Last week, 29 young explorers joined our campus community for a week of hands-on learning, new experiences, and fun in the sun! They were divided into the Teen Explorer Camp (ages 14-16) and the Eleutheran Explorer Camp (ages 8-12). The students were immediately immersed in interactive activities, facing fears and finding new passions as they allowed their curiosity to bubble up in the form of questions, ideas and excitement.

In touring our campus, these young explorers learned about how The Island School and the Cape Eleuthera Institute community members live sustainable lifestyles. The students learned about wind turbines, biodiesel production, aquaponics, living roofs, compost, and much more. They left with a broader understanding of the term “sustainability” and new ideas about how they can continue to live sustainably at home. In days following, the focus shifted to the natural environment around them: what it is, why it’s important, and how humans are affecting it. Through lessons on sand, mangroves, coral reefs, shark-tagging and lionfish-dissecting, as well as a road trip down the island, our students were able to snorkel, explore and experience all that Eleuthera has to offer, all while developing an appreciation for the scientific community.

In between lessons, the students got to enjoy the island life. With plenty of time for sandcastle building competitions, water polo tournaments and bonfires, the students were able to enjoy each other’s company and build new relationships. By the end of this action-packed week, each explorer had found new interests and was given an opportunity to choose a topic to present to their families and CEI staff members. They spent time outlining their presentations and considering ways in which they could most effectively get their information across. Topics ranged from marine plastics to Southern Stingrays, and presentation media included songs, posters, poetry, and more.

It was clear throughout these presentations that the students’ time here has impacted how they view their role in protecting our environment. Hopefully their time at CEI has ignited a passion for ecology and conservation, and that they continue use their new experiences and knowledge to be advocates for the Earth, wherever their passions may take them.