Sunday, July 19, 2009

YCMC-NHC Workshop cum Volunteer Experience 18 July

This year, the Naked Hermit Crabs are very honoured to be involved in the inaugural Young Change Makers Conference 2009 held on 18-19 July 2009. We were invited to conduct one of the workshops and were delighted to meet not one, but two, groups of enthusiastic youths!

During the workshop, the YCMC participants learnt more about what Naked Hermit Crabs guides do at Chek Jawa. Ivan regaled them with tales of Chek Jawa, such as its history and the unique six eco-systems present, as he presented a virtual tour of the wetlands.

You can bet that it sure made participants want to get there and see the wonders that Chek Jawa had to offer for themselves!

The workshop also sought to introduce some basic aspects of guiding by familiarising the participants with the flora and fauna found on the different habitats of Chek Jawa. The imaginative participants performed a role play to show what visitors can see. Here’s how it looked like.

Listen to the podcast of one of the groups as they highlight what's so sexy about fiddler crabs!

We had also displayed some books (here’s Vyna guarding some of them). The idea was to show to the participants how simple guiding can be. There are a plenty of books and resources to learn from. The only prerequisites are passion and genuine interest!

Some of the groups wanted a group photo and we couldn’t say no!

In the afternoon, we brought the participants to Chek Jawa to get up close and personal with nature. The bus ride to Changi village ferry terminal was pretty comfortable and we got the much needed rest before starting up on the tour again.

It was far from the normal guided walks we conduct. The participants are deep in competition in their quest to win in a treasure hunt contest where they get points for spotting certain types of flora and fauna found on the wetlands.

No sooner than they started, they were already treated to the sight of a wild boar. The groups also saw more wildlife, such as the hornbills. One of the groups even spotted the red jungle fowl!

Unfortunately, amongst the beauty of Chek Jawa, a few participants saw some ugly behaviour - of visitors! A group of girls had climbed up the Jejawi tower, only to throw their aluminium cans down to the ground. Let's take a stand and stamp this out!

When the guided walk drew to a close, we gathered at House No. 1 for a group photo and prize giving. That’s the 3 guides in the front row – Ivan (left) Vyna (center) and Anuj (right). The participants were also given "badges of honour" - our Naked Hermit Crabs pins! Some of them wanted to pose with it.

We are delighted that many of our participants are eager to know how they can play their part. We hope that they will continue to appreciate our natural heritage and in time, join us in our efforts to conserve special places such as Chek Jawa.

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