The first edition of the international “Youth at the Top” project was a big hit!
With a little help from the sunny weather in the whole Alpine Arc, groups of young people have participated with great enthusiasm in the first edition of this innovative project: sharing a physical, human, cultural and artistic experience in the mountains at the same time.
The 16th and the 17th of July 2015, a total of 27 events took place simultaneously in 5 alpine countries: France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Germany. More than 370 young people aged between 7 and 28 and 105 adults (guides, rangers, families, educators, artists, artisans...) participated across the whole Alpin arc. The first edition of “Youth at the top” was organized by ALPARC and Educ’Alpes with the financial support of the German Ministry for the Environment.
The participants had the chance to experience an overnight stay in a refuge or in a camp and to discover, through different artistic educational actions, the importance and the value of the alpine mountain territories. The activities organized within each event differed from one place to another: rock painting, land art, creative writing, wooden sculptures, light painting, tales, team games, star observation, walking to a summit, meetings with local peoples and many more…
A young participant from MJC Briançon in the PN Ecrins (France) declares: “I really liked spending two days with friends, sleeping outdoors, and going to the mountains during the summer holidays! We saw a refuge in a 8000-year-old cave, and I really liked the tale”.
“I did not think I would make it… It has been a long time since I last went to the mountains” Lucie, RN Passy
Whereas each event consisted of different activities, all of them shared the same aim: to bring youth from 5 alpine countries to the mountains simultaneously, in different Alpine Protected Areas and natural sites. The idea was to go beyond administrative and language barriers by considering the Alps as a sole region.
Furthermore, as most of the young participants are living in the region close to a protected area, the initiative gave them the chance to discover new areas that they may never have seen before. On the other hand, the local professionals (refuges, transport, et cetera) also benefited from taking part in the event.
Discover what went on in each of the 27 events that were part of the project and have a look at the pictures from each area at http://youth-at-the-top.org/en/contributions or visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/YATevent
After this success story, the organizers are already planning the next edition of “Youth at the Top”. A retrospective video dedicated to the 2015 edition will be published soon!
Let’s meet in 2016!