Thirty kids in Cayman Brac spent two weeks immersed in Cayman’s history and culture at a camp organized by the YMCA Cayman Islands in partnership with Cayman Brac native Simone Scott.

The Cayman Brac Culture Camp, from July 31 to Aug. 11 at the Heritage House, included such activities as fishing, heritage arts, traditional games, song and dance and scavenger hunts.

Campers were introduced to the book “Dragon of Nani Cave” by Elaine Powers, which chronicles the adventures of the curly tail lizards of Cayman Brac.

The Brac’s own storyteller Quincy Brown read the story to the campers over the course of the first week.

Other activities included a hands-on lesson about digital book illustration using iPads and iPhones, a beach cleanup for trash and treasure, coral decoration and jewelry-making, field trips to the bat cave and the mangroves, getting up close and personal with some turtle hatchlings and learning Cayman folklore and songs.

“The Cayman Islands has just published its Culture and Heritage Policy, which further highlights how important it is for our children to be taught about our heritage,” said Ms. Scott. “Today’s Caymanian culture has been heavily influenced by other cultures, so there is more of a focus on conservation and the environment which is why we decided to concentrate on those topics in our first week. However, the heritage of our forefathers is still very important for both Caymanians and visitors alike, so we spent a lot of time in our second week exploring various aspects of the traditional Cayman culture.”

Campers also learned about characteristics that will serve them well.

With the exception of the first day of camp, no electronic devices were allowed on site for the two weeks. The second week was spent learning about traditional Caymanian homes, how to boil fever grass and mint bush tea, thatch plaiting, drawing, rope-laying, handline fishing, making tamarind juice, fritters and coconut ice cream, taking a farm tour and walking the Bluff trail.

“The Y Cayman Islands was pleased to offer this opportunity to our children to learn more about the rich history and culture of the Cayman Islands. It is only by teaching these traditions and telling these stories to this generation that we will be able to preserve them for the next, and we know from the feedback we have received that the campers enjoyed learning about their country and what makes Cayman so unique,” said Jenny Stuesser, Y program coordinator.

“We want to thank Ms. Simone, all the volunteers and people who came to teach the lessons, the companies who donated supplies, the Public Works Department, District Administration and Honorable Moses Kirkconnell for their contributions which made this camp a success.”

For more information about the YMCA Cayman Islands, log on to www.ymcacayman.ky.

Campers try their hand at making a bird trap.
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