If I could choose five words to describe the Little green Detectives Camp it would be…..
Fun, Enjoyable, Crazy , Friendship, Hands-On
With only 3 weeks to plan and organize a camp for 30-32 kids from diverse backgrounds, I sourced inspiration from my childhood heroes and heroins Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and tadaa! The Little Green Detectives Camp . This Camp was geared for children to get away from their Ipads, playstations and Facebook and really immerse them into nature and have some real outdoor fun. It is a vivid thought but people might assciate outdoor fun with shopping or eating at hawker stalls if we do not educate children on what enjoying nature is all about.
The 3 day camp from 6-8 June 2012 brought children from all over Penang Island, the mainland and even from KL. We incorporated the Detective Element in all the activities mainly for children to think out of the box, to reason, to work together and do actually put some hard effort before they enjoy themselves.
I will let the pictures do the talking now
Day 2 was themed as Green Detectives. The children arrived all geared for more fun. As most children nowadays are so conditioned with Ipads and computers, writing was actually hard for a few. The first activity was the Nature Journal where they explored thier creativity in decorating thier cardboard covers with natural leaves and sand and tying it up with string. Some wrote, some drew pictures of their newfound friends. As they wrote and expressed themselves , we facilitators realised how children are so used to clicking on the screen if something is not interesting anymore. Nature Journal helped the kids to remember the past activities on the first day and reason and think before they record down their thoughts and expressions. A bit of work but still enjoyable! They later on continued to play a fruit game by being blindfolded and tasting different types of fruits. The afternoon began with them giving the turtles a good bath with the kids cleaning the turtle shells with old toothbrushes and the kids sure did have good fun getting dirty by cleaning the turtle pen. They sure did do a good job, the turtles now probably feel so much lighter without the excessive moss and are happily swimming in a clear and clean turtle pen. The next activity was handling dung worms and measuring how long the worms are. They also identified the different parts of the worm and their importance of worms to our environment. After a fun filled day, the last activity was plant- a – pot. Children planted different types of seeds and got to take a pot home each to observe the little seedlings grow!
Day 3, the finale of the Little Green Detectives Camp was awesome! The children ran along with thier butterfly nets in the morning to catch butterflies and insects and we continued with the nature journal as they recorded down more fun memories The children learnt how to use a compass and were divided into three teams for the Nature Scavenger Hunt! it was rather challenging as children learnt to work in a team and of course listen to a leader! it was a great platform for children to think out of the box and learn more about plants and their usage through the hunt. After lunch, the children tested thier artistic skills with T shirt printing using leaves! It was lots of fun seeing children paint leaves , write words!( will let the pictures do the talking here).The much awaited activity was beach explorers, where all 32 kids landed on the beach for a good sunny time at the beach. Some got buried in the sand, the boys were playing their favourite game of football and some played with the balls and make sandcastles. One mother commented on her daughter that it was the first time to see her daughter happily playing in the sun! We wrapped up the Camp with a simple prize giving and photo session.
It was sad the camp had to end, we all had so much fun! We achieved so much especially in getting children closer to nature and how to have fun with nature and most important of all in this increasingly individualistic society we got to encourage more children to learn how to share and care for one another.Cant wait for Little Green Detectives Camp 2!!