F orest pedagogues all over Slovakia met for 13th times to exchange the experiences in forest pedagogy at meeting on 14 – 15 November 2018 in Vyšná Boca, Slovakia. In addition to acquired knowledge and education, they chose the best idea for forest pedagogics activity and named the best forest pedagogue of 2018. Creative and friendly atmosphere was enriched by forest pedagogues from Czech Republic.
Almost 50 forest pedagogues from various forestry entities in Slovakia balanced their work for the past year in form of forest walks, educational projects, competition and events for different target groups.
The topic of symposium was Forest Animals, which was covered in activities during all event. Forest pedagogues from Forests of the City of Prague came to share their experiences and news. Yearly Ideas Bazaar – contained inspiration for preparation of new didactic equipment, worksheets and realization of workshop with natural material. “Plant your forest” – was the winner of category the best idea of 2018, designed by Jarka Vanyová, who presented how to plant your own forest with paper and skewers. Workshop “Sound of Forest” was practical training of interpretation of forest animal voices with some specific callers. Important part of program was very productive discussion about hard and meaningful work of forest pedagogues, including problems in forest pedagogy in Slovakia, but also in Czech Republic. Czech colleagues prepared evening activity – Night Walk in the Forest in time full of secrets, unexpected sounds and magic lights. Forest offers amount of impulses on activity in nature and forest pedagogy gives us unlimited opportunities to use. Workshop “Endless Possibilities” offered the opportunity to express the creativity in small teams. It drew the attention on 21st March – International Day of Forest and the main topic of following year “Forest and Education”.
It has been nice tradition of symposium to choose the best forest pedagogue by secret voting. Forest pedagogue, who would be an enthusiast looking for options and ways to spread message and mission of forest pedagogy to the public. This year the best forest pedagogue was named Igor Viszlai from State enterprise Forests of the Slovak Republic.
Two days, fulfilled by presentations, games, acquired experiences, new ideas usable in various regions in Slovakia and Czech Republic, went very fast. All participants agreed that it is necessary to have a consistent method of realization of forest pedagogics activities, coordinated by working group from forestry institutions. The excellent idea to invite neighbors from Prague meant the enrichment of whole successful event.
Symposium was prepared by forest pedagogues of National Forest Centre Zvolen, Slovakia.