Schools out but the teaching goes on!
August 31st, 2015 -- The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) hosted their 8th annual Sea Turtle Camp this year July 21st – 24th and July 28th – July 31st, 2015.
Dr. Kimberly Stewart, SKSTMN Founder said “I can’t believe this is our 8th year of camp! What’s really great is that some of my first students have now graduated and returned as counselors themselves. Over 40 children aged 9 to 12 years old representing 17 primary schools joined us this year”.
Graduates officially become Junior Conservationists with the SKSTMN. Junior Conservationists can join patrol staff during leatherback nesting season and return as Sea Turtle Camp counselors in subsequent years.
The focus of this environmentally themed camp was to introduce the different types of endangered sea turtles that live and nest in and around St. Kitts.
Through a combination of arts and crafts, educational activities, games, and hands-on experience participants learned about the importance of preserving ecosystems and how all living creatures affect other creatures while also becoming familiar with the simple things they could do to help keep the natural environment healthy.
This year graduates had a special treat in store; their families were also invited to share some of the knowledge they had acquired through a special screening of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey” at Caribbean Cinemas.
Additionally, through a grant from the Christophe Harbour Foundation the SKSTMN was able to provide each participant with a copy of “Sea Turtle Scientist” by Stephen R. Swinburne.
“Sea Turtle Scientist”, features St Kitts and Dr. Stewart’s work. It follows Dr. Stewart engaged in field work in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers.
This grant from the Christophe Harbour Foundation also enabled the SKSTMN to donate a copy of “Sea Turtle Scientist” to each primary school in June 2015 and to each Secondary school in September 2015.
Through support from the Global Environmental Facility – Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) the SKSTMN is working to develop an additional Sea Turtle Camp Program focused on former participants aged 13 and above. The hope for this second series of Sea Turtle Camp is that it will be entirely field based. Plans are to have this new experience available in 2016.
Sea Turtle Camp is made possible annually through grants and the donations of sponsors and volunteers. This year’s camp was made possible through grants from the Christophe Harbour Foundation, GEF-SGP, and the SKSTMN. Additionally, over 15 volunteers contributed their time to the 2015 sessions, including 5 Junior Conservationists.
The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) is a registered community based organization formed in 2003 to monitor the nesting populations of sea turtles on St Kitts.
For more information on:
or check out their Facebook Page, which can be found under the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network.
“The Scientist in the Field” series of books are based far from the research laboratory and show firsthand adventures in the great outdoors—adventures with a purpose. For more information, visit www.sciencemeetsadventure.com.
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