Look out World –
Here They Come!
The 2014 Eco Kids Summer Camp Graduation and Wrap-Up
When we last left our Eco Kids, it was Friday morning, and in spite of being a little sleepy after a very full Thursday learning about organic gardening, turning earth in to mud at the splash party and enjoying another fun filled, creative evening around the campfire, they were up and raring to go.
With some happy campers hitting the pool and others opting for more equestrian adventures with Chaa Creek’s accommodating horses, everyone had another big day and afternoon, characterised, as one councillor put it “well spent with smiles and laughter” and lots of anticipation as the stage was cleared for the Epic Song Contest.
And Epic it was. After making sure everyone was wellfuelled with a big dinner, the competition began with Team Howler Monkey performing their Eco remix of “Magic in the Air”. Next up were the Jaguars hitting the high notes with “Moves Like Jaguar…” oops, sorry, Mick, that’s “Moves Like Jagger”. Team Tapir did “Let her Go”, and the Toucans closed with their regal rendition of “Royals”.
The judges, comprised of Macal River Camp’s head honcho Mr Docio and councillors had their work cut out for them, but when the dust settled the Jaguars and Tapirs reigned victorious.
The rules were eased a bit and lights out was called later than usual due to the “Legend of Capitan Glock” which, combined with the leftover adrenaline from the song contest and the arrival of one of those great tropical thunderstorms, made everyone grateful for the chance to huddle together and sleep in a friend’s cabin courtesy of the slumber party.
Saturday’s morning muster was understandably a slow one, with lots of yawning and rubbing sleep out of eyes. However, a hearty breakfast once again worked wonders and the Eco Kids jumped to for more arts and crafts followed by the teams getting back together for a game of Jeopardy, won by Team Tapir, who walked away with a swag of school supplies as first prize.
The excitement continued with a presentation by that best little zoo in the world, the Belize Zoo. The kids got to meet and pet Happy the barn owl and Rose the crocodile and there was no doubt that this was one of the highpoints of a week filled with highlights. Just as with swimming, it didn’t matter if they were from the city or the country, the kids loved interacting with animals and nature.
After a last swim in the pool the campers trooped back to camp to embark on the Epic Treasure Hunt, with the teams now combined and renamed the Toucapis and the Howlaguars and tasked with finding Captain Glock’s infamous buried treasure.
As with all treasure hunts, there were red herrings and false clues to throw the hunters off the track, but Eco Kids are persistent. After finding that X marked the spot not to the treasure, but only more clues, they kept searching until both teams finally arrived at the sealed treasure chest, only to find that they still needed to decipher the key. It was a close run thing, with much to and froing, and in the end the Toucapis unlocked the secret and claimed the prize of fabulous toys. But as the Howlaguars enjoyed their consultation prizes, a good time was had by all.
How to end such an amazing day? Why, Chaa Creek’s famous BBQ chicken and chocolate banana splits, of course, followed by the final talent show. After a week of teamwork and creativity the kids’ imaginations lit up the jungle. And it didn’t stop there – reports are that not only the Eco Kids, but their councillors as well danced the night away. Lights out? Not on the last night of Eco Kids Camp…
Sunday morning came way too early, and had the twinge of sadness that comes with saying goodbye to so many great new friends and experiences. But the last breakfast together was filled with laughter as everyone recounted their favourite memories. The well-disciplined kids cleaned up their cabins and the campgrounds after packing and began rehearsing for the closing ceremonies.
When the parents began arriving around mid-day, the sadness of saying goodbye to friends was quickly replaced with joy as the Eco Kids ran to welcome parents and friends, who were soon treated to what the councillors report was one of the most extraordinary shows in Eco Camp history.
So it was smiles all around as everyone enjoyed the skits, songs and awards, with prizes going to best camper, as well as the friendliest, cleanest, craziest, and the coveted title of most original prankster. The councillors said they were filled with pride, and maybe wiped away the odd tear watching the newly graduated Eco Kids receive their certificates and group photos.
But while this was the end of the 2014 Eco Kids Educational Camp, it was also the beginning for 24 newly hatched environmentalists, who now have a better appreciation of Belize’s stunning natural world and an understanding of what it takes to ensure that Belize’s precious natural resources will still be around for their children, and their children’s children. Armed with a knowledge of what environmental sustainability is all about, and having picked up some skills in teamwork, sharing, creativity and the self confidence that comes with all of that, the Eco Kids are better prepared to face the challenges of the future and do their bit to make the world a better place.
Oh, and did we mention having heaps of fun while doing it?
Let’s just say there was a lot of joy all around the Macal River Camp that day.
The Eco Kids and their dedicated councillors wanted to thank the following groups and people who, once again, made the Camp such a memorable experience.
The Fleming family, and especially Mick and Lucy, who created the concept and have been selflessly donating their resources, time and energy in sponsoring the Eco Kids Camp for several years now.
The Chaa Creek staff who, as usual, went well beyond the call of duty to make this year’s Eco Kids Camp the best ever.
Debbie Baldwin for doing such a great job as master of ceremonies and Levi Baldwin as this year’s Eco-kids director, and all of the councillors, junior councillors, camp administrators, facilitators and service providers, fun makers, and memory creators.
And thanks to sponsors Caribbean Treasures, Go Tee’s, A & R, Three flags, Mad Dog Motors, the Edwards Family, BRC Printing and Dr Rosita Arvigo.
Well done everyone! And see you next year.