Summer camp offers porthole glimpse into ocean

National Trust campers at South Sound Dart Park show of paper plates they used to make port holes after exploring life underwater aboard the Nautilus Monday morning. -Photo: Jewel Levy

Young National Trust campers recently explored life underwater aboard the semi-submarine Nautilus – Cayman’s Undersea tour attraction.

The underwater adventure was day 1 of camp for 14 youngsters attending the “Heritage Heroes Summer Camp” at South Sound’s Dart Park, which continues until Aug. 3.

Camper Brianna Ebanks said she enjoyed the trip because the children got to socialize with other kids and people on board the vessel.

“Staying at home in the summer can be really boring, but when you have other kids to play with and learning about the environment at the same time, it’s pretty cool,” she said.

Jeremy Grizzel said he had lots of fun watching the fisherman feed the fish and hearing about shipwrecks.

Camper Jaiden Thomas said she saw a puffer fish. “This is my fourth or fifth time [attending the camp] because I love exploring the outdoors,” she said.

For 15 years, the National Trust camp has been giving young children in Cayman the chance to learn about the environment, culture and heritage.

“The National Trust is all about saying what’s special about the Cayman Islands – the places, habitats and indigenous species found nowhere else but in the Cayman Islands,” said Catherine Childs, National Trust camp volunteer.

Campers get ready to board the Nautilus and spend a day exploring under the sea. – Photo: Jewel Levy

“This morning, we went out in the harbor and the children learned about the shipwrecks, our maritime heritage and the many, many species of fish.”

Back at base camp at the National Trust office on South Church Street after lunch, the children participated in arts and crafts activities by making portholes with an ocean-themed background out of paper plates.

Several businesses gave their support to the camp through sponsorship or reduced costs for trips to some of Cayman’s outdoor attractions, including Butterfield Bank, Webster’s Tours, Red Sail Sports and Cayman Sea Elements.