History of the registered society

About 20 years ago, the idea of establishing a youth group within the National Park was suggested by the direction of the National Park administration. One key step was taken with the start of the Junior Ranger project in 1998. The National Park Watch was in charge of organizing of the Junior Ranger project. As the program was very attractive, the number of participants rose every year. Many children were enthused by the four day holiday program at the accompanied by a ranger. To maintain this enthusiasm the former director of the National Park Watch Josef Erhard decided to offer monthly activities for the Junior Rangers all year round. The aim was to use the children`s enthusiasm for “their” National Park for as long as possible. He envisioned a gradually growing youth movement with a significant influence on the people in the National Park region. Josef Erhard was convinced that the strategy to garner the support of young people for the National Park would sooner or later lead to a significantly improved acceptance of the National Park by the local people. After 10 years of society work the result looks rather positive – from 2,200 children who have participated in the holiday program, 400 Junior Rangers have joined the society. The Junior Ranger project is well-known by the local people and acceptance for the National Park improved noticeably.


How the registered society came into being:

  • 25th October 2001 Foundation of the Junior Rangers
  • 25th October 2002 Foundation of regional groups organized by dedicated
    parents on a voluntary basis. Contact rangers lead
    the activities.
  • 25th September 2002 Presentation of the Junior Ranger logo (a lynx paw), designed
    by Franz Blach.
  • 18th December 2002 Design of the Junior Ranger website by Franz Blach
  • Design of brochures, batches, stickers, baseball caps,
    t-shirts, fleece jackets by Silvia Erhard.
  • 11th March 2004 Foundation of the registered society “Junior Ranger
    Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald” in Oberkreuzberg.
  • First chairman of the society became the former district
    administrator of the district Freyung-Grafenau and current
    member of the Bavarian Parliament Alexander Muthmann.
  • Second chairman and executive secretary became the former
    director of the National Park Watch Josef Erhard, his
    deputy became ranger Mario Schmid.

Further reasons for founding a registered society:

  • Collecting membership fees
  • Ability to carry out money transactions
  • Financial independence
  • Ability to organize parents and aides on a voluntary basis
  • Prepare young people for assuming responsible tasks