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Aug 12, 2011

Hundreds of happy campers at the B.D.F.

The B.D.F. summer camp this year attracted more than the anticipated number of enthusiasts. For four weeks the six hundred youths engaged in a number of activities; one common thread was weaved throughout, discipline. When News Five’s Delahnie Bain visited at the end of the programme today, she found a happy set of campers.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Over six hundred youths said goodbye to the Belize Defence Force soldiers that have been their teachers and friends for the past few weeks.  The B.D.F. camp officially closed today and B.D.F. Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel David Jones as well as Minister of Defence, Carlos Perdomo, were proud of what was accomplished this summer.

David Jones

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

“This was an overwhelming success. All the kids that turned out, they had a good time. They had fun but apart from that they learned something. They learned a new skill; be it cooking, building construction, introduction to aviation where they were able to learn about repairing an aircraft or being a pilot and also learning things like driving. They were on a driving course for two weeks. We also had the expedition camps in Cayo and Punta Gorda and all over the country it was a huge success.”

Carlos Perdomo

Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Defence and Immigration

“We have exposed six hundred kids to something positive; to an enriching experience, to different forms of discipline for their age; practical knowledge, comradery, friendship, enjoying visits to Punta Gorda and to Cayo in the environment of adults who are positive. The B.D.F. is a positive organization; very efficient, well trained and disciplined.”

The participants also spoke fondly about the experiences they had while learning in a disciplined environment.

Niza Kyte-Powell

Niza Kyte-Powell, B.D.F. Camp Participant

“This year, 2011, I took music and cooking. When I took band and music camp, I didn’t know how to play many instruments. I learned how to play the drums though. Now in cooking, I learnt a lot. If you think cooking is easy and such, it’s not. It’s a lot.”

Edwin Guardado

Edwin Guardado, B.D.F. Camp Participant

“Working together and helping one another makes things possible. The second week commenced with us going out in the waters, docking and applying the different knots and ties. I can promise that sailing is fun but we not only encountered those scary alligators sitting on the bank, but also tourists visiting our country.”

While boat handling, music and cooking were popular activities, the sporting camp drew the largest crowd.

Lt. Col. David Jones

“What we have noticed this year is that the participants gravitate a lot to sports. Apart from the building construction, which boys would normally gravitate to, the first camp that filled up this year was actually football. We had to turn back a lot of people for football because the camp was too big. We had more participants than we expected for football because during this camp also buy them football boots, padding. The balls that we buy we give them to the kids that perform well. These kids have a lot of energy and they need to burn it. So we tried something new and it worked. We get them out to play sports; not only here on the camp, we took them out to Belize City to play against other camps and we also took them to Bermudian Landing to challenge the villagers there in sporting activities, including football, basketball, volleyball.”

And as the kids head back to the classrooms, Jones says he hopes they take seriously the lessons learned at the camp.

Lt. Col. David Jones

“What I would love to see them take back is something that they have learned here, comradery and respect for each other, team work and motivation. If this can pass on to their school mates it will be an excellent achievement for us.  The kids have expressed that every year they are going to come back for the camp because they enjoy it. A number of them have been here for two, three—one of them has been here four times. So kids are coming back every time and they try to squeeze in and every year we have to put a cut off limit but we’re going to try and expand it even more next year.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

One piece of advice for next year’s camp, sign up early because spaces run out as fast as watermelons on a hot Saturdays morning.

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1 Response for “Hundreds of happy campers at the B.D.F.”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    THIS IS GOOD NEWS…………BIG UPS 2 THE BDF!!!!!

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