LITTLE BAY – Fish n Fins is the name of a new club from watersports company Aqua Montserrat, which is running a three-week camp this summer on island.
A total of 50 kids enrolled in the government’s ESCAPE summer camp are participating in the programme held daily on Little Bay Beach.
“We are having so much fun,” said instructor and owner Vita Wade. “The children are learning to swim, how to snorkel and identify different fishes and how to care for the ocean.”
The Waitt Institute which runs the Blue Halo project on various islands including Montserrat has teamed up with AQUA Montserrat for the summer camp. According to director Dr Ayana Johnson, they will be partnering with AQUA Montserrat to extend the program for a year. The institute has donated 30 snorkel sets and wetsuits to the program to get the club started.
“We’re hoping these kids get to continue this essential ocean science throughout their education. We’ll be providing materials and training to teachers in schools throughout the islands we partner with to ensure students get a healthy dose of ocean learning all year round. In the long term, we hope these camps and the school year activities will teach these delightful kids about the relationships between the food on their tables, the jobs in their communities, the cultural activities they treasure, the way the environment is cared for and managed — how it’s all connected. We hope to inspire a generation of kids who become scientists, fisheries managers, fishermen, park rangers, scuba instructors, tour guides, and good Samaritans who treasure the ocean and who use it, but know the importance of taking care not to use it up,” Johnson said on her blog.
Wade expressed thanks to Dr Johnson and the institute for their partnership and also was appreciative of the Government of Montserrat and the many volunteers working to ensure the children have a great experience. She said many families have already inquired about entering the club following the completion of the camp and that bodes well for encouraging more of the island’s children to swim and have a healthy respect for the ocean.
More information on AQUA Montserrat can be found at www.aquamontserrat.com and on Facebook at AQUA Montserrat.