Over two hundred and seventy children from across the country are in attendance at the 2018 Belize Defense Force Volunteer Battalion summer camp. The camp began on Saturday august 4th and it is being held at the Xuchlin Ha Primary School in Maya Mopan, Belmopan. Plus News caught up with the campers today as they held their Fun day at the Governer General Field. We spoke to Edison Olgada, the C.E.O of the Volunteer Battalion and Coordinator of the Camp. He told us more about the one week camp.
Edison Olgada, BDF Annual Camp: Okay, this annual camp is held here in Belmopan but in the past it’s been held all over the country. Last year for example we were in Independence. This year we concentrated on Belmopan and we had all the cadets assemble here from last Saturday and they will be here until this Saturday, tomorrow when they’ll head back home. While they were here, they did military subjects. All subjects except Weapon Handling. Subjects like Map Reading, First Aid, Drill, that sort of thing. Disciple as well so that they’ll improve on being good Belizeans.
Reporter: Okay, no, tell us how many participants you had this year and where they are from.
Edison Olgada, BDF Annual Camp: :Okay, we have 276 cadets here and they are from all over the country. We have from Corozal, Orange Walk, the Belize District, Cayo and the Toledo District.
Edison Olgada, BDF Annual Camp: Today is to let loose, today is to show who can run well, who can do sack race, line race, basket ball and so on. So today is our sports day and the companies are competing against each other to see which is the better company.
Reporter: And is there a prize at the end?
Edison Olgada, BDF Annual Camp: : Yes, there will be prices for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place companies. But actually we’ll also have basket ball across at that stadium over there in the distance and so all sports are included. But yes, we do give medals and so on to winners.
Reporter: Now, one final question. Are you able to say how the kids have been doing so far throughout the week. What have their response been like in terms of the camp and being away from home?
Edison Olgada, BDF Annual Camp: It’s excellent, there have only been three who have gone home. They were visited by their parents and they couldn’t detach from their parents and so we had no option but to send them home. Everybody else is here and they are loving it.
We spoke to several of the campers in order to find out if they were enjoying the camping experience as much as Olgado indicated. Here is what they had to say.
Reporter: What has been the best part of this camp for you so far?
Uduth Gonzalez, Participant BDF Annual Camp: This piece right here sir.
Reporter: What’s this piece about?
Uduth Gonzalez, Participant BDF Annual Camp: Playing sports.
Reporter: Okay, tell me what have you learnt so far at this camp?
Uduth Gonzalez, Participant BDF Annual Camp: We learnt about Math, Science and thing.
Reporter: And are you enjoying yourself?
Reporter: What’s this piece about?
Uduth Gonzalez, Participant BDF Annual Camp Playing sports.
Reporter: What is one of the main things that you have learnt, that you are saying I could take this back home and apply it to life, apply it to when I go back to school?
Youth Participant 1, BDF Annual Camp: The jungle survival or expedition.
Reporter: Tell me about that.
Reporter: So did you guys get to go to the jungle?
Reporter: How was that experience for you?
Youth Participant 1, BDF Annual Camp: It was great sir.
Reporter: Ok, you think you could survive, if you ever get lost in the jungle?
Youth Participant 1, BDF Annual Camp: Yes I can sir, a lot of experience.
Reporter: And why did you decide to join this camp?
Youth Participant 2, BDF Annual Camp: I decided to join this camp because I wanted to learn more about the outdoors, how to survive in the wild, yes.
Reporter: Do you a want to be part of the BDF or Coast Guard or Police when you grow older?
Youth Participant 2, BDF Annual Camp: I think i want to be in the BDF when I grow up.
Reporter: How has your team been doing so far?
Youth Participant 3, BDF Annual Camp: Good.
Youth Participant 3, BDF Annual Camp: No sir.(giggles)
Reporter: (Laughs) Alright so tell us what has your experience been like at the camp far at the camp.
Youth Participant 3, BDF Annual Camp: Good, because they taught us different things like how to control your anger. They didn’t teach you to be bad, like they try prevent you from doing bad things.
The camp will commence tomorrow morning.