Hundreds of children from the Toledo District have taken part in TIDE summer camp 2014.
The theme this year was Nature, Culture, Life and six different camp sites participated including Punta Negra, Trio, Bella Vista, Monkey River, Big Falls and Punta Gorda town.
The campers ranged from 10 to 13 years old and the key aim was to understand how nature, culture and experiences shape a person’s life. By increasing childrens’ knowledge about their surroundings, TIDE hopes the next generation will become ecological stewards, and contribute to a healthy and vibrant environment.
Camp coordinator, Giselle Mahung, arranged various indoor and outdoor activities to teach the participants about the ecology within the protected areas in Belize. The campers carried out exercises such as treasure hunts, sports days and learning exercises about endangered animals such as the Hicatee turtle. Giselle tells us, “I chose these activities specifically to give the boys and girls a chance to interact with each other and build their social and collaborating skills.”
During the week, each camp went on a field trip to TIDE’s three protected areas and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust protected areas. All campers including Volunteer Teachers, University of Belize students and High School students were invited to visit the varying ecological areas within their district. We hope that by seeing a healthy ecosystem the students will be inspired to continue conserving it.
The Summer Camps in the Indian villages finished on 11th July and the Punta Gorda camp finished on 17th July. Education and Outreach coordinator, Mr Norman Budna, hopes, “campers will return to school with a wealth of ideas that will help them make informed decision as they grow up. We are looking towards a bright future.”
TIDE looks forward to holding the Summer Camp again in 2015.