By: Rodeli Mendez, 11 years old
The following is a submission of one of our applicants to this year’s Chaa Creek Eco Kids Summer Camp.
Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the annual event gives 24 young Belizeans between the ages of 8 and 13 a chance to learn about their natural world through a mix of adventure, social interaction, fun and hands-on education aimed at instilling a sense of wonder and responsibility for the environment.
The Eco Kids are selected after submitting a 300 word written essay which is reviewed and shortlisted by the Chaa Creek scholarship committee with the winners going on to attend the summer camp.
Chaa Creek will be providing all lodging, three healthy meals and snacks each day, structured educational activities, arts and craft materials, tee shirts, 24-hour camp counselor supervision, and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.
Good luck potential Eco Kids!
Why Rodeli want to be an eco-kid
I want to start by saying that there are many ways to be an eco-kid, but one main reason why I want to be one. I want to be an eco-kid, well, because I just love nature.
I always dreamed of being taught about my environment and how to protect it. I ask myself questions about the environment and do observations and research on it. I want to find out if roaches bite, what types of bugs live on plants, how many types of medicinal plants we have in Belize, and many more things about science and my environment. When I am not reading fairy-tales, I am busy reading my father’s science books that he uses to teach with.
Last year, I did a science computer program to improve my knowledge on science. I enjoyed it because I learnt a lot of fun facts about science. I want to be an eco-kid because I love animals and plants and am fascinated by their interactions. I go to my backyard and have tons of questions based on what I observe. How can wee wee ants destroy an entire plant in just hours? Why is the water in the creek green? Why did I have a row of beautiful orange plants grow after my dad cleared a portion of my yard? I want to find out so much about my environment.
It is very important to know and use the 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). I’ve tried many times to plant flowers and fruit trees. At times, I fail to make them grow healthy and strong, but I don’t give up. I am very observant and look for crafts out of recycled things. I make some art such as boats and flowers from used papers. But I want to do much more with what we have in our environment.
I want to be an eco-kid because I love nature. I want answers to a lot of my questions. I want to do crafts with materials. I want to experience nature at work. I look forward to learning more about how to be an eco-kid and how to save the environment.