Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles: Inspiring Caribbean Youth through Nonformal Education
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During a 3-month internship on the Caribbean island of Nevis this past summer (2006), I developed a summer camp for local children, “Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles” sponsored and supervised by the Department of Fisheries, a local non-profit organization (Nevis Turtle Group, NTG), and the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). The camp was initiated as a collaboration between the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis and NTG. The success of the summer camp program became the inspiration for my master’s project. The specific objective of my master’s project was to produce a detailed (and ultimately multilingual, English, Spanish, French) curriculum guide for the “Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles” program, including all necessary resources to successfully implement a week-long summer camp focused on the basic biology, contemporary threats (both man-made and natural), and conservation issues that relate to sea turtles in the Caribbean Sea. “Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles” has been designed as a 15-hour camp organized over five consecutive days and the intended age range is 9-15 years. At the end of the five days, the students receive Course Completion Certificates stating that they have successfully completed the camp and are now Junior Members of a local natural resource agency or conservation group, with whom a partnership had been established by the Instructor beforehand. Upon completion, the Guide will be repatriated to Nevis, where it was conceived, and also distributed throughout the Caribbean region through the efforts of WIDECAST. As a result of educating Nevisian youth, the NTG saw an elevated island-wide interest in sea turtle conservation, including increased participation of local adults in nighttime beach monitoring. With this in mind, I anticipate that “Sun, Sand and Sea Turtles” will enhance sea turtle conservation programs in Nevis, as well as inspire similar efforts throughout the Caribbean region and beyond.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Nevis Turtle Group
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST)
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