Neighbourhood pride is something that the staff of the Crescent Valley Resource Centre in Saint John, NB tries to instill in the children who attend their Summer Squad camp. Part of that pride is showing respect for the environment, and with the help of an Encorp Recycling Heroes Community Cleanup Grant, the Summer Squad held an “Earth Day” style event which involved games, crafts, and a neighborhood cleanup.
The day started with an Earth Day word scramble, followed by crafts using recyclable materials. In the afternoon, the campers were provided gloves, garbage bags and garbage grabbers to pick up litter around the neighbourhood. The day was capped off with a bike rodeo, which included a lesson on why bicycles are more environmentally friendly than cars, and an Earth Day themed cake.
Campers were also provided with a recycling bin full of goodies to take home with them at the end of the day. Each bin contained a reusable container for their lunches, biodegradable utensils, a reusable straw, a ‘Be a Recycling Hero!’ sticker, a recycling tattoo, compost bags, a pamphlet explaining how to properly sort trash, recycling and compost from the Fundy Regional Service Commission and a large reusable grocery bag. They also each took a garbage grabber home.
The children were so inspired by the event that they listed it as their favourite memory at the end of the camp. Some even used their garbage grabbers to pick up litter outside their own home.
Overall, the day was a huge success. Not only did it help clean the neighbourhood, but it generated a sense of pride and accomplishment in the children, along with a new found respect for the environment.