Making friends, having fun and learning about Bermuda

  • <B>Basic life:</B> The National Trust Camp at the Settlers&#146; Dwelling.

    Basic life: The National Trust Camp at the Settlers’ Dwelling.
    ((Photo by Akil Simmons))

“If you like nature and going outside and having fun, this is the camp for you,” stated Shelby Madeiros. The nine-year-old is participating in one of the Bermuda National Trust’s week-long camps and is back again for the fourth year in a row.

Explaining why she likes the camps so much, Shelby said, “I like to be adventurous, go outside and have fun in the sun in summer.

“We go on a lot of field trips,” she continued, “and you can explore a lot of things — how the settlers came to Bermuda and what type of clothes they wore and all about the natural elements of Bermuda, the plants and animals.”

Over the five days, the campers explore one aspect of Bermuda’s past, present and future through a combination of games and crafts in the AXIS Education Centre at Waterville and field trips. The week begins with an overview of Bermuda’s formation and then a close encounter with her plants and animals through a visit to Spittal Pond or a walk along the nature trail through Tom Moore’s jungle (more formally known as I.W. Hughes Nature Reserve and Blue Hole Park). Naturally the East End is where the campers learn about Bermuda’s early settlement through a visit to Carter House in St David’s and an afternoon in St George’s. Awareness of humans’ present impact and future responsibilities is raised through visits to the West End and a focus on the Blue Halo Marine Reserve project.

The field trips and varied activities are appealing to the boys in the camp as well. Conor Sinclair, who has attended the camp three times, keeps returning because it’s interesting and fun.

“We do a lot of games,” he explained, “Capture the Flag and Sardines. We make forts sometimes and learn about history and how the National Trust helps Bermuda. We catch butterflies in nets and let them go.

“It’s just a really good camp,” he summed up.

Rowdy Crockwell-Laurent echoed his sentiments. The nine-year-old noted that this camp had “more arts and crafts, history — we made a replica of the Sea Venture [last year] and stuff — and I also like the field trips.” He was particularly looking forward to the visit to Tom Moore’s jungle.

For 11-year-old Olivia Johnson, this summer seemed to be her last one as a camper as she had attended for four years and had participated in each of the themed weeks. The Saltus Grammar School student had over the years made friends from different schools, and this was a key feature of the camp for her. “It’s a nice way for you to meet people from other schools,” she said, “and become friends.”

Her favourite activity was making a shelter from bamboo and palmetto fronds. Though it was an activity she did every year, “you always get to make it with different people and try to make it neat and tidy and make it bigger than the other group’s.”

In her closing comments, Olivia confessed, “Because I enjoy it so much I’m thinking of asking Abbie [Caldas] if I can become a junior counsellor.

“You need to send your child to this camp,” she concluded.

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Published Jul 19, 2012 at 7:47 am (Updated Jul 19, 2012 at 7:47 am)

Making friends, having fun and learning about Bermuda

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