Ruiterbos Primary held their first inauguration camp. This camp marks the start of a environmental club at the school. Most grade 6 and 7 learners were present. The “camp” was held at the school during the last two days of first term. A club was formed, and a committee was elected. The Club’s name was unanimously voted in and will from here on be called ‘Field Rangers’.
The camp begins with a welcoming and de-briefing session. Here we introduce all the collaborating partners, what the “camp” is about and set out the rules for the following two days. Learners were divided into groups and each group had to nominate a leader, give their group and name and have a war cry. They had two days to coordinate and practice.
‘Codes of Nature’ – Hike to the nearest koppie. Ruiterbos Primary is fortunate to be surrounded by farmlands, plantations and, the Outeniqua World Heritage Site which is under CapeNature’s custody. We started the hike at the bottom of the Eight Bell’s farm, which is near the school. There is a field of black wattle coming through the cut grass. We pulled out at least 5 trees each and spoke about invasive alien vegetation. As we ascended the koppie the vegetation changed to fynbos, we spoke about the differences as we discussed ecosystems, biodiversity, food webs, etc. and related it to their class work. The ‘codes of nature’ refer to a program aimed at increasing the learners’ ecological intelligence and opening the opportunity to understand the environment, as it is sometimes feared.
The Environmental Clubs Schools Project is being funded by DOB and the Landmark Foundation.
Ruiterbos ‘Field Rangers’pulling out black wattle trees during hike to nearest koppie.
(Photo: Monica Vaccaro)