What does a volunteer ranger do?

The education and training of Junior Rangers aims at them taking over responsible tasks in leading positions in their individual regional groups and is laid down in the society`s statute.

In the Bavarian Forest National Park, active Junior Rangers who are at least 16 and no more than 30 years old can become volunteer rangers to support the National Park Watch. They also need to have a Junior Ranger certificate and need to have shown exemplary contribution in their own individual regional groups.

On the 15th November 2013 Dr. Franz Leibl, director of the National Park Management, and Alexander Muthmann, First Chairman of the Junior Ranger society, signed a cooperation agreement which governs the employment of volunteer rangers.

The work is on a voluntary basis and there is only a compensation amount of € 30 for travelling costs and food for full-day service. In order to pay this compensation the National Park Management provides the society with an annual budget.

A further requirement in order to become a volunteer ranger is to participate in advanced training courses carried out by the National Park Management and the National Park Watch.

Where does the term “ranger” come from?

  • In 1755 Great Britain fought against the French and their Native American allies in the Hudson- Valley in North America. To be forearmed against the native Americans, who fought with unconventional methods, Major Robert Rogers received the command to build up a company consisting of soldiers, trappers and lumberjacks. The company was named Rogers` Rangers after their Commander.
  • The first national park ranger was Harry Yount, named “Rocky Mountains Harry”, a Civil War veteran and former buffalo hunter who was supposed to end the unbridled poaching in the Yellowstone National Park. After two years in service he gave up his job frustrated.
  • Today the term “ranger” is globally used for a person who works for the management of a large protected area (wilderness areas, national parks, state parks, nature reserves and biosphere reserves)

What does a volunteer do?

In many national parks and large protected areas all over the world people working on a voluntary basis support the managements of large protected areas without payment.