From May 19 to 22, 2022, the last transnational M4 project meeting was held in Bajina Basta and on Mountain Tara as part of the implementation of the SHE LEADS project. This four-day event was attended by representatives of all three countries participating in the project, Italy, Slovenia and Serbia. In addition to the members of the project team, female outdoor guides from Italy and Serbia participated in the exchange of experiences, as well as ladies from Slovenia and Italy who plan to start guiding in the near future. The participants of the meeting were accommodated in the Mountaineering Hut in Rastiste, which was also the base for all other activities.
On the first day of the implementation of the program, after a joint welcome lunch, the guests from Italy and Slovenia together with the hosts from MA “Tara” had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the waterfall of the river Vrelo. The famous river is often called the Year River because, as one of the shortest rivers in Europe, it is only 365m long. The final destination for the first day was Rastiste mountain hut. After a short presentation of the facility itself and its transformation from an old abandoned school into a modern mountain hut, it was time to rest and prepare for tomorrow’s activities.
The second day was dedicated to getting to know the surroundings. After a short presentation of the first 10 years of MA Tara’s existence, prepared by Nenad Lecic, project coordinator and president of the club, a hiking tour was held up to two beautiful viewpoints, Orlov vis and Dujin breg. The tour was led by licensed female mountain guide Sladjana Biljic from MC Tara. After a few hours of hiking in the beautiful landscapes of NP Tara, visiting viewpoints, a break for rest and photography, our small SHE LEADS expedition returned to the base, the mountain hut in Rastiste. After rest and lunch, a meeting of the project team was held, where all discussed the results of the project so far, as well as the activities that await us until the end of the project. In the meantime, other participants of this project meeting, representatives of the Mountaineering Association of Serbia and lady guides from Serbia who received their guide licenses as part of the project, also arrived in Rastiste.
The third day, Saturday, was the most dynamic. Early wake-up and breakfast and then transfer by bus to Mitrovac, i.e. Visitor Center of NP Tara. The center hosted the key segment of this meeting, the exchange of experiences between new female guides from Serbia and experienced guides from Italy with ladies from Italy and Slovenia who plan to become guides. In a very constructive atmosphere, first-hand experiences were exchanged about the experience related to passing the guiding tests as well as the first guided tours. A lot of questions, a lot of observations contributed to make this an extremely successful activity. This is followed by an outdoor activity, i.e. a hiking tour from Mitrovac along trail 9a to the Banjska stena viewpoint and all the way to the mountain hut in Rastiste, under the guidance of Mileva Jovanovic, who obtained her guide license through the SHE LEADS project. On the Banjska stena viewpoint, all of us had a lunch in nature in an unreal environment. After lunch, the tour continued to Rastiste. Upon arrival at the mountain lodge, the participants of the SHE LEADS project had the opportunity to spend some time with children with special needs from the “I have a dream” day care center. A short walking tour, games in nature as well as a presentation on the info boards made these little ones leave Rastiste very happy. And at the end of the day, as icing on the cake, the guests were presented with Serbian slava. The hosts in traditional costumes performed all the folk customs associated with the celebration, and the guests enjoyed a festive meal. The foreign guests were delighted and had many questions about our traditions and customs.
And finally, on the last day of the meeting, it was the turn of outdoor activities on the water. The local female guide was Jelena Vukasinovic, who led a kayak tour and paddling on SUP boards. This activities wwere realized at Perucac Lake in beautiful weather and seems to have been ideal for the very end of the meeting. After returning in the hut, the impressions were summarized and the great satisfaction of all participants was expressed, not only with this meeting, but with the entire SHE LEADS project.
The Erasmus+ Sport Project SHE LEADS, which is implemented with the support of the European Union, is in its final phase, and the coordinators of the partnership agree that the results of the project have largely exceeded expectations, and that the immeasurable added value of the project is the cultural exchange between Italy, Slovenia and Serbia.