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Jul 20, 2011

Kids go to camp at the Belize Defence Force headquarters

The first of two summer camps hosted by the Belize Defence Force is well underway at Price Barracks.  Students between the ages of ten and seventeen are learning to have fun in a structured environment. Those who are not interested in painting and cooking can have a pick at sporting activities. The second takes place from the first of August to the twelfth.  News Five’s Delahnie Bain found out that at least five hundred students will take part in one of the most popular summer camps.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Balancing discipline and learning with fun is no easy task, but the Belize Defence Force does it each year in their summer camp. The first two week program is currently underway and Lieutenant Colonel David Jones says the kids have many options to choose from.

Lt. Col. David Jones, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

David Jones

“This summer camp is an initiative of the Ministry of Defence and Immigration. It has been running for approximately about six years now. The idea behind it is to get kids when they’re on their summer break to come into the Belize Defence Force and learn a skill under a disciplined environment. Apart from the disciplined environment, they also get to have fun and meet new people and learn about what the Belize Defence Force is about.  Here at Price Barracks, we have a painting cam, a cooking camp, introduction to aviation, small boat handing, we have band, we have a football camp and we have more camps that will start in the second session.”

The young participants were eager to speak about what they have learning.

Ashanti Garbutt, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Football

“Since the beginning of the camp we have been learning the basics about football like the rules and different passes and the rules of the game and different stuffs with the ball and field, about football.”

C’yan Cain, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Music

C’yan Cain

“The music section is really fun and they teach us theory and they teach us about the notes and how to write them, how to draw them, what they mean, the value of them, the signs, clefs.”

Hully Kyte Powell

Hully Kyte Powell, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Music

“It’s all good, foods not bad and the instructors are very good. They teach you discipline. Here at summer camp we have to try and keep record of all our stuff so they made us do folders.”

Crystal Andrews, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Cooking

“So far we have learned to make Johnny Cake, powder buns, Creole bun, bread pudding, jam roll, pigs in a blanket, patties, fry jack, tortilla.”

Delahnie Bain

Crystal Andrews

“We’re you able to make any of those things before you came here?”

Crystal Andrews

“Yes, because I was here last year.”

Kimberly Gutierrez, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Painting

“We did seascapes, landscapes, faces and after a while they allowed us to paint what we wanted to learn.”

Roberto Novelo, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Painting

“I’ve been painting the landscape and the undersea and the sunset.”

Delahnie Bain

“Is there any part of it that you find difficult to do?”

Roberto Novelo

Roberto Novelo

“The seascape.”

Delahnie Bain

“And what’s your favorite?”

Roberto Novelo

“The horizon.”

Amica Pitts

Amica Pitts, B.D.F. Summer Camp Participant, Aviation

“They teach us about aviation, how to fly a plane, how to talk on the walkie talkies as you see every doing. We went to the tower over the airport and they showed us how to fly the plane, how to track them down.”

Having five hundred kids on their hands is a drastic change of pace for B.D.F. personnel, but Jones says the camp is a rewarding experience for the instructors as well as the participants.

Lt. Col. David Jones

“It’s a sense of confidence built in these kids after they learn they can achieve something. And in just a short two week period when kids come here, from scratch they can learn to paint properly, they can learn to play an instrument; be it the flute, the trumpet, the drum, piano a guitar, or to handle a boat effectively. Coming here without any knowledge of it and at the end of two weeks, they see what they can do; they have confidence so when they go back to school they have that additional drive and motivation to do better in school.”

What makes the B.D.F. summer camp even more worthwhile is that it’s completely free of cost, including meals and transportation.  Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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