In line with its commitment to nurture conservation champions for the future, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) concluded its summer camp for this year last Thursday.
Themed “Time for Nature”, it ran for three weeks from 9th August and was hosted with the support from Access Bank PLC at at Lekki Conservation Centre.
The primary objective of the NCF summer camp, which is now in its third year, is to impart conservation knowledge to children three years ago.
Over 75 children of ages seven to 17 benefited from the programme. They were engaged in the various activities including Gardening, Upcycling, Nature hike, Tie-dying, Storytelling, Coding, Green Cooking, Art and Craft, Quiz and Games.
The initiative started virtually via Google Classroom and WhatsApp platforms in 2020. The 2021 edition was held at Lekki Conservation Centre for three weeks with loads of activities such as Butterfly Collection, Bird Watching, Green Cooking and Up-cycling.
Summer camp is a community away from home and school where children learn to work with each other, learn new things in an environment that they are not ordinarily exposed to daily. This helps them learn to solve problems, accomplish their goals which make them feel a sense of acceptance and belonging and give them leading experience in building the foundations of stronger children who can lead others.
It also encourages them to show empathy, navigate through difficult group dynamics, value the differences in everyone and give of oneself for the benefits of others. It is also a place where many have the most participants have memorable experience of their lives.
The summer camp is one of NCF’s Environmental Education activities. For many decades, it has been committed to environmental education among children and school pupils.
Conservation clubs are set up in many schools across the nation, while teachers are trained periodically on environmental best practices. Currently, NCF has over 200 conservation clubs established in secondary and primary schools across Nigeria.
In one of the sessions for the children, the Lead Environmental Education for NCF, Mrs Abidemi Balogun urged them to imbibe the new culture and be ambassadors of nature anywhere they are found.
“In life, we all have responsibilities and opportunities to protect, preserve and stand for nature. You are here during this summer camp to gain more knowledge and boost your confidence in standing and defending nature when necessary”.
The participants exhibited excitement during the engagements and thanked NCF for the initiative. Many of them promised to be good ambassadors of NCF and nature.
One of them, Jesusorefunmi Soneye said: “I have learnt more about nature because this is not my first time of coming here. Aunty Ibukun has thought us many things which will be useful for me. I want to thank NCF for this summer camp”.
In his closing speech, Destiny Ashiabi thanked the NCF on behalf of the other children and said that the programme was exciting and adventurous, while they had been enlightened on how to conserve the ecological environments.