Pangaea EcoCamp – June 7, 2012

Blog written by Rebecca BERKER, Germany, 18 (Pangaea Mongolia Selection Camp Young Explorer) and Magdalena 'Leni' GRUENDL, Germany, 20 (Pangaea Mongolia Expedition Young Explorer)

“Seeing our 16 Eco-kids talk to most of the students from the school about recycling made me cry for joy and really believe that we, the youths of today can make a difference. “ Our last day here in Kraljevo could not have been any better. Today we were interacting a lot with the students, mainly with the 16 eco camp participants. But let’s start from the beginning…

So we all gathered in the morning to get to know the participants better. We started off with a short introduction game, followed by a lively discussion about local environmental problems and solutions. Waste management and reducing the amount of trash are the biggest problems of the city. We were surprised how carefully the children observe their environment and how much they know.  They suggested a lot of valuable solutions like installing a recycling system at the school and raising awareness by talking to their own classmates first and then spreading the message in the whole city.

In order to show the importance of taking action we opened one rubbish bin to see its content and to recycle PET bottles from the other trash. Since the kids were participating so actively and eager to act straight away we had the idea to immediately try to convince their peers about recycling. Before spreading out to all classes that where at the school at that moment we practiced how to motivate others to join the green movement of recycling. Then they turned everything they have learned into action while talking either one by one or in front of a class of students. Their enthusiasm and passion for the environment was awesome to see and they managed to create an amazing atmosphere despite the short training they had. Their peers were very interested and moved by the examples they gave, and our Eco-kids where even more motivated to act by their success and positive feedback.

“That is when I realized that there is nothing better than a smile on a kids face. And seeing our 16 youngsters talking to more than 27 classes and convincing more than 750 in total to recycle made me cry for joy and really believe that we, the youths of today can make a difference.” 
“In order to do so we must share our passion with the young people and plant the seed in their mind so that it can grow.”

After a short evaluation and eating well-deserved cookies we worked out a concept on how to start an Act Project.  Finding and getting sponsors seems to be the biggest problem. We did another role-game but this time they had to either sell a useless article or convince a sponsor to donate money for his own trip during the summer holidays. The kids where highly motivated and came up with creative ideas and the more we practiced the more professional and comfortable everyone got. 

With no doubt this has been a very successful day that exceeded all our expectations and we are all looking forward to meet up with the excited kids in a few days in Tara to spend 5 days exploring and learning about the beautiful area.

We were kindly invited out for dinner by Marina, the school principal. When the table was fully packed with all kinds of delicious Serbian food and we thought that this is the main meal, we were told that we’re only eating the starters. This continued and more and more delicious food came. I think we now all have quite a good idea what a “real” Serbian dinner looks like and we all enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for the invitation! Tomorrow morning we’ll now leave for the National Park…

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