Rumble in the Jungle – The Eco Kids Are Here!
The Eco Kids summer educational adventure camp is now underway in the lush jungles of Belize, with Chaa Creek once again hosting twenty four budding environmentalists in a week long learning adventure that combines fun with hands-on education.
And, midway through the camp, fun is definitely the name of the game here, with the camp councillors and kids all enthusiastically reporting that a good time is being had by all.
The adventure kicked off last Sunday (20 July) at the Macal River Camp with lots of merriment and activity as everyone went over the rules, sorted out sleeping arrangement in the lovely rustic casitas (the camp’s pole house style bungalows) and settled into camp life with their first learning adventure – Chaa Creek’s popular Creatures of the Night guided nature tour. After checking out porcupines, wolf spiders and other nocturnal flora and fauna around their new home, the happy campers returned to enjoy their first night in the forest. As one of the guides remarked, “It’s amazing how quickly the kids bonded with one another and friendships are born.”
Day two saw our campers wake to a morning of songs and a hearty breakfast, after which they enjoyed games and arts and crafts, including making their own “jungle journals” out of recycled cardboard and paper. They hike to Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Centre and butterfly exhibit, with some guided birdwatching along the way, was a hit.
The third day had a Maya focus, with more hiking over to one of the many ancient Maya sites nestled within this 365 acre private nature reserve, and then a jaunt over to the conference centre for a presentation on the ancient Maya by Hugh Lamb.
Refreshing water activities were also a welcome in the warm weather, with the tranquil Macal River coming alive with an explosion of colourful tee shirts, life jackets and kids, all, of course, under the watchful eyes of the councillors. Nightly campfires are all the go, with more games and young imaginations running wild in creating songs and skits. A personal favourite is a skit involving a howler monkey being adopted by a family of Blue Morpho butterflies. Our monkey thinks he’s a butterfly until his monkey mates ask him to fly…
Sounds like some of these kids can always have a career in the dramatic arts if environmental work doesn’t beckon.
Yes, in addition to learning about their natural environment and what it takes to protect it, the kids are also getting valuable experience in teamwork, responsibility, confidence and eco-tourism while picking up other skills they’ll have for life. There’s no doubt this is a rewarding time for all concerned, and we’re looking forward to hearing more.