Record Numbers for Orange Walk Summer Camp Print E-mail
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Written by Shane B. Williams   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 00:00

Participants  of the camp (Inset - Hon. Gaspar Vega presents certificates and back to school supplies to participants).The 6th annual Gaspar Vega summer camp concluded on Friday, July 29th, at the Trial Farm Park. The rain did little to dampen the festive spirits of the energized youths that made the journey to Trial Farm from different villages in Orange Walk North. Christopher Hendricks is the Camp Coordinator and he was extremely happy to see how much the camp had grown.

The first camp was held 8 years ago for primary school aged children 5-13 years old in the Trial Farm area. A little over fifty youths participated and funding was low. At the closing ceremony, he remembered presenting the participants with certificates made on typing sheets. Due to low financial support again, there was no camp the following year. In 2006, he approached Hon. Gaspar Vega and shared his idea for the summer camp. Hon. Vega assisted financially and the camp was reborn, this time with 65 participants. The camp grew slightly the following years and in 2009 the Honourable Gaspar Vega decided to extend the camp to the entire division. There were over 300 participants that year. Now, the camp has attracted many more youths and sponsors.

In the Trial Farm/OtroBenque zone alone, there were over 110 children registered on the first day. In the other villages, divided into three zones, there were an additional 400 plus participants and 50 volunteers. The camp was originally and remains primarily a sport camp. However, what has drawn the support of Hon. Gaspar Vega and many other sponsors is the moral and spiritual focus of the camp. A spiritual devotion is the first thing on the agenda each day. Participants fellowship in a time of singing and bible study. Some of the children were asked by sponsorship representatives what they had learnt at the camp. Some spoke about the different sport disciplines while a 7-year-old lifted her hand and said, “I learnt how to pray.” This subject was a key part of Minister Vega’s message to the children. He thanked the volunteers for teaching the basics of different disciplines and importance of sportsmanship and fair-play on the road to victory. However, he expressed his greatest gratitude to volunteers who led worship service and bible teaching because “we must always put the Almighty first in everything we do.” He encouraged the participants, including his own children who were in the camp, to hold on to the friends they made and practice the lessons in their daily lives.

Coordinators wish to thank the Embassy of China (Taiwan), Belize Telemedia Limited, Belize Natural Energy, Cal’s Bakery, La Popular Bakery, Zeta Ice Factory, Acquarious Ice Factory, Bowen and Bowen Limited, the Belize Tourism Board, A & R, Social security Board, Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the Hon. Gaspar Vega for their kind contributions.

The children were presented with certificates of participation at the end of the ceremony and they were not on typing sheets. They also received back to school supplies and enjoyed lunch together.