Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Youth Environmental Ambassadors Summer Camp

“I learned and experienced so much at the camp. . . . YEA club, you’re the the best!!! - Frauleen
Fredrick (sophomore at Nanpei Memorial High School)

During the five day camp, students learned the skills needed to become the next environmental leaders of Pohnpei. Students didn’t let a little rain slow down the learning or the fun during the five day camp.

Plant specimen collection, hiking, GPS training and tree planting are not typical summer camp activities, but the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) Summer Camp is quite unique. The
camp, on its fourth year, was held from August 3rd through 7th at the Salapwuk Elementary School. It hosted 42 students from Pohnlangas and Nanpei Memorial High Schools for a week of
terrestrial-based learning and hands-on activities.

The students are all members of the Youth Environmental Ambassadors (YEA) Club, which began at PICS High School in 2005 and has since grown to include the Pohnlangas and Nanpei
schools. Each club has student officers, memberships and faculty advisors, and meets regularly to address local environmental issues.

Club members have organized activities such as roadside and campus cleanup and mural painting. Members are dedicated to spread their knowledge of all the environmental challenges facing Pohnpei through peer and community outreach.

Salapwuk served as the perfect campgrounds for a land-based camp due to its lush, intact forest, spectacular 7 waterfalls hike, Sahwartik and Sahwarlap falls, and sacred sites. Students grew to appreciate Salapwuk’s beauty even more throughout the week, as they learned about the importance of conservation, clean water, invasive species, and other critical Pohnpeian terrestrial themes that were presented by CSP, Pohnpei’s Environmental Protection Agency, the Island Food Community of Pohnpei and the Division of Forestry.

The Society wishes to express sincere appreciation and Kalahngan to the Australian Embassy AusAid small grants program for providing the funding that makes this year’s camp possible.

Special thanks also to the Salapwuk community for the warm hospitality and support throughout the summer camp.

Story by: Tess Carly
Pictures by: CSP

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