It's the 6th annual BDF Summer Camp but unlike the other camps this one provides for a career opportunity and today Jim McFadzean stopped by to get a sample of what it's about:
Jim McFadzean Reporting:
The BDF's 2011 summer camp is unlike any other. The top brass here knows the importance of image building, and that's why the hosting of more than 500 kids for the six year in a row translates to positive PR and a unique opportunity for force recruitment.
Lt. Col. David Jones - Chief of Staff, BDF
"Apart from the Normal surroundings at home, were they interact with their friends or relatives, and especially if they are not doing anything positive, we try and channel their eneregy into something positive, in a learning environment, learning discipline. So that when they return back to school, they can appreciate the need for authority, the respect for authority and team work, and they can implement it or spread it among their peers when they go back to school, when the go back to school."
The kids being hosted at this summer camp at Price Barracks come mostly from the Belize District and are in their second week of receiving diverse training and instructions in everything from basic computer literacy, to qualifying for the next National Football selection, Band competition, and making the best Belizean pastry or maybe even better yet, the next Picasso.
"Have you ever had cooking experience before?
"What made you decide to choose cooking over music or computer?"
"Because I want to learn in the kitchen, and when my mother gets sick, I would be able to help her."
Khrystara Andrews - UB Student
"In this camp, we have learned to cook so many foods for breakfast, dessert. So many things we have learned to cook here. We baked cake, powder buns, johnny cakes, creole bun, fried jacks, and so much more."
"What's the easiest part of cook?"
"The baking, that's the easiest thing to do in cook."
"Why is it easy?"
"Because, all you have to do, is place your pastries in the oven, time it, and you check back when the time is up."
"Have you tried anything besides pastries so far?"
"Yes, we have done breakfast, and different stuff for dinner dessert."
Lcpl Augustine Cecil - BDF Instructor
"These kids come here with no knowledge about cooking, so myself, along with the other instructor staff, are here to just teach them basic cooking, so that in the future - on weekends with their parents - they can help more or less something slight, to give their parents a helping hand, doing the cooking. So most of the time, we just try to work with them, with basic things when it comes to cooking."
"Describe for us the art work that you are doing right now."
"Well right now, Mr. Bennette is teaching us how to make a sunset. First you have to paint the back ground, then you can add figures that you want to add, such as trees, birds, and animals."
"Why did you choose avionics?"
Lincoln Sanenz - King's College
"I chose it just to learn about parts of the plane, because I want to know the parts of plane, and parts of a car too."
"So are you interested in a career with the BDF at any point?"
"At my age, not yet."
Lt. Col. David Jones
"They start here from scratch, learning different skills, be it either painting, learning to play a different instrument, learning about the aircraft, playing a sport such as football, basketball, or volleyball, introduction to computer, assembling of computer. And for the next session of camps, we will have session of camps, we will have building construction, introduction to boat units, so they will learn how to operate and maneuver boats. When they start here, they start from scratch. So as they progress throughout the day, and after the end of the two weeks, they appreciate and they have a sense of accomplishment on what they have learned here."
And while Sanenz is not yet sure about his future with the BDF, Irving Hamilton and Jeffrin Usher say they are seriously interested in a career with the BDF.
"What's your interest in aviation? Do you plan on joining the BDF at some point later on, after school?"
Irving Hamilton - Excelsior College
Yes, I will join them when I reach 18. I want to learn to fly planes as a pilot. I want to know the parts of a plane."
"What interested you about this specific course in aviation."
Jeffrin Usher - Anglican Cathedral College
"You see, from the age of 7, planes were the only thing that I was always interested in: seeing them take off, just made me fall in love with it"
"Any interests in a career, become a pilot or a mechanic in this field?
"Yes, the BDF camp over here needs a aviators, so I might be the next one."
And it's that type of attitude that the BDF hopes most of the kids attending Summer Camp 2011 will take away with them at the end of this two week camp.
The annual camp is being held simultaneously at both Fairweather Camp in Punta Gorda and Camp Belizario in the Cayo District. The current camp ends this Friday, July 22nd, and the next intake will go from August 11th thru August 12th.