Summer Camp Set to Educate Caribbean Youth

For the seventh year, the Wider Environmental Youth Program will welcome young Caribbean people from July 21 to July 27 on St John, USVI for a seven-day environmental summer camp filled with exciting outdoors activities and interactive lectures. The deadline to register has been extended to June 17, 2005.
Students, ages 12-16, are immersed in activities and experiences that cover natural history and ecology of selected Caribbean ecosystems - coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove wetlands, coastal scrub, dry forest and moist forest - conservation issues in the Caribbean, natural resource management strategies in the Caribbean, and environmental issues and careers. The daily program includes field trips in the various ecosystems (hiking, snorkeling, biking…), as well as demonstrations and discussions.

This year’s theme is “Natural History, Ecology and Conservation on Caribbean Islands.” More information and detailed daily program are available on the VIERS website at www.islands.org/virgin/viers.

Interested parties can register by contacting Randy Brown at (410) 647-2500, fax (410) 647-4554, email [email protected].

In July 2004, 8 Caribbean teenagers participated in the program, hosted by the Virgin Islands Resources Station (VIERS) on St John, USVI, and were absolutely thrilled. Eion Maison, from St Maarten, says the experience “has motivated [him] to be a volunteer for environmental organizations back home,” while “it sparked a great interest in marine life” for Lena Manek, from St Martin, and “it has been one that [she] would always cherish” for Chantel Pemberton from St Kitts.

This initiative is presented by the Clean Islands International, the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) and its environmental division, the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), with sponsorship from American Airlines. Land cost per participant is US$600 (includes everything except air fare). American Airlines provides extra-special rates for the participants; no higher than $200.
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