Marine Awareness Camp

By Eleanor Yeld Hutchings, 10th July 2017

The mid-winter sun was shining, the school doors closed for the mid-year break, and that meant it was time for Capricorn Primary Grade 5 learners to join us on another Marine Awareness Camp at the Soetwater Environmental Education Centre, sponsored by the Save Our Seas Foundation!

The beautiful land and seascape of the Soetwater Coastal Conservancy

The risk we run in Cape Town winters is rain… currently extremely welcome in our severe drought but not exactly conducive to getting outdoors and exploring the coastal environmental of the beautiful Soetwater Nature Reserve. And this means having to be prepared with exciting, ocean-themed, educational (but still fun) activities for indoors and out, plus a programme timetable that has flexibility built in.

Sure enough, the wintry rain hit on the very first day, and just as the campers arrived. But we were prepared, and shrieks of fun filled the hall as we started off the camp with some teamwork and friendly competition. Luckily, the rain only hung around for a few hours, and we were soon able to shake off the cobwebs and head outside into the fresh air.

Each team chose their own team name and made a poster to represent themselves

Working on ocean-themed team posters

Presenting their team name and poster to the rest of the group

The good weather remained for the rest of the three day camp, so we could continue our outdoor programmes. Amid such excitements as a bird show, climbing up the tallest steel lighthouse in South Africa, night hiking, swimming (in July!), beach hunting, bird watching, sand sculpting, learning about sharks, it was hard to say what the favourite activities were.

Meeting a Hadeda Ibis at the bird show

Slangkop Lighthouse in Kommetjie

Night hike adventures!

Swimming in the middle of winter!

Hunting for objects of different shapes, sizes and colours on the beach

Going birding along the coast

Making amazing sand sculptures on the beach

Zanele showing everyone how their ears are made of cartilage, just like a shark's skeleton

We also played some new and intensely competitive games, like “Oceanopoly” and “Shark Bingo” which were accompanied by both howls of laughter and serious concentration.

Oceanopoly is fun!

In the end, however, everyone agreed that they had enjoyed their camp to the fullest, and we left Soetwater with 30 proud new “Save Our Seas” ambassadors on board.

30 new Save Our Seas ambassadors after their 3-day Marine Awareness camp