Eco Kids Summer Camp Day 3 – Medicinal Plants

Explaining why the white poisonwood is dangerous

Today’s Theme: Medicinal Plants

Today’s Arts and Crafts Project: Pet Rocks

Theme Song: “Jungle Juice”

6:30 AM; The howler monkeys let us sleep in!

Surprisingly enough, the howler monkeys did not wake us up at 5:30 am, but most campers were already up and at it by 6:00! I wonder if they all wake up this early at home. Of course, they could just have been super excited about today’s Medicinal Plants theme. I mean, how often do you get a presentation from Mrs. Salome about the uses of medicinal plants, and then get to hike a medicine trail to spot them up close? And then to go horseback riding afterwards? Man, even the counselors were excited about that.

Of course, there was maybe a little too much energy for 7:00 in the morning, but a couple morning games of Dodgeball (after a big breakfast of toast and sausages) helped to burn a little of that off.  While waiting for Mrs. Salome, campers worked on the pet rocks they had grabbed yesterday from the canoeing trip up the river. Some were quite excited to take the rocks home, especially when counselors mentioned that they never needed to be fed or walked.

Mrs Salome’s presentation on medicinal plants highlighted several popular Belizean herbs, such as serosee, thyme, and aloe vera, and allowed campers got to practice their bush medicine skills. A couple lucky volunteers pretended to have earaches, and they were cured by using thyme. From the excellent bedside manner displayed by some campers, it would seem there are some future doctors in the group!

The group then took off for the medicine trail, where they got up close and personal with several plant species, such as gumbolimbo, skunk root, mahogany, wild yams, and allspice. Some even wanted to get close to the black and white poisonwoods, but reconsidered after hearing how itchy they can make you. Points for enthusiasm, however.

After lunch (Pizza and Key lime pie) teams Jaguar and Firefly got to go horseback riding, while teams Howler Monkey and Blue Morpho stayed behind to enjoy the pool (Teams will switch places on Friday). A couple of the smaller campers were a little afraid to get on the horses, but once they were on, all you could hear was “Go faster! We want to go faster!”. After climbing a couple hills, there was enough space to allow a short trot, led by the guide. Some of the campers were riding like pros, and comments overheard by the counselors included:”Yeehaw, We’re in a derby!”

“Go faster horse! Faster!”

“My Horse is farting…”

“I’m a cowboy!”

Needless to say, everyone was thrilled when the ride was over, even if they will be a little sore in the morning.

Tonight’s activities include campfire stories (weather permitting), some games of beanbag toss, and skits by the counselors. No scary stories allowed though, the spiders are scary enough!

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