The end of a successful ´Back to Nature Camp´!
From 10-15 august 2013 BRC hosted the first Back to Nature camp for 15 Georgian children between 10-14 years old, coming from different backgrounds. The camp was offered free of charge for the kids and was an important step for BRC in starting to create an enthusiastic youth for nature movement in the Batumi region.
The participants were selected from schools in the region of Batumi, and were invited to stay at a private house in the small town of Sakhalvasho, where they were housed and fed by different families who also take care of the counters who participate in the Batumi raptor counting program.
During the 5-day camp the kids were guided by 2 Belgian educators, Lieze Ruys and Sanne Boelaert, and 2 Georgian teachers, Vasil Metreveli and Elza Makaradze, and followed by a photographer, Miguel Houbaert.
There was a varied and exciting program on offer, with beautiful excursions in two of the region´s impressive national parks (Mtirala and Kintrishi), crafting butterfly nets, setting out dolphin watching, playing educational games, watching wildlife and so much more. The kids got up close and personal with much of the region´s biodiversity: from mushrooms over butterflies, frogs and salamanders to birds, and of course the first raptor migrants of the autumn season.
The goal of the camp was to promote awareness of the exceptional natural diversity of the Batumi area with young people from the region to and to change the way they interact with nature, with an emphasis on observation of animals and plants.
We believe that by sharing our perspective on nature with regional people, and children in particular, we can improve the intrinsic valuation they have of nature around them. Awareness about nature and passionate young nature entusiasts are an essential prerequisite to reverse conservation problems in the Batumi region, such as the indiscriminate shooting of migratory birds and raptors.
The camp was an overwhelming success, and will certainly be repeated next year.
The BRC team wants to thank Lieze, Sanne, Vasil and Elza for their excellent coordination of the camp, and Miguel for recording the activities.
We also thank Vogelbescherming Nederland who financed this camp with 2000 EUR from the IJsvogelfund and Opticron Ltd. for kindly donating