The three-week Maritime Summer Camp was launched on Abaco for the first time, and two cohorts were offered to interested students.
Dr. Brenda Cleare, interim vice president of academic affairs at the College of The Bahamas, and Jamal Smith, company representative and recruitment manager from Campbell Shipping Company, were there to facilitate the parent’s evening on June 30 at Abaco Youth Ministries.
Campbell Shipping sponsors the program, while the College of The Bahamas is in charge of spearheading it. The camp targets students in Grades 7, 8 and 9.
According to Dr. Cleare, the program began four years ago on New Providence with four cohorts of 25 students, and the second year the same occurred. There were so many students registered that a waiting list also had to be created.
“We wanted to expand the program because our aim is to educate the populace, especially the youth of The Bahamas about maritime,” she explained. “Persons wanting to pursue a career in maritime must have prerequisites and skills to make them sensitive to the industry.”
During the third year, a Maritime Summer Camp was held on Grand Bahama offering two cohorts. There are also two planned for Abaco, and perhaps another for Exuma, Dr. Cleare said.
Because of transportation challenges and the small number of registered students in North Abaco, seven students from North Abaco will be bused into Central Abaco to be with the cohort at Central Abaco Primary School.
Dr. Cleare and Smith said that the students will be involved in lots of activities that incorporate theoretical exercises as well as practical work on navigation, nautical sciences, geography, math and more. Students will get the opportunity to go on field trips, and listen to guest speakers from the maritime industry, who will speak to them on the careers that are available to them in the industry.
The $50 registration fee covered all three weeks and included a t-shirt and supplies. They also received lunch on field trip days.
Three students enrolled in the Maritime Summer Camp – Roann Burrows, Radisha Destine, and Isaac Miller – shared why they were interested in the camp. Burrows said that it offered many different opportunities and that she likes to explore the water. Both Destine and Miller were looking to get involved in many different programs and to learn about what the maritime industry is all about. They all promised to have an open mind as they embarked on their new journey into the maritime field.