FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA — More than 150 excited children showed up Monday morning at Pineridge Urban Renewal Center, for the orientation of the 2022 summer camp.
The turnout at the orientation in no way reflected the numbers that are expected to eventually turn out for the camp over the next two weeks. Organizers are convinced that once the camp got underway, even more kids would show up to be a part.
Deputy Director of Urban Development, Senator Kirkland Russell, who was one of the speakers at the orientation, said that he didn’t want just another regular summer camp, but he wanted to provide a unique camp experience for the children. That uniqueness, he said, can be found in the structure of the summer
He explained that the camp would not be held in just one location, but rather would be spread out to various communities throughout Grand Bahama, each at Urban Development centers. It means that simultaneously, the Urban Development camp takes place in East Grand Bahama, West Grand Bahama, Eight Mile Rock, Pineridge and Lewis Yard, each with its specific focused agenda.
“Instead of having the same regular things that take place at every summer camp, what I wanted to do was have different Urban Development Centers do different things,” said Russell
The camp in East Grand Bahama will be focused on Bahamian culture, including Junkanoo and even sloop building, he said.
“One center will be focused primarily on sports and so kids who are interested in sports would attend that camp, where there will be a variety of sports taught at that camp. Another will be teaching kids about music. We would like to see those kids become interested in learning about notes, how to read music and eventually learn to play an instrument. That will go a long way in growing the Urban Development band.”
Russell said that there will also be instructions in arts and crafts, sewing and cooking Bahamian food. One of the camps will be strictly outdoors, during which time kids will be taught how to fish, how to camp and even how to swim.
“Our task for the next two weeks is to ensure that not only do these kids have clean, healthy fun, but that each of these kids who attend this camp will leave with an increased knowledge of some skill, as well as more knowledge about the Bahamian culture,” he added.
Minister for Grand Bahama Ginger Moxey was on hand for the opening of the Urban Development Summer Camp. She was excited about the number of children who had turned out for the opening and she congratulated Senator Kirkland Russell and his team for the official launch of the camp.
“It is such a joy to see so many kids show up for the orientation, which includes all of the camps around the island,” said Moxey.
“I’m happy that the start of the camp is being held here in Pineridge at the Pineridge Urban Renewal Center. I really would like to thank Urban Development for what they’re doing on behalf
of the young people within these communities,” he said.
“We know that after such a long time in school, our kids need these kinds of break. So, we’re glad that this camp will help get them outdoors so that they can experience some of the summer in a learning environment.”