The Lodge at Chaa Creek is an absolute gem in Belize in the midst of the most beautiful forest. And this year, I was lucky enough to be invited back for two nights of Eco-Kids Summer Camp.
For 7 years now, 24 kids from every corner of Belize have been chosen based on an essay for Chaa Creek’s summer camp. They are not judged on spelling or grammar but on their heartfelt descriptions of why they are “Belize eco-kids”. How they respect the environment – the plants, the water and the sea and the animals, the importance of protecting mother nature in their backyards and Belize and how they can spread the word…I can think of few things as important.
One of four teams – the Tapirs.
And few back drops as beautiful to convey the message.
Their essays were chosen and they were invited to one week of amazing summer camp. So well organized, so jam packed with learning and fun – these 24 will go back to their villages and towns and, hopefully, become ambassadors at home and at school.
Throw that water bottle out the car window? OH NO….I don’t think so. Why not learn to make it into a super cool pencil holder instead?
They learned about recycling and re-using, they learned about traditional medicines from the jungle, about farming and composting, about sustainable tourism, about the animals of Belize and their importance to the food chain and to the country…
Jamal from the Belize Zoo and Sara from the Belize Raptor Center gave an very cool presentation.
We met this amazing ball of fluff – the spectacled owl. Only 1lb and then soft feathers to make him an absolutely silent flyer.
The kids learned about the life of a butterfly at the butterfly farm at Chaa Creek. Amazing blue morphos and banana owls…
and the malachite. This one just coming out of his chyrsalis…
The kids weren’t just learning…they were put to the test. Four teams duked it out in a game of Camp Jeopardy. There was even studying before the game…
Jackson, a Junior counselor from San Pedro, was the Chaa Creek Alex Trebek. (Though when asked how many kids have seen Jeopardy, only about 4 hands went up. And no one knew the song…)
Selection chosen by a punch through the board.
These kids were good! Name the number of birds native to Belize or the medicinal plant used for malaria? Ummmm….
It wasn’t all learning…there were plenty of activities just for fun. Like the Splash Party. Water, soap and 1000 water balloons.
And water guns.
Girls pulling boys…
Lots of games…
And what else would Eco-Kids do at the end of this Splash Party? Pick up the shards of 1000 water balloons scattered EVERYWHERE.
At the end, the parents came from a camp show that featured some incredible songs that the teams wrote and performed.
Everyone packed and ready to go. Kids from all over the country that will definitely remember this week forever and hopefully keep in touch. I think we have some future leaders here. An amazing opportunity.
The pet rocks were packed…
The kids were off in all different directions…chattering away to their parents about the fun they had, how great the food was and the friends they met.
What an awesome opportunity. Sigh…summer camp. For lots more information on the camp and daily blogging by a junior counselor that also happens to be an award winning writer, check out the camp’s blog. Great pictures and video too.
For more information on the GORGEOUS Chaa Creek Resort, please check out their website and some of the posts I’ve written about my stays in the past. I do mean GORGEOUS.
And the entrance to my cottage.
And you too can stay in the Macal River Camp…man is it stunning just around sunset – especially when the howler monkeys get going. You can check them out here. Chaa Creek for the budget traveler.
It’s just down the river trail.