September 13, 2011
Camp Off the Grid concludes

On Friday, September 3, Camp Off the Grid, organized and managed by Gridless SVG, concluded what that organisation sees as a career-creating project, directed at helping sustain SVG’s fragile environment.{{more}}

Chester Connell, media consultant and founder of Gridless SVG, says that thanks to Sunsail St. Vincent, Moorings Canouan, DIGICEL and Hot 97 FM, ten children were taught the rudiments of sailing a yacht and when the yacht arrived in the Grenadines the children were taught to scuba dive by operators DIVE Bequia and DIVE Canouan.

Two of the ten school-aged young persons passed the scuba-diving examinations. They are 15 year-old Kevin Richards and 18-year old Tavia Richards, both from Barrouallie.

Camp Off the Grid also deployed the services of Vincentian professional swim instructor Shirnan Samuel, who taught the students to swim. Sailors Wilderness Tours also led a hike to the rainforests of St. Vincent, climbing La Soufriere volcano and hiking from Montreal Gardens up the mountain side of Petit Bonhomme, ending the hike in the village of Greiggs.

Chester Connell says hiking, sailing and scuba-diving are activities designed to give Camp Off the Grid participants a hands-on, empirical grasp of the natural environment of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Connell says there needs to be much greater emphasis placed on connecting Vincentians to the sea surrounding SVG and that Vincentians must learn how to better sustainably manage the marine resources of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This cannot be accomplished, he says, if young Vincentians do not know how to swim in the sea, sail on the sea or go under the sea to explore and take care of it.

According to the founder of Gridless SVG, this country needs many more marine biologists and professionals in marine-research related careers. This is one of the reasons Camp Off the Grid teaches Vincentian children real-life skills that connect them to the marine environment. Connell says these are skills that can be built on immediately as career options.

According to the Gridless SVG director, many more corporate sponsors are needed to support the bigger picture of Environmental Conservation and Historical Preservation – the focus of Gridless SVG.