Thirteen interns represented protected areas and environmental and educational volunteer organizations from regions across Russia, including Primorye, Republic of Mari El, Kirov, Kaluga, Moscow, Republic of Tuva, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Republic of Adygea, Khabarovsk, and Republic of Komi. Two supervisors from GBT and two from AVC worked with the group.
In one week, we were able to visit Irkutsk, Listvyanka, and Tankhoi (Baikal Zapovednik). In Irkutsk we visited the GBT office, Tochka Kipeniya (“Boiling Point”) at Irkutsk State University, and the Baikal Interactive Ecological Center.
In Listvyanka, we visited the Baikal Museum, the ski resort, the Cherny Stone observation deck, and the GBT trail along Gudin street.
In Tankhoi, we went to the museum of nature, a public access trail, the “Protected Baikal” visitor’s center, and the zapovednik’s ethnocity.
The interns listened to educational talks about Great Baikal Trail and its volunteer projects. They learned about eco-education for young students, eco-educational board games, a framework for developing eco-lessons, environmental entrepreneurship, and ecotourism in the Baikal Zapovednik, and they attended a training called “Entertaining Education.” They also learned trail-building basics and an eco-educational activity for children, “On the Trail with a Pack.”
On the first day, the group cut ribbons off of trees at the Chersky Stone observation deck. They cut 2751 ribbons!
Participants worked on devising their own classes on the following topics:
- Sable (Fur Tzar of the Taiga)
- Waste (meeting with local residents)
- Nature and art. The fantasy world of Alexei Vorobyevsky (lessons and masterclasses)
Participants presented their ideas and shared them with colleagues at Baikal Zapovednik. They also had the chance to talk about themselves, their work, and their project. Every day interns had a debriefing with a mentor, who gave feedback. An instructor from AVC and an intern handbook helped with this work.
Our friends and experts at Baikal Interactive Ecological Center, Let’s Defend Baikal Together, Baikal Zapovednik, and Fund for the Revival of Siberian Land took part in the internship program. We appreciate their participation!
“This was the best internship of my life,” one participant said. We are very pleased. We tried to make it enjoyable!
We are grateful for the mobility program at the Association of Volunteer Centers for their support!