Nature Camp conducted for CFP Schools in Fiji
Seven Children’s Forest Program (CFP) schools participated in a 3-day Nature Camp facilitated by OISCA-Fiji in collaboration with National Trust of Fiji-Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and Shangri-la Fijian Hotel Resort and Spa on November 30 to December 2, 2015 with the theme “Inspiring Children to Be in Harmony with Nature”.
The CFP schools in the Nadroga Province who joined in this year’s Nature Camp include Malomalo Primary School, Nadroumai Primary School, Wai District School, Ratu Nemani Memorial School, Nawai Public School, Tau Primary School and Ratu Ilaisa Memorial School. The Camp participants were 27 Year-6 students with age ranging from 11 to 12 years old, 7 volunteer teachers from 7 participating schools, and 13 staff organizing volunteers.
The Camp opening ceremony was held in Kulukulu Public School as the host for campers. Ministry of Education Senior Officer for Primary Schools Nadroga/Navosa Province Miss Sera Saladuadua was the Chief Guest. Also present were Pastor Paul Daku, Jr. who graced the camp with prayers, Ministry of Youth and Sports Senior Youth Officer Mr. Apenai Vatucicila and Youth Officer Mr. Manoa Tupou.
With the rapid development of technology, today’s generation of children has lesser interaction with Nature – the outside-home environment. As a result, they have a very limited understanding of the significance of Nature in their lives. Nature Camp is designed to bring our children back to Nature through Fun-filled, Purposeful activities that they can experience and enjoy with nature and group activities they can do for the nature. Rather than putting stewardship on their minds by taking the responsibility, we designed a passion-inspired program through fun and play. This is our way of planting in our children’s hearts the love for the Nature which we believe will lead them to become committed stewards of their environment.
Camp main activities are inspired from OISCA International’s sustainable development programs in Fiji such as Organic Vegetable Garden, Composting and Tree planting complemented with Art and Craft – Mask Making and Greeting Card Making. Children who are grouped in four take rotation for the activities on Day One. Nature activities are conducted on the second day at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Campers experience Bird Watching, learn the importance of keeping their community clean through Beachfront Clean-up and enjoy their presence in the mahogany forest through a Nature Game called the Thread of Destiny. They undergo tracking in the forest while holding on a thread tied from tree to tree and have to perform the activity required by the trees. They learn talking to the tree, hugging the tree, listening to inspirational story of trees as well as whispering their deepest secret to the tree. Added to the game is the collection of colorful artificial wild mushrooms which they are really excited. Their destiny is determined by answering the questions in a rolled scroll at the last tree. This tests how they observe while walking on the track.
In the evening, the campers are taken to Shangri-la Fijian Resort and Spa for Marine Conservation Center Tour and a Tree Lighting Event to which the campers are the Chief Guest. They perform one special song entitled “Look at the World” that touched most of those present in the event. Star Gazing at 9:00pm completed the Day 2.
The last day of the Camp started with an early mangrove planting with 100 mangrove seedlings at the Shangri-la Fijian Resort and Spa beach front before going for the camp evaluation of activities at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Instead of a questionnaire, campers went for an hour Dune Race evaluation. They completed seven stations of camp activities where they perform and answer questions. The evaluation system is designed to assess the students’ ability to tell stories, to give instructions, to demonstrate an activity and to lead one day.
The children and teachers were happy to receive their certificate of participation during the closing program on the afternoon of December 2. They started the camp with fun and ended with added enthusiasm.
“Nature Camp” 2015 is a joint program of Shangri-la Fijian Hotel Resort and Spa, Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park and OISCA-Fiji. The inception of the “Nature Camp” is inspired by the environmental protection, conservation and restoration programs run by each organization in Fiji.