This summer, the day EcoCamps overflowed with enthusiastic outdoor fun! Campers ages 7-11 explored Stanley Park as EcoCampers, investigating nature, challenging their comfort zones, and learning new skills. This led to some life-changing moments for campers, and we are excited to share a few of their memorable moments:
- Seeing kids like Carlos dedicated to developing a new skill: During slack-lining, Carlos was the only camper who was on the slack-lines the entire time they were up, over an hour! He told me, “This is my favourite of my life!” He worked on his balance so much that by halfway through he was already walking along the slack-line without holding onto a leader for balance. Carlos set the camp record for most steps walked without falling off. – Emily, Camp Leader
- Having children like Valentina, who was so excited to cook during Stanley Park Survivor week, saying, “My mom won’t let me cook at home because she says it’s too dangerous.” When her father arrived to pick her up, I expressed how responsible she was using a knife and being around an open fire that he said he would talk mom into letting her cook at home. -Yeelen, Camp Leader
- During free time, we climbed the fallen tree near the seawall at the entrance to the Park. Sum Tin was nervous to climb along a long branch and jump off the end, as some campers were doing. On his first attempt he shuffled along the branch on his butt, slow and steady, and, with some prompting from leaders, clung to it as he lowered his body down halfway before dropping the short distance that was left. But each run he grew more confident, and by the end he was walking along the branch and jumping the full height to the ground. He didn’t want to leave! – Emily, Camp Leader
- This summer our campers got a chance to become stewards in the Park by helping pull out the invasive English ivy. One of my favourite memories was working alongside the kids while they tenaciously removed ivy for as long as they could until they were all worn out. They were so eager to find the longest vine possible and make the group’s pile huge, and the greatest part was the awareness of the ivy’s ecological impact on the Park. After our pull, when we would walk through the forest, kids would always point out the English ivy and worry for the plants around it. It was so awesome to feel their enthusiasm for taking care of the Park that they had spent their week in. – Emma, Camp Leader
Thanks to everyone who participated in camp and made it an unforgettable summer!
By Emily Stringer, Environmental Educator