A friend of mine recently told me that he is considering running a climate change educational camp (for kids) during the school holidays. He was seeking my views on the idea – because, as he put it, ‘I am a person who is conversant with these things’. I advised him that there are four things that he needs to do, in order to make the climate change educational camp a success.
Firstly, if the climate change educational camp is to be successful, it has to be organized well in advance: well before the school holidays commence. This way, it can be factored in the kids’ and parents holiday itineraries (which are often prepared well before the holidays commence).
Secondly, if the climate change educational camp is to be successful, it has to be held at a convenient place. Gone are the days when an ideal camp was one that was held in Spartan conditions at a remote location.
Thirdly, if the climate change educational camp is to be successful, corporate, governmental or non-governmental sponsors have to be found, to finance it. Truth be told, we are yet to get to the point where people can pay to be educated on climate change. As a matter of fact, you are likely to be confronted with a situation where the kids expect to be paid some sort of allowance, for them to attend this sort of camp! And that is just as well, especially if the camp will be dealing with (potentially) boring topics: like the role of hydrocarbons in inducement of climate change, the role of clean energy in climate change mitigation, climate change-related conflict mitigation… and so on. One surely needs some sort of allowance, to sit through lectures where these sorts of topics are elaborated upon.
Fourthly, if the climate change educational holiday camp is to be successful, it has to be flexible. It has, for instance, to be organized in such a manner that the attendees have the option of either going home every night or sleeping in the camp tents. Gone are the days when youths could endure rigid, jail-like educational camps. Nowadays, if you are to get the youths to enjoy something, then it has to be ‘fun’ – and part of the fun is in having a high degree of flexibility.