Learning About Medicinal Plants & Horseback Riding!
Songs: I’m a nut, Disco, Joe Song
Twas an excellent and happy morning for the eco-kids as they received a pancake breakfast after singing their songs during morning muster! Many of the kids were so happy to eat flapjacks that they forgot about some of their fruit. (It’s always okay to indulge at camp!) After breakfast, they played what seemed to be their favorite group game yet! A spinoff of Dodgeball, John Wayne is a game that requires a cowboy (a la the name) and two deputies to ping opponents with balls to send them to jail. The inmates can then only be freed if a free player performs a special handshake with them one by one, without being hit by a ball in the process. Campers and counselors both worked up a sweat before the day’s activities started.
For arts and crafts, the eco-kids made beanbags out of bandanas and black beans that would be used for a later team game, and they even learned to sew in the process! (Most of the girls’ bags were a little more neatly sewn than the boys)
When everyone finished their beanbags, the campers went for a guided tour of the Ixchel Medicine Trail here at Chaa Creek with some of our naturalist experts. Before the tour started, though, the naturalists gave a short presentation and show and tell on the importance of medicinal plants, how to survive with them, and how they help make medicine today. For instance, they learned that to cure a tummy ache, all you need is a little boiled allspice seed. They even got to taste various medicinal plants boiled into tea, and not all of them were so sweet!
On the tour of the Ixchel Medicine Trail, named for the Mayan Goddess of healing, fertility, and the moon, the naturalists showed the children various trees, roots, leaves, and their uses. They learned that chewing Bullhorn Acacia bark helps slow the spread of toxins ingested from a snake bite (bet ya didn’t know that!) Apart from the educational aspect of the hike, the eco-kids got to see the national flower of Belize, the Black Orchid, in full bloom, and even had some special guests along the way!
After the hike, the campers sat down for lunch at the lodge again before splitting into two groups; one to go back to the pool, and the other to go for a horseback riding tour on the jungle trails at the resort. (The groups will flip flop and do the same thing Friday) While some campers were hesitant to jump on the giant animals at first, they all became comfortable once the horses took a few steps and they knew they were safe. Not one child that rode the horses regretted their decision, especially once the naturalist guides allowed them to trot for periods of time. The campers said that the trot was an absolutely exhilarating, humbling, and freeing experience!
When everyone returned to the camp, they were given optional time to practice their skits and songs in their teams for skit night on Friday. Already on the first day of practice, some teams had full songs prepared and ready to polish for the big show!
The eco-kids were all asking for seconds tonight when Mr. Docio and his family made an awesome Lasagna dinner with garlic bread. Some campers faked like they were starving just to get thirds. At the campfire after dinner the kids were upbeat and rowdy, so they listened to our camp counselor Erin deliver a hilarious story about all the bags of SHUSH he was given when as a child when he was too rowdy!