Before his planned sail around Spitzbergen in 2007, Arved Fuchs had the idea of starting an international youth camo which would have "global warming" as its main topic. This idea found immediate acceptance due to the fact that climatic problems had still not as yet been thoroughly dealt with by the media. We wanted to open the eyes of the participating young people and together with the scientist Dr. Dirk Notz and Ulrich Jordan, a teacher we are friends with, develop a concept around the subject matter we could concern ourselves with in this project.
The basic idea was to make the young people aware of these climatic problems.
If they could directly see which influence the changes in climate are having on Arctic regions, then they could get other students at their school interested and through talks inspire their fellow students and teachers to get involved in projects for the protection of the climate. This emotional aspect is very important for Arved Fuchs. In "normal" school lessons the students learn facts about the changes in climate; during a "climate camp" they would, however, be confronted directly with the effects. Small groups of ten or twelwe would then, besides listening to lectures by scientists, discuss and consider how they could handle this topic after returning home. This is an important aspect of the camp - each participant comes to his or her own conclusions and transports these back to their respective countries and tries then to get other students / friends interested in getting some drive or campaign startet. Each step, no matter how small, would be important. For Arved Fuchs it is important for the participants to learn the facts about why the ice in the Arctic regions is melting and which consequences are involved.
It is important that they learn that each person can help in small way to curb the climate changes. They cannot be stopped. But if the participants return home after the camp and in the future start buying regional products (and convince family and friends of doing the same), start pulling the plug out of the coffee machine when it is not in use and ride their bikes to the bakery insteas of using the big SUV, then they will have learned much during the week.
If they are able to get other friends interested, then they will have understood the basic idea of this project.
This is why we try, from our small office in Bad Bramstedt, to make the camp as international as possible. We dot not know beforehand how themes of climatic change are handled in schools in Romania or Estonia; we learn, however, during the camp that these topics are only dealt with in passing. Here as well, we are doing a sort of educational work and hope that the participants from these countries can perhaps get something going.
These, of course, are only small steps but when even the important politicians of the big nations have not recognized the problem and are not finding solutions, then maybe a few students at least can get something moving.