Providing a fun and learning environment for children, the East Grand Bahama Constituency held a closing ceremony on Friday, July 12 for the well-attended two-week children’s summer camp.
The ceremony was held at the Church of the Ascension Auditorium, where advisors, teachers and the campers demonstrated to parents and guardians their works with STEM projects (science, technology, engineering, math), arts and craft, and musical instruments.
Acknowledged as the brainchild of the East Grand Bahama MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest, the camp has become an educational and comprehension advancement opportunity for the children of the area.
Turnquest spoke on the importance of excelling. As most summer camps are focused around sporting activities and entertainment, he pointed out that the subjects of science technology, engineering and math (STEM) played a major part in making a difference for educational development.
“I am so impressed in what you have done in just two weeks. As we look around, we see all of the work that you have done and the situation gives us hope that there may be a brighter future for our country.
“Our future is in good hands and as long as you continue to apply yourself, listen to your teachers, your parents, you and me will be just okay.
“What I like about STEM, it is different than a lot of the other camps that are going on at this time. We are not just looking at the physical part which is important, but we also want you to discover yourself to see what it is that excites you and hopefully, will light a little spark in you that will encourage you and make you want to learn more, to explore more and to develop your talent in whatever way is possible.
“Those of us who would’ve attended the independence celebration last week, you would’ve seen on display so much talent, so much possibilities. This is where it starts, by allowing these young people to express themselves in a creative way.
“What we see on display, shows who we are as a people, colorful and bright, innovative and full of talent and potential,” said the DPM.
He further challenged the children to “activate their potential and become inspired” by their own desires.
“I want to encourage you to continue to explore these natural and raw talents that you have, because you never know who and what you are going to be.
“I have to go back to Nassau this afternoon, but I made this trip especially, to say to you that we love you, we are inspired by you and we want to encourage you.
“We want to celebrate everything that you do that is positive.
“Again I am so very proud of you, I am glad that you all came and I most happy that you learned something while having fun, because that is what it is all about, having fun, learning and being inspired,” said Turnquest.
Deemed one of the fun subjects, the summer camp music Teacher, Covena Murphy explained this year’s new instrument, the hand bells which helped establish teamwork amongst the campers.
“I came into the program last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But last year we worked on the recorder and because most of the kids had some experience on the recorder, I decided that we would teach a new instrument this year.
“This year we decided to add hand bells which is one instrument. They are arranged just like a keyboard, but with the hand bells, you would need more than one person.
“Each bell represents a key on the piano.
“We chose to do hand bells because it develops a lot in our kids and it boosts auditory skills such as sound awareness. It stimulates the brain and builds musical memory.
“The hand bells enhance growth of coordinating skills, it improves communication skills, and builds team- work as students work together to present one piece of music.
“When I think about reading music and developing skills, it takes more than just two weeks, so what these kids have done in two weeks is amazing,” she said.
Murphy stated further that it was a pleasure participating in the camp and she looks forward to working with more students next year.
This news daily spoke with three of the campers on their perspectives.
Danielle Wilson said “the camp was very interesting.
“It is very different from other camps. Science, technology, music and art give us the opportunity to show our artistic sides. My favorite part of the camp was music, because I got to play an instrument that I have never played before. I played a song and it was really a fun time,” said Wilson.
Antonio Moss Jr. said “the camp was all about expressing yourself.”
“This camp was different, it wasn’t about sports, but it gave us the opportunity to express ourselves. It helped us in the engineering field for those wanting to become an engineer. It helped us with our artistic side for those wanting to become an artist and it was just different from other camps.
“My favorite part would’ve definitely been the engineering part because my team came up with an idea to build a roller-coaster and it was fun to work as a team,”he said.
Kalin Fyne said “the camp was nice.” He explained that different materials and connected pieces were used to build STEM models.
He said he would definitely attend again.