Kids get a kick out of summer camps
“We learnt about something new every day,” Eanajah Armstrong noted of the series of summer camps she attended at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute this year.
“I like science,” the Somerset Primary School student noted, “and I like to learn different things like how it was in the olden days, like when the dinosaurs existed. I learned what types of dinosaurs there were and what kind lived in the water.”
Explaining why the camp was so enjoyable, the nine-year-old continued: “I like that we get to do different things, painting and looking through a microscope at the sands from different beaches in Bermuda.”
Each weekly camp focuses on a different marine-related topic, and the youngsters have ‘dabbled’ in whales, sharks, prehistoric seas, the history of Bermuda and pirates, among other things.
The day starts with the more serious focus on the topic, including lab work and Powerpoint presentations, while after lunch activities are a little looser, explained Education Research Coordinator Crystal Schultz, and will include integrated crafts, games and scavenger hunts through the exhibitions that reinforce the knowledge learned in the morning.
The multi-pronged approach seems to suit the campers very well, with all those interviewed noting how much they have learned and how much they have enjoyed themselves.
“They teach you about things you never knew before,” Erin Jones explained. “I used to think sea monsters were fairy tales kids would tell to scare each other, but now I know they’re real.”
The Bermuda High School student has particularly enjoyed learning about Bermuda’s past, and was pleased that she would be able to take home the replica of the Tucker Cross she had painted that afternoon.
Daelen Powell, who attends Vision Academy, was equally enthusiastic and had come to the camp “because I’m interested in sea life and learning about underwater and other things like sharks and their way of life and how the ocean works”.
Of the five or six topics he’s covered over the course of the summer, it was the shark week that stuck out. He was particularly taken with the opportunity to dissect a shark.
“We had a spiny dogfish,” Daelen explained, “which only grows to about a foot and a half. We got to open it up and look through the stomach. We actually found a fish skeleton in it.”
Saltus Grammar School student Zachary Correia has also attended a number of the camps, and found learning about Antarctica particularly interesting “because there are lots of interesting species to learn about.” Though some of the campers attend the same school as he, he has also been able to meet new people and learn more about Bermuda.
The Friday lunch of pizza and brownies won the approval of a number of the campers, who also enjoyed the opportunity to finish the week watching a movie on something they had learned during the week.
An added bonus was the air conditioning. Erin stated she was very glad to stay indoors, “because my mum hates it when I get sunburned.”
“BUEI is a really good camp,” Erin concluded. “I wish every kid could experience this camp.”