Educational fun for youngsters at Camp Basil Jones

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

31 campers enjoyed week-long activities as part of the 2015 Camp Basil Jones held at the Basil Jones educational Center located in the Bacalar Chico Reserve. Now in its second week, another group of children are enjoying the educational summer program that provides a unique balance of both fun and learning. The program, which is aimed at teaching conservation and preservation of the Belize Barrier Reef to children, kicked off on Monday, July 6th and will end on Friday, July 31st.2015 Camp Basil Jones-1
At the forefront of the camp is organizer Guillermo “Mito” Paz, who has declared the first week of the camp as a huge success. “I am glad that we are able to provide this opportunity to children. It is vital that we teach our younger generations the importance of protecting the marine environment, and this camp was designed to do exactly that. The camp gives them a unique experience that they may never be able to get otherwise,” said Paz.2015 Camp Basil Jones-2
Campers participated in morning exercise, swimming, beach volleyball, football, basketball, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, campfire, yoga, stilts race, coconut oil making, nature trail hiking, sea turtle beach cleanup, and traditional games like hopscotch, skipping rope, hide & seek, and even storytelling (ghost stories). “We try to keep the children active throughout the week. We encourage them to try all the various activities and to get to know each other. What these activities do is create a bond and lasting memories between the campers,” said Paz.2015 Camp Basil Jones-10
The youth also took part in educational presentations on fish identification, sea turtle life and history, importance of coral reefs, marine garbage, and marine protected areas. An Oceana Belize representative also talked to the participants on the importance of not allowing offshore oil exploration and drilling in Belize. “All the lessons that the children received will only build their personal development. We hope to promoted leadership, confidence and entrepreneurship skills in the campers. We try to give the children a balance of activities to ensure they have the best time possible. But at the end, the major aspect of the camp is teaching the children on the preservation and conservation of the environment,” said Paz. Each week sees the arrival of a new set of children to the camp.

The camp is being funded through an Environmental Support Grant from the Protected Area Conservation Trust and organized through the collaboration of The National Institute of Culture and History, San Pedro House of Culture, Department if Youth Service and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

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