The Society for the Protection of Nature – SPNL organized an educational day at Mount Lebanon Hima Centre – MLHC with a group of boy scouts.
Following their request, an eco-educational day about the main environmental problems in Lebanon while focusing on the natural resources and solid waste management, was tailored according to their needs.
The day’s schedule included a PowerPoint presentation about some environmental problems such as climate change and bad solid waste management, 2 educational games, a craft that promote the re-using concept for better solid waste management, and a guided hike to enjoy the nature of Kayfoun’s trail while playing some sensory activities that help children to build a stronger connection with their nature.
After discussing the session’s theme and content with the scout leader, Mr. Fawzi Khalifeh, an agenda has been established according to the required educational needs.
All the activities and games were chosen based on the educational content, the available time (4 hours), and the number of participants while taking into consideration the critical health situation of COVID-19 that imposed less live interactions between the participants.
Detailed content of the day
After greeting the boy scouts, the day started with a fast tour in Mount Lebanon Hima Centre – MLHC, where participants were introduced to the different zones and amenities of this educational center, such as the cultural heritage museum, the gift shop and the bird aviary.
Then an icebreaker game helped the participants feel more comfortable while getting to know each other’s, and expressing their selves through some fun questions and dares.
After that, a PowerPoint presentation was presented so the boy scouts can know more about their environment’s problems, especially the bad solid waste management that it’s considered one of main threats to the Lebanese nature and ecosystems. During the presentation, the students were interacting with some questions and comments which created a fruitful thoughts’ exchange.
Two games were prepared to be compatible with the presentation’s content so the participants can review the given information in a fun and entertaining way.
Summary of these games:
1. Sorting rules game where the boy scouts got more familiar with the sorting rules in order to achieve a good solid waste management. During this game, the participants had to put each solid waste item into the corresponding category (Paper, plastic, glass, organic …)
2. Cause Vs. Consequences: This game helped the participants to learn more about climate change and its effects on our planet. After forming a line, the boy scouts jumped forward when they hear a cause of the climate change, jumped backward when they hear a consequence of climate change and stayed steady whenever they hear something that could be at the same a time a cause and consequence of the global warming. During this game some interesting discussions took place, which helped the participant share their thoughts and opinions.
As soon as the time for the educational games was over, the scouts headed to MLHC’s garden where they learned how to make a self-watering planting pot by reusing plastic bottles. This craft will help reducing our household solid waste and will consist a new idea for taking care of our plants. The participants enjoyed crafting their own planting pot where some young strawberry plants will stay for around 4 weeks before moving them to a bigger pot.
Once everyone is done with crafting his planting pot, the participants had a refreshing break where they enjoyed some fruits and natural Mulberry juice from Souk Al Hima products.
After that, the participants were invited to discover some interesting facts about the living and abiotic components through a small educational hike on Hima Kayfoun’s trail. Information related to the trees diversity, medicinal plants used by the local community, animals’ behavior and available natural resources were discussed through different stops during the hike, especially that the trail is equipped with some educational signs about the local biodiversity.
During the hike, the boy scouts unleashed their senses and discovered the diversity of colors and shapes in nature. Through a sensory game, participants felt more connected with the forest while collecting some of the tree leaves in order to discuss their diversity of shape and texture.
Finally, and after this outdoor educational activity, we headed to MLHC where the participants shared their feedbacks that we positive and encouraging.
The current health situation is threatening most of the social and economic activities all over Lebanon, therefore it’s affecting SNOW’s implementation. The main challenge was establishing and educational, interesting and fun agenda while considering social distancing and wearing masks. (Knowing that most of SNOW activities are interactive and based on communication and team work).
The games and activities were adapted to the required sanitary measures such as:
Wearing face masks
Washing hands regularly
Regular use of sanitizer before and after any possible physical interaction
Keeping social distancing as much as possible during all the sessions
Giving all the instruction at the beginning of the day.