Fifty plus attend first East End Healthy Life Summer Camp By Desiree Joseph, FN News Intern. After a week of healthy eating and promoting healthy lifestyle changes, the first East End Healthy Life Summer Camp came to a grand close on Saturday afternoon with a Health Fair. The fifty-plus campers were given an opportunity to display to their parents what they learned during the previous week and they also got a chance to watch a video of themselves participating in camp activities.
One of the major camp sponsors was the Rotary Club of Lucaya. President Billy Ferguson said the event was a success and she was most pleased by the turnout of fellow Rotarians … but more importantly the children who participated in the camp.
She said, “The first thing I noticed the most was the smiles on the children’s faces, I mean those kids where all excited about showing their parents what they did that week of camp, all the crafts the made and even shared some of the health ideas they learned. “I was really blown away by all of it because the fact that this will help them in the long run really touched me. They’re already talking about coming back to camp next year so I’m particularly excited about the futures of these little children.”
The Healthy Life Style Camp was described to be a week of summer fun empowering campers with the knowledge and tools to develop a personal healthy living plan and make good choices for a healthy lifestyle. It was held in the eastern end of Grand Bahama and was free of charge. Both lunch and transportation was provided for the children, at no cost to their parents or guardians.
Susan Lee, Camp Director and Coordinator said the camp would not have been made possible without the help of the Rotarians and she expressed her gratitude to them for their involvement. Lee also made arrangements with three different universities, the University of Virginia provided nurses enrolled in their in nursing program, St. Joseph’s University a biochemical student, and the University of Delaware sent a nutritionist here to Grand Bahamas to act as camp counselors for the week. She said, “I think both the children and parents were surprised that the camp was so much fun. Considering the fact that the subject matter was not so appealing, we developed lesson plans and activities that engaged the campers.
“We focused on several different health aspects such as hygiene, dental, diet exercise and nutrition. The counselors were also very thrilled with the opportunity they had to touch these young children's lives, but suggested that we make our groups a bit smaller and add additional counselors.” Lee added, “There was no charge for the camp and we are thankful to all of the organizations and corporations that gave us the funding we needed. This was the first annual Healthy Life Styles camp and we hope to continue next year to accommodate older campers. This year was ages 5-12 but next year we hope to expand that to 16 years old and if we can get the support, we will extend the camp to two weeks. “I feel blessed to have been able to provide this wonderful opportunity to the children of East End.”
Ed Pavey, Rotary Community Service Director, deemed the week-long camp and the Health Fair a complete and total success. He said, “This was our first community service project for the year and through independent funding, we were able to secure some funds to prepare the food for the camp for the entire week and also for the fair on Saturday.” “Approximately 50 children participated in the camp and they were ecstatic but also very sad that the camp was coming to a close but overall it was just a fantastic turnout.” Peter Turnquest, Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, was the guest speaker, and after his speech he presented some additional gifts to the children. One of the awards was ‘Best Helper to the Counselors’ and that was given to Anton Morrison, who was not actually a registered camper, but asked Ms. Lee if he can tag along and assist her in anything she needed. In attendance was also the Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville who came out to show his support. Pavey added, “We had a great time with the kids and the Rotary just supported the youth and like I said earlier, it was a great success and we was happy to help.”
At the End of the Camp We Asked the Children to Write Their Favorite Things About Camp.
Nutrition student Kristen Kochenour teaches Bahamian kids to lead healthy lifestyles.