St. Maarten students from the ages of 12 to 14 are being invited to apply to become Junior Rangers for the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. These students will learn about several topics and skills regarding conservation from the foundation staff during planned monthly activities.
Educating the youth of St. Maarten about the importance of preserving and safeguarding our environment is essential to make long-lasting change and therefore is a key pillar for the Nature Foundation.
“We believe that if educated and inspired the future generations will be able to make better choices regarding species protection, waste management and environmental impact for the island. While St. Maarten relies on its natural environment to attract tourists providing protection to its resources is not a priority for many. Providing the youth with education and awareness about the importance of conservation will lead to sustainable, long-term change,” said Educational Outreach Officer Leslie Hickerson.
Junior Ranger programs are common throughout the Caribbean and around the world. These programs are often the stepping stones for local students to be introduced to the world of conservation while providing practical experiences and skill sets that can be applied in other areas of life.
Those that are selected to become Junior Rangers will be expected to attend monthly activities with the Nature Foundation from August 2020 until February 2021. During these meetings students will take part in a learning-based section followed by a corresponding practical experience. Some of these might include; a Reef Fish Identification course followed by a snorkel trip to see local marine life, a discussion about the effects of plastic pollution along with a beach clean-up, boat safety and skills work or opportunities to present conservation topics to their fellow rangers and contribute to the Nature Foundation Website or publications.
Junior Rangers will also be expected to be conservation ambassadors in their communities. As such students must conduct themselves in a responsible and respectful manner and use environmentally friendly practices when possible.
Those wishing to take part in the program will need to fill out a short application and include an essay about why they want to be a Junior Ranger. Students must meet the following requirements to apply: Students must live on the Dutch side of the island and be between the ages of 12 – 14. They must hold a swimming certificate or be a strong swimmer and also must have written permission from their parent or guardian to snorkel and swim. In addition, they need to be able to attend the monthly activities held by the foundation.
The application can be found on The Nature Foundation’s website at: naturefoundationsxm.org/juniorrangers. Once completed it can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due by the 15th July 2020 applicants will be informed by August 1, 2020 if they have been selected.
Photo caption: Nature Foundation Junior Rangers and their leader from 2019.