Youth campers holding placards of peaceful messages (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts ( August 2018)- Last Friday afternoon (3rd August), over 300 participants of the recently ended second annual Youth Explorers Summer Camp- organised by the Ministry of National Security and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force-paraded through the streets of Basseterre sending messages via placards in calling for an end to the issue of crime and violence here in St.Kitts- Nevis.

Such messages included: ‘Let’s Work Together To Stop The Violence’, ‘No Guns For Me’,‘Stop The Violence’, ‘Stop The Killing’, ‘I am a Child Please Secure My Future’, ‘Peace, Love, Harmony’, ‘Raise Our Youths Right’, ‘Be A little More You and Less Them’, ‘Each One Teach One’, ‘When A Woman Says No She Means No-Stop The Violence Against Our Women’ and ‘You Do the Crime You Serve the Time-Stop The Violence and Crime’.

A participant of this year’s Youth Explorers Summer Camp displays a peaceful message during a march held last Friday afternoon. (Spokesman Snap)

Camp Coordinator Constable Lauston Percival, in speaking with this reporter, informed that the youths “were the ones who wrote what they wanted to [express] in letting the public know how they are feeling and wanted to say.”

Commenting on his impression of the messages, he shared: “The messages were very good. The young people are hurting on the inside with what is going on; some of them are hurting directly and some indirectly.”

According to him, the camp was a success based on the feedback he has received in speaking with the participants themselves and other individuals who “said they enjoyed it.”
Officer Percival is grateful to all who have collectively made this year’s camp successful including parents, sponsors as well as his colleagues.

He said close to 350 participants ages 5 to 18 attended this time around, and according to officer Percival, the first two days of the camp was “challenging” in regard to the number of participants present coupled with the behavioural issues that some of them showed.
Additionally, this media house understands that due to the large number of participants this year, the camp was hosted for one week instead of two in an effort to effectively manage in the interest of all involved.

Camp Coordinator Constable Lauston Percival moving along in the procession (Spokesman Snap)

This year’s summer outing was hosted from Sunday 29th July to Sunday 5th August at the Dr. William Connor Primary School in St. Johnston’s Village. Notably, the camp opened with a church service at the Zion Moravian Church and climaxed with another worship session at the People’s Evangelistic Centre.

Among the other activities conducted were a motivational talk session with participants ages 10 to 18, first aid session and a boat ride to the sister isle of Nevis.