In completing this report, I am spoilt for choice in terms of the range of experiences to document. I have chosen a theme of strong women to link these experiences. One of the key impressions that I took away from my visit to Estonia was the resilience and creativity of so many Estonian women, not only those that we met, but historical figures who have coped with turbulent times in the history of their country.
The Young Rangers programmes are advertised in many ways across the island to recruit participants, with social media a major method of communication. Mari asks potential applicants to write a letter of motivation, explaining why they want to join the programme and says this helps the young people to see the value in it, even before they start on the activities. They have very good gender balance on the programmes with equal numbers of girls and boys applying on average and this year, slightly higher numbers of girls than boys. I was very impressed by this and wonder if it has to do with a general approach to education wherein outdoor learning seems to be a standard part of the school day and gender stereotypes don’t seem to lead girls to opt out of hands on, practical outdoor activity as they are reported to do in the UK.
Our guide Maarika Naagel coined a phrase early on in our journey. She told us we would meet many “positive crazy people” on our Estonian adventure. She assured us that this was a great thing – we would see! With a glint in her eye she informed the group that she herself was indeed a positive crazy person. So, in a new country, unable to speak the language and with no other options, we all clambered aboard the bus with a self-confessed crazy person at the wheel and began our Estonian adventure.
This is a report on a course developed by ARCH, hosted by Maarika Naagel from Viitong Heritage Tours and funded through the Erasmus+ programme. What better time to visit this culturally rich country than its 100th birthday! During this study trip, I experienced & participated in Estonian traditions relating to: dialect, food, daily life, costume, […]
‘The forest is a poor man’s fur coat’ I heard this saying as we were walking through the National Museum, and it struck a chord with me. Over half of Estonia is covered by forest, and you can see how much they value it in their management, interpretation and visitor centres, and in so many of their natural wooden products. I was very impressed with RMK, especially with the design of their visitor centres and interpretation
Estonian exchange trip August 2014 Kirsty Rosie, Highland Council Ranger Service The project On August 23rd 2014, six Scottish delegates set off on a journey across the north and Baltic seas to visit Estonia. The project was promoted by Arch Network; a Scottish Non-Government Organisation based in Comrie, Perthshire, promoting learning and development in natural […]