European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

All about Insects at Burg Finstergrün

On the 7th of October the week started very exciting and full of joy. On Sunday, 15 ukrainian kids arrived after a long bus drive in the beautiful castle in Ramingstein, Austria. 50 Austrian kids followed the next day. With so many children around, our team met the experts of tomorrow. The plan was to get them ready for Insect Repsect. All of that was feasable through Interreg Volunteer Youth and the possibility to implement own Citizen Engagement Activities.

Holisitic experience about insects

We started the day with a wide ranging program to give our young experts the knowledge they needed. Divided into several groups, the children did learn about insects in general and their importance in rural areas. Furthermore, they learned about the EU Cohesion Policy in the region and how the EU benefits for the Lungau. A representative from the Biosphere Reserve brought them closer to CEETO and on-hands-experience. Even their woodcraft skills were in use, as they needed to hammer and build the insect hotels.

The kids really loved the insect hotels as a very exciting way to adapt what they have learned so far. For the necessary strength we provided something special: locally produced Tauern-rye bread with delicious honey from the bee trail in Göriach and butter. A complete lunch just from local sources – that was great! Due to changing weather conditions a reproduced Göriach bee trail completed the day. The experts learned a lot about bees and insects and could directly use their knowledge to answer the quiz.

A full success

It simply was a wonderful day and a huge success as the children loved the day a lot. They were so excited to interactively learn more about insects and how we can save them. And they were definitely very proud to have built their own insect hotels. So they can give something back to the insects and feel stronger connected to our beautiful nature.

Respect Nature was exciting as well

In collaboration with Hanna, on Tuesday her CEA Respect Nature was carried out. There we went to the Outdoorparc in Mariapfarr and divided the kids again in smaller groups. Now, they learned about other EU Projects in the region and how to behave in nature. With packing a backpack, trying to build a carriage with sticks and jackets as well as building a tent the children enjoyed getting useful hand-on experience on those outdoor activities. Also being outside in the sun, running around and climbing through the Outdoorparc was superb for the kids.

Having local meatloaf and cheese rolls, apples and hot tea, the lunch was ready to eat. Since they learned a lot of new things and were outside, after the event happy tiredness spread to everybody. Discussing and recapitulate the day over stick bread and campfire: the day was a great success as well.

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