Youth camp came and went in a flash, and on Thursday it was graduation time already! Graduation, and the conservation poster contest were highly anticipated by campers and parents alike this year. Our youth campers arrived with 15 fantastic poster submissions covering topics ranging from crocodile conservation to sea turtle nesting site protection. On Thursday night, the San Pedro Lions Den was full to the brim with about 80 campers and many parents, siblings, aunt and uncles. Thankfully we received plentiful food donations from local bakeries and restaurants to keep everyone happy! Campers from all age groups performed skits of their own creation for our guests, all on the theme of reef, mangrove, and marine species conservation. We were so proud of everyone for braving the stage and showing everyone what they have learned! In addition to skits, campers performed two camp songs: the “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” chant, and the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures theme song (“Oh good grief, protect the reef!”) Team STARRS prepared expert cards and Advanced Camp certificates for every camper who came to both sessions, and handed them to each graduate as their name was called at the end of the ceremony. The night concluded with many hugs, kisses, and a few tears from campers, parents and teachers alike.
Representatives from the San Pedro Sun attended the graduation ceremony, and published an article and photo gallery of the night. You can view the article and photos by following the link below:
After Thursday night, our last days on the island flew by in a blur. The RC School was cleaned from top to bottom on Friday, and our apartment was cleaned and packed on Saturday and Sunday. Our last full day on the island was rainy, but our friends told us it was the island crying because we were about to leave. On Sunday morning we woke up early and said our goodbyes to our dear friends on the street and departed for Tropic Air at 8:00 AM, escorted by friends. After a long day of traveling on three planes, we arrived safely in Northampton around 2:00 AM. Now that we are home, the trip seems like a fantastic dream, and now is the time to begin tying up loose ends, preparing our presentation, and processing our wonderful, challenging experience on La Isla Bonita.