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Kagman summer camp starts on July 12 (June 22, 2017)

THERN Marianas College-Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Service is encouraging parents to register their children for the Kagman summer camp which will run from July 12 to 28.

Tayna Belyeu-Camacho, program lead for family community development, said the three-week camp will be held at Chacha Ocean Middle School and is open to children from 7 to 14 years old.

Belyeu-Camacho said the camp will include activities that will teach children about proper nutrition and good health and provide them with useful skills.

NMC-CREES is holding the first session of the summer camp at Hopwood Middle School where 60 children are participating.

Belyeu-Camacho said participants are taught about nutrition. “They learn about portion sizing. Volunteer counselors conduct food demonstrations and introduce participants to pasta salad with lots of vegetables. We expose the children to meals of this type.”

The camp counselors are high school students trained to conduct classes for children. There are also volunteer counselors from NMC who are trained and certified by the American Red Cross to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

During the first week of camp, Belyeu-Camacho said they introduced the children to nutrition, including food safety and the importance of being physically active. “We also included some goal-setting and money management lessons.”

In addition, the children visited the NMC-CREES research farm in As Perdido.

“The kids learned about different methods of planting, and they also learned how to protect the crops from insects. They also learned the different types of equipment used on the farm — a tractor, the tiller machines and also hand tools. We are trying to make a connection between growing your food and the food that ends up on your plate.”

According to Belyeu-Camacho, the children will be at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan this week to learn about local culture, including traditional navigation skills and how to weave coconut fronds.

They will also visit the NMC-CREES Aquaculture Center at the college next week.

“We teach them different things so that hopefully they can use them or they will be inspired to go into these fields,” Belyeu-Camacho said.

Last week, the participants were at Kilili Beach to meet staffers with the Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality. “They talked to the kids about the environment and the importance of our coral reefs,” Belyeu-Camacho added.

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