Spotted eagle ray, donkey dung sea cucumbers, sea turtles, octopuses, lobsters, and an array of tropical fish and coral species are just some of the local marine life kids of Fish â€˜N Fins Montserrat and Barbuda were able to experience this summer.
Twelve-year-old Barbudan Camper Anelia Joseph commented, “this camp [lead by Veta Wade of Fish â€˜N Fins for Blue Halo Barbuda] is one of the best camps I’ve ever been to. The things I enjoyed were snorkeling and learning about different sea creatures and their behaviours, and also how to stop ocean pollution. This camp means a lot to the kids of Barbuda and myself, I wish to continue being a part of it either as a camper or a volunteer.”
Veta herself lights up as she talks about the highlights of Fish â€˜N Fins Ocean Summer 2017. â€œYou can’t help but feel optimistic about our ocean, when you see kids getting super excited as they find they can starfish float for the first time, or being amazed by learning about ocean acidification when watching an egg shell dissolve in vinegar, or even connecting the dots between threats of human activity to sea turtles.â€
Fish â€˜N Fins is blending ocean education and adventure, like never seen on Montserrat; its mission is to create a new generation of ocean stewards throughout the region – a mission it is well on its way too achieving. Fish â€˜N Fins has received over 450 Montserratian kids at its Little Bay Clubhouse since its creation three years ago. Â This summer in collaboration with Government of Montserratâ€™s Youth Affairs,Â Education, Sports, and Creative Arts Program (ESCAPE), Fish â€˜n Fins successfully integrated ocean science, swim classes, kayaking, and snorkelling into the program, for 70 local kids age 7-14 years old, over a two-week period.
“We hope these children will continue this essential ocean learning throughout their education. We will continue to support class field trips, school projects and offer experiences for holiday makers interested in learning more about our local marine life. Through our new curriculum, ‘The Fish N Fins Classroom’ we are equipped to provide lesson plans, and training for kids in swimming and snorkelling as our children continue to explore their ocean backyard,â€ said Wade.
“Special thanks to Ministry of Housing, Land & The Environment, Youth Affairs, Montserrat Red Cross, Blue Halo Montserrat, Paul Morris, and Junior assistants Orin Favourite & Dâ€™Vynne Henry for supporting our mission, and joining us for beach swimming, laughter, and games in our Chrystal clear waters.”
This year the camp also saw its best turnout for Parents Day, parents hung out, volunteered, joined their childrenâ€™s activity groups, and were also treated to introductory snorkeling lessons; a couple even joinedÂ their fishnfiners on reef patrol.