ARCHELON’s retreat was a sea turtle summit at 1850m.
It is common knowledge that, in order to withstand time, seeds need to be regenerated by having them planted in the soil, to be thus replaced by a new generation of seeds. In analogy, a purpose that brings people together, like a seed, needs to be regenerated in order to withstand time. With this in mind we prepared a two-day retreat for ARCHELON’s staff and current Board and Committee members.
Twenty “turtlers” responded to this call, reached mountain Tymphristos, a 4- hour- drive from Athens, and gathered in the mountain shelter Velouchi (1850 m. alt) on 1-3 November. You could argue that the place was too far from sea turtles. That’s right – we wanted it to be far enough from the beach and we succeeded!
There was fog around the shelter most of the time, but every time the fog was dissolved, the views were stunning. Most of us walked in the alpine landscape up to the lake. A team of 4 reached the summit of 2310 m; They were Daphne, Chara , Odysseas and Giorgos.
In the cosy space of the shelter, hosted by Panagiotis and Achilleas, who is also a volunteer at the Rescue Centre, we watched slide shows and videos from the latest season in Zakynthos and Kyparissia. We also had a presentation about “People in the beginnings of ARCHELON”. The older amongst us remembered and the young learned of important people who helped ensure protection of sea turtles in Greece like Nikos Margaris, Yiannis Palaiokrassas, Antonis Tritsis and others. Famous “turtlers” like Colin Limpus, Jack Frazier, Marydale Donnely, and Luc Hoffmann, the founder of WWF, were also mentioned for their help and support. We remembered old friends like Nikos Lalotis of the Zakynthian Ecological Movement, Catharine Butterworth, and also Thodoros Spondylides, the former mayor of Glyfada, who offered the space for the Rescue Centre 25 years ago.
As one would expect, we had several exchanges on what the “ideal” sea turtle protection society would do, on how far do we think we are from this “ideal’ and on how each one of us could envisage their own contribution to reach the “ideal”.
There were many jokes, there was wine and tsipouro, good food, singing and guitar playing as well as a ceremony of very important awards like the loudest snoring, the prettiest pajamas etc. We drove back to Athens feeling enriched and more knowledgeable, full of images from these great mountains.
Participants: Alexis Sachinides, Anna Kremezi- Margaritouli, Anna Lamaj, Daphne Mavrogiorgos, Dimitris Margaritoulis, Dimitris Fytilis, Elly Tarabe, Chara Papailiou, Katerina Papagiannopoulou, Katerina Tsikalaki, Lenio Margaritouli, Odysseas Paxinos, Olga Drettaki, Panagiota Theodorou, Rania Spyropoulou, Thomas Arapis, Giannis Chalkias, Giorgos Valais, Dimitris Dimopoulos, Giorgos Parchas.
(story by A. Kremezi- Margaritouli, photos: D. Fytilis, D. Mavrogiorgos, D. Dimopoulos, E. Tarabe)
A loggerhead making a nest with her flipper wrapped in a fishing net
ARCHELON's 9 conservation volunteer projects for 2020
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…
- OUR NEWS20/03/2023
More than half of the rehabilitated sea turtles got released back to the sea in 2022!
The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada rescues, takes care of and rehabilitates injured sea turtles from all parts of Greece since 1994. More than half of the sea turtles that were under care at the Rescue Centre in 2022 got released back to the sea after reaching full recovery this year! Read more…