According to a legend, the municipality of Kastanienbaum („chestnut tree"), in the outskirts of Lucerne, received its name for the story of two Italian travellers.
They were on their way across the Alps and got into trouble, because they didn't have any funds to pay for accommodation or food. Luckily, after a long, exhausting day they found a generous family, who could offer them a bed and some food. Appreciating the selfless support by the family, and in absence of anything else to offer, they gave their hosts two chestnuts as a sign of gratitude. The family planted the chestnuts near their house, close to Lake Lucerne. Over the years, decades and centuries a marvellous chestnut forest developed, reason enough to call the place "Kastanienbaum" from thereon.
Unfortunately, nowadays only few of the chestnut trees are left in Kastanienbaum, hence the International School of Zug and Lucerne (ISZL) thought it would be a nice idea to organise a Plant-for-the-Planet Academy on their premises. This has now become reality: on the 15th of November 27 curious international students arrived on the beautiful grounds of the Lucerne Campus of the ISZL to hear, learn and act on the climate crisis.
Thanks to Sunrise Communications AG and the International School of Zug and Luzern making this event happen.
The day started with what must have been the funniest performance of the Plant-for-the-Planet presentation in living memory. Ambassadors Myrielle and Anna delivered a show that not only enlightened the present children and adults about Plant-for-the-Planet, but at the same time made them roll on the floor laughing. Consequently well prepared and high-spirited, the group then continued by playing the World Game. After that, the importance of rhetoric skills for the success of the Billion Tree Campaign was discussed, followed by some practical exercises.
A healthy and tasty lunch strengthened everyone for the more practical parts of the Academy: the planting. Inspired by the movie "The Man Who Planted Trees" the group began their project. And they had come up with a special idea: they wouldn't plant the trees straight into the ground, but – following the legacy of Kastanienbaum – plant a chestnut into a pot, so that it could grow bigger first. The pots were taken home for proper and gentle care.
But not enough: an old tree branch, that had fallen down in the nearby forest was also painted blue (the school's colour) to become a tree monument. Pledges to protect the planet were written on the back of everyone's photos to be laminated and to be hung into the branches of the tree monument. A great, artistic idea!
Last but not least, a small group of new ambassadors withdrew from the rest of the group to practice the evening presentation for parents, teachers and friends. Of course, everyone else didn't stay idle. Ideas on what to do as Climate Justice Ambassadors were discussed actively in the room during the World Café.
And so the wonderful day came to an end with the closing ceremony. Before the new ambassadors finally received their certificates and ambassador packs, Benjamin, Alexis, Piper, Matyas and Robin gave an exciting speech, explaining to their parents and the other present adults what Plant-for-the-Planet is all about.
We say thank you to the brilliant team at ISZL for the organisation of the day, to our sponsor Sunrise Communications AG who made this day possible and of course to all new and old Climate Justice Ambassadors.
This was already the fifth Academy since 2013. Further Academies supported by Sunrise Communications AG are planned.