Saturday July 21, 2012

This afternoon, the excited chatter of twenty four children came echoing through the jungle, as our new group of eco-campers entered the Macal River Camp, where they will be spending the next eight days.  The 2012 Eco Kids Camp brings us a unique group of twelve boys and twelve girls who have travelled from all the corners of Belize to experience what is sure to be another memorable week of friends, fun, laughter, and of course, eco-education!

Upon arrival, the campers were introduced to their camp counselors and the sponsors of the retreat, Mick and Lucy Fleming.  The children were soon broken up into four groups (the Jaguars, Howler Monkeys, Blue Morphos, and Fireflies) and were quickly making new friends as they helped design this year’s team banners.  As the eco-campers found their assigned cabins and played some group games, the smells from the kitchen took over and the children sat down to what promised to be the first of many great meals prepared by camp leader Docio and his family.

As if all this wasn’t enough excitement for the first day, the campers were in for a treat as Chaa Creek naturalists, David and Meshack, showed up to take the kids on a Creatures of the Night walking tour.  From giant grasshoppers and cock roaches, to wolf spiders and tarantulas, to lizards and salamanders, and all sorts of creatures in between, this was the first taste of Belizean jungle nightlife for many of our young campers.  Despite being divided into two tours, and taking two different trails, it was not hard to tell when a new creature was spotted as the excited (and nervous) gasps and screams could be heard throughout the wilderness.  The tours guides were filled with interesting and informative information on everything we encountered and it was obvious the kids gained a new respect and awareness for the living things and ecosystems around them.

Upon returning to the campsite, our new arrivals got their first taste of what a four minute shower should feel like…well at the few who actually got out in time did!  It wasn’t long before everyone was back in their cabins and the lights were blown out, but the happy whispers of new friends reverberated through the silent darkness and it was evident that we were off to the start of another great adventure!

On Sunday July 22, the day theme is Biodiversity/Conservation so stay tuned for more.

Our new 2012 eco-campers arriving at camp

Hard at work on their new team flags

Yes, they were even singing on the first day

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