Activities included presentations on protected areas and national parks; on endemics of Seychelles and importance of conservation; marine species and habitats of Seychelles; marine conservation in Seychelles; conservation work/project nature trails; trip to Silhouette island; role of SNPA & ‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s  in marine parks; snorkelling; trip to Curieuse; presentation of Curieuse Island staff and guided tour and exhibition.

“Holiday camps can therefore provide these children another enjoyable and fun alternative where real life learning are based on real places, real issues, and authentic tasks. It helps to provide sensory engagement opportunities to explore the environment using all five senses. It also provides children with time and environment for learning by doing environment-related activities and encourage them to be actively involved in hands-on exploration and investigation which are important in developing active environment stewardship,” said Jeanette Larue, one of the active organisers.

“The camp offers children with experimental learning opportunities, which enable them to make connection and apply learning in the real world. It encourages transformative and action oriented learning, which is needed to encourage positive behaviour change for active citizenship,” she added.

School holidays, she said, is a time when children coming from different schools with same interests can be grouped together to participate in fun yet learning activities. It can also complement what has been learned in formal classes during the term. Moreover, the limited time spent in class or extra curricular activities (ECA) to discuss issues related to environment is not always enough to ensure in-depth understanding of specific issues related to the environment.

“It has also been acknowledged by many, that knowledge alone does not always translate into change of behaviour. Eco-literacy is simply not enough to encourage that much needed change in behaviour. Moreover, the allure of indoor alternatives such as computer games, television, social networking, internet etc are curtailing children’s direct exposure to nature and this is happening a lot during school holidays,” she said.

The camp ended on Friday last week with the presentation of certificates and performance by participants where parents were invited.

The group will meet again in August for another holiday camp which will concentrate on climate change and coastal ecosystem.

A new team of eco-warriors is being recruited and students from P3 to S3 are eligible. They are mainly children who have shown special interest in environment education in different schools. The environment section will work closely with them over the years, until they reach S5, to continue to build their capacity on different environment issues. They will also help the ministry in raising awareness on pertinent environment issues at their schools and communities. They will be young role models who will try to influence their peer on good environment practices.