu Nerija, swam in the Baltic sea and rested on the beach.
    During the second week of work camp volunteers were preparing the territory of the military town for renewing, for example, we were digging out the trees with roots at the abandoned military stadium. Besides, we had informative workshop on making the birdhouses, during which volunteers using tools and schemes made six educational birdhouses and learned a variety of birds singing voices. On the last day of the camp volunteers were cleaning special sand grounds for insects and sorting ticketing stickers of the Žemaitija National Park. At the final meeting with the national park representatives volunteers shared their ideas about the future of Plokštinė military town and the concept for the future volunteers work camps at the park. 
    These two weeks we spend in a good mood in the nature; enjoying the company of interesting people from different parts of the world;sharing our cultural and personal experiences; living as a true volunteers, sharing everything: kitchen and food, accommodation, working and leisure time; travelling together; helping each other and the environment.

d.i.y. flag of the camp, made of natural colouring components: flowers, plants and burnt firewood.

Installing quest boxes

Cleaning the garden

Brushing and painting the playground

On the way

Baltic seashore

Constructing the birdhouses

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