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Jul 22, 2014

BDF Summer Camp Teaches Children Life Skills

It is summer so camps are popping up all over the place. By all accounts one of most popular is organized by the Belize Defense Force and hundreds of youths register to participate. They are learning a number of disciplines from taekwondo, to jungle survival and football and then there is music. Duane Moody was at Price Barracks for the first part of the camp.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Defense Force for the past ten years has been hosting summer camps for youths from across the country. The first leg of the summer camp this year started last Monday and some two hundred children have been receiving fundamental life skills in twelve different disciplines. The program is being held under the theme, “Beyond Hope – Building Discipline and Fundamental Life Skills.”


Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd

“Each year we try to do something different. For this year, we have taekwondo self defense and here to assist us, we have the number two ranking taekwondo man in the world.”


Duane Moody

“Tell us about the camp and all that it includes.”


Lt. Col. Raymond Shepherd

“Well right now we have building construction which consists of plumbing, electrical, carpentry. We also have bird watching, cooking, swimming, taekwondo, table tennis, chess, jungle survival, football as well as painting and music.”


A new feature for the camp is taekwondo, which is being led by Sensei Michael Hassel.


Michael Hassel

Michael Hassel, Lead Taekwondo Instructor

“Our school brought down three instructors for the summer camp…we are out of Florida. We also have schools in seventeen other states in New Zealand. We are here for the at-risk student camp to teach them self-worth, self-discipline in a safe environment and some self-defense against two different types of people—against kids their own age that are bullies and against adults who want to do bad things to them. We got all kinds of activities going on concerning with the martial arts—different kicks and blocks and self-defense against hair-grabs. We also sit down and talk to them each day.”


Another component of the camp is jungle survival. It teaches the youths about making the best use of their surroundings says Lieutenant Andrew August.


Lt. Andrew August, Jungle Survival Instructor

Lt. Andrew August

“We start off the presentation with a jungle hazard presentation; letting them know the harms and the dangers that’s out there in the jungle. After that, we try to, we teach them, how to use the material or the resources found in the jungle to conduct shelters, animal traps, water traps and fire to survive in a situation.”


Duane Moody

“How does this help them with developing their life skills?”


Lt. Andrew August

“Well it is just improvising I would say, using your initiative; because the jungle provides a lot of resources so if they are able to identify what they can use I think that would help them.”


For eleven-year-olds, Jerome and Ajay, they are avid football fans and are thrilled about the fundamental techniques of the sport.


Ajay Usher

Ajay Usher, Participant, B.D.F. Summer Camp 2014

“I’m learning good things and everything. When I play, I think to pass the ball because sometimes dehn push us hard to do our best.”


Jerome Serano, Participant, B.D.F. Summer Camp 2014

“Well I learn how to dribble the ball through the cone and I think it is a good way of learning to play football.”


Duane Moody

“Have you guys always liked playing football and why?”


Jerome Serano

Jerome Serano

“Well I like to play it because it is a good sport and it inspires me because my father is a football player.”


Ajay Usher

“I just like play football because nearly all of my family member mi deh pan wah team when dehn mi younger. That’s why I like play football.”


But what is a camp without the creative arts? Darian Lino has been involved with music from the age of eight.


Darian Lino

Darian Lino, Participant, B.D.F. Summer Camp 2014

“I’ve learned how to play the recorder and play more songs. I’ve learned about the different types of notes and rest. I learned about the G-cleft and staff.”


Duane Moody

“Have you always liked music?”


Darian Lino

“Yes I’ve always had a passion for music from the age of eight years old.”


The program also caters to those interested in bird watching, which is spearheaded by the Audubon Society. The second leg of the program starts on August fourth. Duane Moody for News Five.

In total five hundred and thirty participants will take part in the 2014 B.D.F. Summer Camp. A camp is ongoing in Central Farm, Cayo. And in the subsequent session on August fourth, a camp will run concurrently in Punta Gorda, Orange Walk and at Price Barracks. 

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