With scores of summer camps taking place around the country it usually is a case seen one, seen all. Not so with the Barbados Port Inc’s Port Experience Summer Camp which was based at the Carlton Cricket Ground. The just concluded camp with the theme, Barbados –Our Island Home, “finished too soon” according to camper, Ria Harris as it was an awesome experience for all the children.
Harris, speaking on behalf of the campers at the closing ceremony to an audience that included parents, port managers and ministry officials, said that the camp, which is exclusively for children of BPI workers, not only gave insight into their parent’s work and phenomenal experiences like sailing on the tug into Carlisle Bay and experiencing a cruise ship, it also taught them discipline and provided the opportunity for developing lasting friendships.
Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner congratulated the BPI on the educational initiative now in its fifth year. She told the campers that they should have learnt the three important tenets at the camp: “responsibility, punctuality and following rules” noting that it was very important to follow rules in their parents’ work environment.
Sandiford-Garner also reminded the campers that they were the future of Barbados and the world, and each of them has a contribution to make. She encouraged them to “continue to pay attention to what you are seeing and hearing, to ask questions and to give your opinions in a respectful manner, understand that your views matter and whatever job you do is important to Barbados’ progress, and learn how to enjoy what ever you do.”
She told the older campers that this is a golden opportunity for them to think of a career in marine studies, given the excellent career showcase they had over the past two weeks. She explained that there are all types of skills needed from work with catamarans to cruise ships, port operations or even naval careers.
Camp Director Freida Nicholls, Market Development and Public Relations Manager at the BPI, said that the 40 campers had the opportunity to connect with the port experience namely: port operations, cargo destinations for imports, exports, the cruise industry, the environment, and national security.
They also visited places of interest around the island. Presentations were made to the campers on Entrepreneurship, the ISPS Security Code and Marine Services. The campers were also involved in personal development sessions and Nicholls explained that the camp’s success was due to the strong support from board, management and staff.
All the campers were given certificates of participation with special prizes given to those who excelled at the quiz and in their general contribution to the camp.