AFoCO’s 1st Global Forest Summer Camp

August 06, 2019

Connecting urban children with nature

More than 60 children participated in AFoCO’s Global Forest Summer Camp between 26 and 29 July. The experiential 4-day camp focused on helping urban kids connect with nature while enjoying various hands-on activities at the  National Center for Forest Therapyin Yeongju, Korea.

On the first day, our young participants visited the Forest Aviation Headquarters in Wonju, where they were learned about how the Korea Forest Service undertakes forest fire detection, protection, and control at the national scale. Participants were also given a rare opportunity to take the pilot’s seat in a fire suppression helicopter and explore its flight control system. Officials at the Headquarters also explained how forest fires across the country are constantly being monitored and managed through the use of advanced monitoring systems and remote sensing technologies.

The second day began with a team bonding activity with KAPLA wooden blocks. In their groups, children used the blocks to construct houses and buildings from their own imagination. The 2-hour activity not only encouraged creativity, inventiveness, and concentration but also stimulated teamwork and cooperation.

During the woodcraft activity on the second day, children had the chance to create and customize their own animal shaped coin banks with simple tools.

The children also took respite from the summer heat in the Center’s Water Therapy Center, where they not only had fun playing with the water jets but also relaxed their muscles in the hydromassage area.

Aside from such hands-on and experiential activities which aimed to develop their creativity and self-expression, the camp program also included a lecture on forests of the world to educate participants on the importance of forests. The lecture introduced basic facts about forests and gave an overview of the benefits that forests provide. Children gained a better understanding of how they can play a part in protecting and conserving the natural environment. Regardless of whether or not their interest is newfound or deep, the camp helped children deepen their appreciation for nature and the green spaces around them.

The 2019 Global Forest Camps are only open to children from multicultural families residing in the Republic of Korea.
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