Zoological Society Virtual Spring Break Camp

April 8, 2020

The Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] hosted a virtual spring break camp for students, with a virtual walk through a nature trail, online lectures, crafts, a Zoom Bluebird box building session and more.

A spokesperson said, “Children usually rejoice in a break from school. However, this year with schools already closed parents were looking for ways to keep their kids entertained, while still learning, which led to the Bermuda Zoological Society [BZS] taking its popular spring break camp online.

Camper learning through the online camp

Camper learning Bermuda April 2020

“The remotely working BZS education and marketing staff came together for a virtual meeting to develop a camp that would support the needs of families during COVID-19. The online ‘Bermuda in Springtime Camp’ was hosted from March 31 through April 3 in a private Facebook group.

“It provided both the children and their parents with lectures created by each member of the BZS education team, carefully planned fun crafts, backyard exploration ideas, and ‘how to draw’ videos by artist Barbara Freda.

Camper results of Flower Press activity

Flower Press Bermuda April 2020

“Each evening, ahead of the next day’s activities, the specially selected daily theme and described ways of observance were sent to parents. Those daily activities were also posted in the Facebook group for the 5 – 10-year-old campers to follow.

“On ‘flower’ day, the children joined Dr. Jamie Bacon on a pre-recorded walk through a nature trail to observe and learn about the range of flowers in bloom; an electronic lecture of flower pollination followed. Later, Dr. Alex Amat encouraged the children to explore their backyards to see what flowers they could find, and the afternoon was spent learning to draw and press the flowers they discovered.

One of the art projects completed by a camper

Camper Art Bermuda April 2020

“The Facebook platform gave the campers the ability to interact with the BZS educators directly. Students participated in the live lectures and were encouraged to share their creations from the artwork activities. Some campers even posted imaginative puppet shows about the ocean animals, a craft they learned from educator Sarrah Hamza.

Art Video by Barbara Freda

Art Video by Barbara Freda Bermuda April 2020

“The campers made a virtual visit to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo [BAMZ] each day in a live feature with the husbandry staff working with animals throughout the pandemic. Campers observed sea turtles being fed by Senior Aquarist Choy Aming.

“They were taken on a guided walk through the Caribbean exhibit by Head Zookeeper Tricha Cross, and BAMZ Principal Curator, Dr. Ian Walker gave an up-close interaction with the lemurs and the Galapagos tortoises.

Butterfly Lecture by Dr. Alex Amat

Butterfly Lecture by Dr Alex Amat Bermuda April 2020

Regardless of the challenges, the virtual BZS spring camp was a resounding success! One parent exclaimed, “The boys loved it! It’s really given structure to our day, and the whole family have learnt new things!” With another adding that she “was skeptical about what could be achieved online for a camp, but the content was brilliant and the access to such a wide variety of researchers and experts was impressive and it was all so well organised.”

Bluebird Box workshop, led by Camilla Stringer, held on ZOOM

Bluebird Box workshop Bermuda April 2020

“The plan is to use the successes of this camp to launch the BZS online Schools Programme”, said Education Officer, Dr. Jamie Bacon. “We are overwhelmed with the accolades we are receiving from parents of children who attended the camp. My team is now busy preparing to take this type of online learning to the next level.”

Dr. Walker Live on Facebook with the Campers

Dr Walker Bermuda April 2020

“Parents should continue to visit the BZS/BAMZ website, www.bamz.org, and social media for updates on when and how the BZS will deliver further eLearning opportunities to Bermuda students.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    Are there plans for bluebird boxes online anywhere? It is not even a week & I am running out of my ‘to do’ list already. Today was target date for winter 19-20 projects to be completed before C 19 came along & this curfew.

    Binge watching TV is not my thing. Believe that I have the materials on hand for a few boxes, just don’t know the dimensions.