belize red cross

From Camping to Couture, the YWAM Roaring Creek Belize Experience

19 volunteers from the San Pedro Branch of the Red Cross attended the Volunteer Encounter that was held at YWAM in Roaring Creek on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7th & 8th, 2013. The event attended by over 100 volunteers from the 6 districts of Belize, was an  enormous success and an extremely productive weekend on many levels. Everyone got to meet new people and learned a lot about themselves, each other and the Belize Red Cross.

Thanks to Caye Caulker Water taxi for transporting the San Pedro Branch to Belize City where we headed for HQ to get our team shirts. They had every attending district wearing a different color of the same shirt so we could easily tell who was on what team. Belize City was darker turquoise, Dangriga green, the lone Punta Gorda person in royal blue, San Pedro got baby blue, Corozal in Red and I do not have to tell you what color they gave Orange Walk 🙂

Not long after we arrived at Headquarters, a Blue Bird school bus arrived to take us to YWAM. We made it there just in time to catch the end of breakfast and have a few minutes down time before the action started.

Day one of the event held many challenges including various skill tests about the Belize Red Cross and first aid, these came in the form of puzzle challenges, hands on demonstrations and Jeopardy style Trivia. There were also athletic events including an obstacle course rescue mission and a relay race. An impromptu tug of war was added to the challenge list and our Chairman of the San Pedro Board Eiden Salazar revisited childhood memories participating in that one. All the districts had great fun competing against each other.

san pedo red cross
Team San Pedro doing a puzzle challenge by Mike Memeo
belize red cross
Waiting for the first Aid Challenge
belize red cross volunteer encounter at ywam
Tug of War by Shirlee Arnould
san pedro belize red cross
San Pedro Team rescuing a girl with a broken leg
san pedro branch of the belize red cross
San Pedro Branch rescuing 3 people who have been visually impaired from the scene of an accident

As we sat down to dinner many of us were amazed at the ground cover of twinkling fireflies I had never seen anything like it before and it was truly magical. After dinner many enjoyed the ultimate camp experience, a bonfire and marshmallow roasting.

 firefly pictures
My picture does not do justice to how many fireflies we saw and how magical it was

Day two was an awards ceremony which is where the couture part comes in 🙂 well not exactly but everyone was asked to bring semi formal wear and look sharp for Governor General Sir Colville Young was handing out the awards. All the branches received recognition for their hard work, from San Pedro awards were given too Natalie Palen, Atlantida Eiley, Philip Ramsey and Laurie Norton. It was an honor to shake the hand of the Governor General of Belize as he handed me my award. The winning teams of the previous days activities were also given trophies, hand down  Dangriga was the big winner of the challenge events. San Pedro team all agreed we will start training sooner for next year 🙂 Before the awards The Belize National Anthem was sung followed by the Red Cross Prayer, The Red Cross song sung by Grace Primary Choir. Speeches were given by Director General Ms. Lily Bowman, Patron of the Belize Red Cross, Governor General Sir Colville Young and youth Dev. Officer David Sobers.

governor general sir colville young
Patron of the Belize Red Cross, Governor General Sir Colville Young
lily bowman director general of the belize red cross
Director General Ms. Lily Bowman and Governor General Sir Colville Young
laurie norton and governor general of belize sir colville young
Receiving my award and shaking the Governor General’s hand
belize governor general sir colville young
Philip receiving his award from Sir Colville Young
shirlee arnould belize red cross volunteer
Shirlee Arnould accepting an award on behalf of Nurse Natalie Palen
belize red cross
Posing for a picture for Governor General Sir Colville Young’s office
san pedro branch of the belize red cross
San Pedro Branch group picture after the awards ceremony

It was nice to see how much the San Pedro High School kids enjoyed themselves. Many of them had never experienced ‘camp’ before, they expressed wanting to do more events like this and have the opportunity to see more of the country.

San Pedro Branch would like to thank everyone at headquarters and all the other districts for a wonderful time. It was great to meet everyone, we appreciate the experience and the hard work  that was put into organizing it.

Stay tuned for a future post with nature and accommodation pictures and video from camp YWAM in Roaring Creek.

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