What is Youth at the Top?
It is a project led by ALPARC, in partnership with Educ’Alpes for the French Alps, which mobilize groups of young people at a common annual date, in an active, civic process, with a symbolic and imaginative approach.
On 11th July 2017, groups of young people will meet in several Alpine protected Areas and natural sites throughout the Alps and Carpathians in order to share a physical, human, cultural and artistic collective experience in the mountains. For the 2017 edition more than 50 simultaneous events have already been planned!
”Youth at the top” is a collective project originating from the “Mountain Environment Education in the Alpine Protected Areas” working group, organized for the third time this year, under the coordination of ALPARC and Educ’Alpes with the financial support of the German Ministry for the environment and the Principality of Monaco.
For the second edition in 2016, more than 40 events took place simultaneously, organized by different Protected Areas and local organizations (associations, refuge keeper…) all over the Alps and the Carpathians, near a summit or a refuge, including various activities: rock painting, land art, writing, wood carving, light painting, tales, treasure hunting, stargazing, climbing peaks, solidarity actions, meetings with mountain players, etc.
Watch the Best-of 2016 video!
Are the mountains boring?
Has contact with nature become a waste of time?
All over the Alps, people are disturbed by the lack of young people in the mountains, notably in summer. Are the mountains boring? Here, there and everywhere people are beginning to realize that our children and our young people are short of … nature. Has contact with nature become a waste of time?
Omnipresent screens, hectic lifestyles, no more room to simply… go out. Yes, out, in the open air, in woods or beside a stream. Sit in a meadow, listen, smell, observe. And then walk, climb, up the slope and maybe reach the summit?
For, from France to Slovenia, the Alpine protected areas are very keen to recreate or strengthen the link between mountain nature and young people from here and elsewhere. Because living in the Alps does not necessarily mean knowing the region and travelling all over it. Because mountaineering means education. Because the young people of our areas are also our discussion partners and tomorrow’s players, and also because it is quite simply vital for every human being to have regular contact with nature.
So, along with many other activities and projects, we have together imagined an original way to take young people of the Alps to experience the mountains, spend a night up there, and rediscover the power of being a group and the values of citizenship and solidarity. A collective operation rich in symbolism: Youth at the Top!
Across six Alpine countries and three Carpathians countries
"Youth at the Top" is foremost an international project: a collective action organized simultaneously in six Alpine countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland), which aims to create links between the different countries and symbolically go beyond administrative and language barriers by considering the Alps as a sole region. The third edition will be enriched by five events organized by three Carpathians countries (Poland, Romania and Slovakia).
So this is a day that mobilizes several mountain actors around a unifying, original action. Above all it is be a friendly project to allow young people to “live an experience”, with the aim of making them aware of the value and importance of these mountain territories and developing (or giving back) a feeling of belonging there.
The evening of 11th July is the cornerstone of the operation when the young people will come together around a collective artistic action on the theme of light. Their restitutions (pictures, videos, etc) will then be shared on Internet and showcased through a web-documentary.