Eco Kids Learn about Biodiversity and Conservation


 team Blue Monkeys Looking for  a motmot

Today’s Theme: Biodiversity and Conservation

Today’s Arts and Crafts Project: Jungle Journals

Theme Song: Ham and Eggs!

Itinerary 5:30 AM: Wake up to Howler Monkey troop passing overhead.

The first day at Chaa Creek Eco Kids summer camp began a little earlier than expected for some campers. After all, it’s quite difficult to sleep when a howler monkey troop comes roaring through at the crack of dawn!

Of course, once everyone was already awake, it would have been a shame to waste all that good daylight. Today’s theme was Biodiversity and Conservation, which meant that birdwatching, a trip to the natural history museum, and a up-close encounter with the Chaa Creek Butterfly Farm were on the agenda.

After all the tooth-brushing, face-washing, and breakfast eating (Johnny Cakes with Eggs and Beans on the menu), energy levels were high enough to play a couple intense games of Wizards, Trolls and Gnomes before moving over to work on the Jungle Journals. After gathering enough leaves, flowers and natural artifacts to decorate their journals, campers managed to put together some pretty nifty designs before heading off on their hikes. The journals are intended to give everyone a chance to note down details of their stay, but can also double as emergency flyswatters, should the occasion arise.

Chaa Creek naturalist guides David and Hilberto led the groups out on the birdwatching hikes along the medicine trail, where campers got to spot turkey vultures, green iguanas, tanagers, and motmots. Team Blue Monkeys (Howler Monkeys and Fireflies) even spotted a howler monkey munching on a midmorning mango!

Campers decided to follow the monkey’s example for snacktime before heading the Natural History Museum, where they got interact with some of the hands-on exhibits, including the tamandua skeleton, animal skulls, and reproduction of a traditional Mayan home. Last stop before lunch was the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm, where the naturalists walked everyone through the life cycle of the Blue Morpho, from egg to butterfly. They also let the campers have a close encounter of the butterfly kind, with Blue Morphos landing on hands, shirts, heads, and even ears!

After lunch, campers had a nice long swim in the river, hiked back to camp (with a couple breaks to shelter from the rain), and took a quick break (and showers). After dinner, campfire songs, and roasting marshmallows, everyone was too tired to do anything but fall asleep! Hopefully the howler monkeys let us sleep in tomorrow!

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