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Jul 25, 2019

B.D.F. Summer Camp, Phase One Completed

One of the most anticipated summer camps is underway; it gives children an opportunity to learn discipline and team work in a fun way as they enjoy activities of their choice. At Price Barracks today, the first phase of the summer camp of the Belize Defence Force is coming to a close. Some of the young participants are learning to play musical instruments, while others are engrossed in activities such as cooking. This year, with the heat bearing down, swimming is a natural choice. News Five’s Duane Moody has the following report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Over three hundred children, between the ages of five and sixteen, are participating in the first phase of one of the biggest summer camps in Belize. Since the beginning of July, the Belize Defense Force has been engaging with a group of youth from across the country in various disciplines that would test their aptitude to play a musical instrument to their skills in sports as well as their skills in the creative arts and cooking.  This year’s programme was directed by Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Garcia.


Brandon Garcia

Lt. Col. Brandon Garcia, Chief of Staff, B.D.F.

“The aim of the summer camp is to mentor children, our kids, with using developmental skills while underlining or underscoring discipline and team work. On camp, we have a total of eight disciplines. We have boat handling across at the Williamson hanger, across from the Philip Goldson International Airport and we have at our outstations, we have camp expeditions whereby the kids are being taught how to navigate, how to survive in the jungle, a little bit of first-aid. That is basically our summer camp in a nutshell.”


The camp is also teaching them the fundamentals in sports such as basketball and football. Some of the participants came with knowledge on the sport and are being taught the techniques of football. Twelve-year-old Limmar Singh plays forward on the field and says the experience has been rewarding.


Limmar Singh

Limmar Singh, Participant, Football Camp

“I like Mister JJ and dehn weh teach we about workout and tell me, no disrespect or nothing, but play like we dah brother and sister. And I like Mister Shawn who bring out all ah wi team to play Mundialito.  I like when my friend dehn tell me stop rail up and we just play and just win sports and win trophies.”


The sporting aspect of the camp was not limited. Over at the gym, we found a group finding out more on the Korean martial arts of head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks. In the military, taekwondo is teaching the children self-defense techniques.


Edwardo Kiow

Lance Cpl. Edwardo Kiow, Taekwondo Instructor

“Discipline, self-defense; they are learning about the taekwondo history and most of how to conduct themselves whenever they are on the streets because the taekwondo is a military martial arts. So we teach them more self defense so whenever somebody di try hijack them or somebody try to hurt them or hold them, they know how to defend themselves.”


Now not everyone knows how to play an instrument and some may say that it is not a paying profession in the country, so why bother. But for a group of about a dozen children, they are learning percussion and how to play wind instruments, like the recorder—both the theoretical and practical aspects of music.


Kevin Campbell

WO2 Kevin Campbell, Director of Music, B.D.F.

“Our objective here over this two weeks was to introduce our children to music, but more so to basic theory. That’s the theoretical part—the symbols and so on as you can see on the board. And there is also the practical aspect of it where we introduce the drum, the recorder—they can take that back to school—they also did a bit of keyboarding as well and in addition guitar. So we had the practical sessions in the afternoon and the theoretical sessions in the morning.”


With the heat wave over the country, a swimming class was fitting for the camp. The goal, says Staff Sergeant Amin Aba, was for the good swimmers to get stronger, weak swimmers to get strong and those who can’t to learn to swim.


Amin Aba

Staff Sergeant Amin Aba, Swimming Instructor

“A very few knew how to swim, but majority couldn’t swim.”



“For those who don’t know how to swim well, like myself, how do you start? What’s the first thing that you teach them?”


Staff Sergeant Amin Aba

“Breathing. Breath control. So you learn about bobbing to take your breath above the water and blow out of your ear under the water—through your nose or through your mouth or both.”


The first phase of the camp wraps up on Friday. The second phase starts on August fifth. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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