The 2019 Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp Is Off!
Well hello there, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably a concerned parent who’s naturally worried about your child being away from home. That’s totally okay! I hope these blogs can help relieve your stress. You can be assured that your child will be completely taken care of by experienced and caring volunteer counselors.
On Sunday July 14, the Chaa Creek adventure bus travelled to the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City to pick up campers from Orange Walk, San Pedro and Belize City respectively. From there the bus made its way to Belmopan where campers from Stann Creek, Punta Gorda and Belmopan hopped on. On their way they went making their last stop at the San Ignacio Resort, picking up the last set of campers from San Ignacio and the surrounding villages. On they went gleefully singing songs as the made it to the Macal River Camp grounds, home of the 2019 Eco Kids Summer Camp.
Arriving at the Camp around 3:30 p.m., they were greeted by their Councilors, the President of the Camp Mr. Levi Baldwin and the owner Mrs. Lucy Fleming as she explained her passion and love for the camp along with a brief history of the reserve. There after, all campers were gathered around as Mr. Levi gave his welcoming remarks and explained the camp rules and expectations. Then everyone opened their song books and began to sing along to the lead of Mr. Levi. Shortly thereafter the Eco Campers began to play games and to introduce themselves to each other. Ending the activity by dividing into four groups, Howlers Monkeys, Toucans, Tapirs, and Jaguars and painting banners of their respective groups.
As the sun went down the nocturnal critters in the jungle came to life, the kids gathered for supper under the dining hall to have their first meal at Camp. With chatter and excitement they filled their stomachs with delicious rice and beans prepared by the Camp’s kitchen.
With supper and ice cream dessert scratched off the list, everyone checked to have working flashlights and long pants for their first adventure. This adventure entailed a night hike in the jungle in search of night critters and insects crawling on the jungle floor and tree tops. Everyone was divided into two groups each led by Chaa Creek’s tour guides on this first grand adventure. The tour guides briefed the troopers in what to expect and the do’s and don’ts of the hike.
With enthusiasm and a bit of spookiness in the air, around 7:30 p.m. they marched into the darkness of the jungle with their bright flashlights trying to spot anything that moves. I accompanied a group led by our tour guide Mr. Alex, while the other group was led by tour guide Mr. Mishack. As they silently walked the trail, the first creatures to be spotted were spiders, then they came across a scorpion at which the eco kids marveled when Mr. Alex flashed his UV light making the scorpion glow green.
There after the eco kids walked along trying to spot more animals at which just another scorpion was sighted. Not much animals were seen since they were a bit shy since the moon was out giving away the eco kids cover. However the adventure was a whole new experience for many kids.
Getting back to camp they gathered their towels and clothes and took turns taking showers. At around 9:00 p.m. all the campers were in their beds inside their respective cabins and the yellow glowing kerosine lamps were blown off. However, many stayed a few more minutes sharing stories with their flashlights turned on. The rest of the night is history as the eco kids slept away to the sound jungle insects, birds and howler monkeys.
Well… day 1 is over, and day 2 awaits. As our Camp Coordinator Levi would say, “The best week of the year” has officially began! Stay tuned for Tomorrow as we explore Biodiversity and Conservation.
Some more Eco Kids Summer Camp photos of day 1:
Photos courtesy of Nadir Price Photography