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Bay St. George YMCA, Green Team summer camp focused on environment


STEPHENVILLE, N.L. —

This has been Sydney Brake’s third year participating in the Bay St. George YMCA’s Summer Kids Camp in Stephenville. 
She said it’s a lot of fun to take part in the camp activities.
“I like going outside, doing obstacle courses, walks, swimming and hide and go seek.”
This year the nine-year-old has been doing a lot of that and a little bit more, as she learns about conserving the environment.
That’s because the kids camp partnered with the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador’s Green Team. 
Carter Childs is the team leader. It’s not his first year with the camp, but it’s the first as a Green Team member.
He said the Green Team program has a mandate to educate and train youth on different things about the environment and climate change.
The YMCA’s core values centre around respect and responsibility, so he said the two go hand in hand.
Plus, the camp caters to children from the ages of five to 12 and with upwards of 25 attending each day, that’s a lot of children that the Green Team can reach.
Not everything that happens at the camp is about education.
“But when we can mix in a little of education with a lot of fun it seems like it works,” he said.
“The environment and climate change is something that I think we’ve all got to start taking seriously.”
And it’s something he’s become more interested in over the last couple of years.
“So, to be able to get to learn from the Green Team and then to be able to come here and kind of educate the kids was a really great opportunity.”
Even though climate change is a hot topic, Childs was surprised at how much knowledge the kids have. 
He thought they might have an idea about things like recycling, but was surprised when they started mentioning things like carpooling, not showering for a long time and turning off the water when brushing your teeth.
“Kids are actually aware of their surroundings,” he said.
And the lessons have not been lost on Brake, who recycles at home and even tries to get her two-year-old brother to do so, too.
“Because if we don’t, there will be plastic all over the world – it’s bad for the environment.
When doing a beach cleanup she said they found plastic bags and a big piece of metal that really didn’t belong on a beach.
“Because if it goes in the water it can kill hundreds of animals.”
After seven weeks of learning and fun the camp ended on Aug. 23.

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker
 

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