Jul 18, 2012

Kids love 'Leave No Trace"! - Day 1

Dear guys,

The third week working in Aowanda was marked by the “Leave No Trace” camp. It lasted three days and involved kids aged from 13 to 15 from all around Taiwan.

The detailed schedule of the camp was prepared very carefully beforehand. I was assigned as a photographer and I was supposed to record every moments during the camp. Thanks to the high-quality camera, my pictures didn’t look so bad! Here is the camp story through pictures.

Day 1:
Right after arriving at Aowanda, kids were grouped into four groups and then led to their rooms. 
Group 1: Panda (aka Simon) & Elephant (aka Maggie)
Group 2: Wei & Snail
Group 3: Spider and Calf
Group 4: GuaGua (aka Erik) and Swallow
Mr Spider overviewed about the rules during the camp before the first lunch in Aowanda’s restaurant. After lunch, kids played some warm-up games to get to know each other and their team leaders. For example, they had to transform a bowl of ice into a bottle of water. It was so fun watching how creative they were to find the solution.
Using magnifying glass

The next activity was drawing wooden name tag. Each kid was given a round piece of wood to write their names on as well as to draw certain pictures such as their teams’ symbol. For example, the symbol of Swallow and Gua Gua team is a frog with wings as a combination of swallow as a bird and Gua Gua as a frog.
They look so similar :)
Left: Frog with wings
After that, there was a series of indoor activities. Mr Spider gave a lecture about seven principles of Leave No Trace. Ms Swallow guided kids materials and things needed for a trekking day in the forest. Some kids listened attentively while others were so tired that they couldn’t help falling asleep.
Mr Spider lectured LNT
Ms Swallow guided how to pack up
In the evening, making bonfire and watching stars were main activities. The bonfire was not a big one because it was used to educate children to protect the forest. Kids were asked to make a promise of respecting the environment. I remembered two special moments when everybody kept silence and followed their own thoughts. The first one was the dying out of the bonfire and the second one was the time when everybody lied down on the ground watching the star sky. Such  peaceful moments were really very precious in anyone’s life.
Throw a wish into fire, maybe?
I wish the fire was bigger :P
Unique star-watching style
Day 2:
Second day was such an intense day including both indoor and outdoor activities namely packing up for the lunch in the forest, walking to bird-watching platform, cooking lunch in the forest, walking through the Suspension Bridge, digging the cat-hole in the pine tree zone, brainstorming ways to adapt with “Leave No Trace”’s principles, watching home-made drama and recalling forest etiquettes.

Day 3:
The last day of the camp was really short because the kids left at around 3pm. They woke up early in the morning and walked to the adjustment pond to watch birds with binoculars. Then, they made use of solar energy to boil eggs, etc. The most memorable part was the time when everyone looked back the past days’ actitivies through pictures. I think kids have really got out of something after taking part in this camp, not only the attitude and knowledge about nature, but also new friends from all over Taiwan. 

Stay tuned for more pictures...
All the best to everyone,

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