The campers started the first full day of camp early Monday morning around the campfire singing traditional Belizean songs. But their energy really showed once they had Mr. Docio’s wife fried jacks, huevos rancheros, and sausage in their bellies! After breakfast, the campers rolled the game-wheel and participated in the group game: wizards, gnomes, and trolls. By this time the sun was hot and the air was thick, so everyone really worked up a sweat!
After the game, the campers cooled down in the dining area for arts and crafts time. Under the guidance of the resident expert eco-artist Miss Lilly, each camper made their own “jungle journal” from recycled materials, which they will use to take personal notes on each day’s activities. They were immediately put to use when they were told that they would be quizzed on the information they learn throughout the day.
No sooner than the eco-kids finished their jungle journals they were off on a guided bird watching tour from one of Chaa Creek’s naturalist experts. Among Belize’s hundreds of species of birds, they saw the King Vulture, Blueblack Grassquit, and Blue Crowned Mot Mot, to which they also learned the call. The eco-kids repeated “good cook” in a deep voice to mimic the call of the Mot Mot and kindly ask for a response.
The bird watching hike was followed up by tours of Chaa Creek’s Natural History Center and Butterfly Farm to learn the importance of biodiversity and conservation. In the NHC, the eco-kids saw various animal skulls (Jaguar, Tapir, Kinkaju, Gibnot, Howler Monkey) as well as what a traditional ancient Maya home may look like, to conserve the cultural history of Belize. They were also amazed to learn that the Maya believed that humans were made of their staple crop, corn!
Inside the Butterfly Farm they received a lecture on the lifecycle of the Blue Morpho butterfly with first-hand evidence of all life stages! It lays eggs on the leaves of the ant plant tree, as they contain 1% cyanide, which protect them from predators looking for snacks as they go through their first few stages of life.
Although the eco-kids were excited about the hiking from the morning, the relentless sun made them even more excited for lunch at the lodge and then a trip to the pool to cool off. They played freeze tag, chicken, and relaxed by the poolside before they hiked back to the River Camp to….play more group games!
After a long day and another delicious dinner provided Mr. Docio and his family, the campers and counselors sat by the fireside telling stories and performing skits into the night before heading off to bed.