SCI Workcamp “Bear the Peace”

The project took place in:



Written by Dora Medvaric

February 2016

In this short story of my first workcamp you will found something about bears, nature, peace and my experience in Kuterevo bear refuge.

Velebit Association Kuterevo

Velebit Association Kuterevo is a small local organization which was founded in 1995 and since then is active in fields of preservation of natural and cultural heritage. The main activities of the organisation are to take care of orphan bears and the bear facilities within the Bear Refuge, informative and educational work with visitors and running the Volunteers’ Station. This organisation believes that through the protection of the bear they will be protected other animals and plants and their habitats. The Bear Refuge was founded in 2002 as a local initiative supported by experts in the filed of nature conversation. Today there are 9 bears in Bear Refuge, between 5 and 33 years old. Most of them lost their mothers during their first year of life and were not able to survive in the wild.

My first workcamp started…

It was a really hot day when I arrived at the bus station in Otočac. I didn’t know that a girl, who was in the same bus with me, would be a member of my first volunteer group. Suddenly, she started talking on French with other men at bus station. I was thinking that nobody will show up on our meeting point but then that girl and a man came to me and started talking with me in English. It was my first conversation in English and I was a bit worried about it.The man told me that he would be one of our camp leaders. I was really happy about it as he was looking so cute. He told to Ocean (the French girl) and me that we should wait there for other volunteers. When we met the others, we went to Kuterevo where another camp leader, Ivana was waiting for us.We put our stuff in the “Belgian house”. It was a wooden house where we were sleeting. After that we had our first meeting where we made our timetable for cooking team and wash dishes team […]


Last week we were talking about Balkan wars and people who were responsible for peace in Balkan and in other parts of the world. We decided to write their names to planks and put it near plants that we planted. We also made a wall of peace where visitors can leave a mark promising to spread the message of peace. Now, the Alley of Peace is a place where visitors can enjoy as well as sit there and relax. The last night we had the ceremony organised by Ivan Crnković Pavenka, the president of the Association. We all got a necklace and we became Kuterevo volunteers.The night was beautiful. The moon was full and you could see thousands of stars in the sky.

Oh ,I forgot to say that the camp was in Croatia and I was the only local volunteer. As habitants do not speak English, i had to be the translator of the group. Challenging for me! Although the youngest in my group and yet not adult,  I had a really good time there                                            13921201_688470654636009_7442028089198170164_n

Yes, these smart, good, happy and crazy people were part of my group. I’m so happy that i met them and I hope that we will see each other again.  I’m sending a big kiss and greetings to each of them!

Article written by Dora Medvaric, workcamp “Bear the Peace”, Croatia, August 2016