The morning of Sunday, July 31, began a little before seven as 24 sleepy headed eco-campers rallied to the 6:30 a.m. wakeup call and gathered round the fire hearth to commence their daybreak muster of liven up songs before breakfast.
A very special day was dawning when the last day of camp awakened to the excitement of the eco-campers as they looked forward to the arrival of their families for the grand Talent Show they had been rehearsing all week long. The four teams of six girls and boys learned songs and designed skits and performances that they were anxious to showcase along with their art and crafts, jungle journals and recycled gift products for family members.
It was a power packed eco-week for these scholarship winners who gained their place at the summer camp by writing a 300 word essay on “Why I want to be an Eco-kid”. Of the nearly 100 entries, 24 of Belize’s bright young stars from as far south as Barranco, Toledo and north as Paraiso, Corozal arrived on Saturday, July 23, to join their mini counterparts from all over the nation.
Twelve girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 10, and twelve between the ages of 11 and 13 formed the four groups of Jaguar, Howler Monkey, Firefly and Blue Morpho teams who stayed in the 10 camp casitas at Chaa Creek’s Macal River Camp. Their day’s activities were relived during the evening camp fire sessions when stories of canoeing, horseback riding, hiking on jungle trails and exploring ancient Maya Temple Sites were recounted by the young raconteurs.
With every day a themed day, the children learned about Biodiversity, the Ancient Maya, Belize Wildlife, Responsible Tourism, Traditional Healing, Land Conservation, and Solid Waste Management from Chaa Creek’s professional naturalist guides and founders Mick and Lucy Fleming. The children’s skills at retaining knowledge were tested by homemade and innovative games of eco-jeopardy, bio-bingo and jungle treasure hunts.
During the closing ceremonies the eco campers, along with their eight councilors, recited their pledge to be sound stewards of Belize’s natural resources, to practice fair play, to be caring and sharing members of society, and to make Belize proud as newly hatched Eco-Ambassadors at home and abroad.
Camp coordinator and councilor Lorenzo Gonzalez said, “What a wonderful experience this was. Having been so intimately involved for the last six months from the planning and meetings stage to the operational segment, I’m really blown away by what a truly fabulous week this was. It is certainly one that I will never forget and I would think the same will be true for our eco-campers and new ambassadors!”