Belize’s Budding Environmentalists are Happy Campers
Yes, once again Belize’s young environmental activists are taking to the woods to learn about the natural world and how to protect it through environmental sustainability, responsible travel and hands-on instruction in areas such as Maya organic farming practices while getting a deeper appreciation of Belize’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
Oh, and did we mention fun? There will be lots of that during the weeklong Eco-Kids educational summer camp sponsored by The Lodge at Chaa Creek.
Each year Mick and Lucy Fleming sponsor 24 young Belizeans to take part in what some have described as the educational adventure of a lifetime. And if this sounds like an exaggeration, consider:
From Sunday, July 20th until Sunday, July 27th, the twenty-four lucky young Belizeans will stay in comfortable casitas at Chaa Creek’s Macal River Camp and enjoy three healthy meals and snacks each day while taking part in an assortment of structured educational activities including hikes to ancient Maya sites to perform archaeological excavations, horseback riding through jungle trails while studying the plants and wildlife within Chaa Creek’s 365-acre private nature reserve, hands-on field work and supervised water activities.
There will also be song writing and talent show sessions, treasure hunts, games, campfire sing-alongs, guided night-time nature walks, arts and crafts, skits and more.
Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick developed the Eco Kids program some years ago and continue to sponsor it each year, said, “It’s a very full week packed with fun and education, and judging from past Eco Kids Camps we can promise that no one will be bored.
“We want the kids to come away with a better knowledge and real appreciation for the natural wonders and cultural history of Belize. We also encourage social skills, teamwork and sharing through activities such as song writing and talent shows to give kids opportunities and the confidence to creatively express themselves and work with others.”
Pretty cool, we think, especially since it’s all free for the young environmentalists.
Chaa Creek supplies all accommodation and meals, arts and craft materials, tee shirts, 24-hour camp counsellor supervision and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.
To apply for the Eco Kids Camp, the young people had to submit a short 300 word written essay that was reviewed and shortlisted by the Chaa Creek scholarship committee. The shortlisted names were put in a lottery-style draw, with the winners going on to attend the summer camp.
The Flemings tell us that, once again this year, the quality of the essays was high, showing that Belizean kids are passionate about their country’s stunning natural environment and ready to take part in protecting it.
“We like to think that some of tomorrow’s leaders and environmentalists will get their start here, and If we can inspire even one child to devote his or herself to environmental sustainability, we’ve received a great return on our investment,” Lucy said.
We couldn’t agree more, and salute the Flemings and the Eco Kids for getting out there and walking the talk, as they say. Chaa Creek’s always promoted education as being essential to protecting Belize’s world famous, beautifully pristine yet fragile environment, and initiatives such as the Eco-Kids camp go a long way in that regard.
Eco-tourism creating eco-awareness. We like the sound of that.
And if you or someone you know are interested but not in this year’s Eco Kids Camp, remember that there’s always next year, and it’s never too early to start thinking about and working on those essays. You won’t regret it.
This year’s Eco-Kids for 2014 are:
- Katja Gough ( Humming Bird Elementary Belize)
- Alyssa Smith (St. Andrews Cayo)
- ViJae Robateau (Hattieville Government School)
- Elon Perdomo (Hattieville Government School)
- Emily Leal (Holy Redeemer Primary School)
- Zoey Frazer (St. Andrews Cayo)
- Alayjah Cadle (Holy Redeemer Primary School)
- Andre Briceno (St. Peter’s Anglican School)
- Nathan Garbutt (Hattieville Government School)
- Sydney Jimenez (Nazarene Primary Cayo)
- Tavion Ford (Holy Redeemer Primary)
- Dejion Mcfadzean (St. Andrews Cayo)
- Ashanit Cal (Ladyville Evangelical School)
- Dahlee Tyrell (Ladyville Evangelical School)
- Ramaine Arnold (Ladyville Evangelical School)
- Ellen Tzib (Cristo Rey RC School Cayo)
- Maya Atkinson (San Pedro Columbia)
- Patricia Sharp (Hope Creek Methodist School)
- Ranai Gonzales (Andrews Anglican Cayo)
- Jackson Leslie (The Island Academy)
- Kevin Sanchez (Big Falls R.C Toledo)
- Ronaldo Pop (Big Falls R.C Toledo)
- Christian Requena (Cristo Rey RC School Cayo)
- Justin Puc (Hope Creek Methodist School)