~Trekking through the SSS islands~
SINT MAARTEN – The St. Maarten Youth Brigade completed an 8-day walking camp with its brother Brigade organization Curaçao Jeugd Brigade (CJB). The Trek Camp commenced on July 4, and ended on July 11. The combined Brigade Tour started at Kim Sha Beach for the first 2 nights and on the second day, all members hiked across to the French side area of Grand Cayes. On the final days of the camp, the hike took them on an adventurous walk from Hillside Adventures in South Reward, to Loterie Farm on the French side of Pic Paradis under the guidance of Joslyn Richardson.
Have tents must travel
SABA – The joint camp members traveled by bus and by boat, but mostly by the strength of their legs from location to location. The passenger boat the Edge played an integral role in transporting Brigade members with their gear to Saba and St. Eustatius.
The troops landed on the Sea Port of Saba, and walked to the airport side of the island. This feat took more than 3 hours with the grueling sun on their backs and the steep hills underfoot. At the end of the trek, camp members would vote this the most “challenging hike hands down.”
The evenings brought exercises like mental training and describing oneself in a positive light. Coach Raul from Curaçao, already familiar with St. Maarten’s Youth Brigade encouraged campers to turn negative challenges into positive ones.
With the hospitality of Glenn Holm in Saba, the friendly care team of the Red Cross and the gracious, helpful islanders the experience in Saba was priceless. The man-made Cove Bay was the perfect spot for infantry trainings and strong man competitions. There were exceptional moments of remembering core values.
The making of a diamond
SINT EUSTATIUS – The trek from St. Eustatius Playground to the Quill would rival the 1,064 steps it takes to conquer Mount Scenery of Saba, only because of the distance and the torrential rain, which made the path slippery, adding to the mental challenge of being cautious of “sliding down a slippery slope of no return.”
However, the youngsters were not easily intimidated by distance, elevation or weather. The St. Maarten and Curaçao Brigade members forged on. There were exceptional moments of bonding and display of team-spirit as a result of the activities.
The generosity and support of host Gershon Lopes and his family, arrangement of dinner, location the Playground and in the Gwendolyn van Putten School reminded that what the islands lacked in size cannot be compared to the quality of courteousness. Windward Islanders are the epitome of the “friendly islands.”
On our final evening, the troops were given the opportunity to unwind and socialize at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina.
This experience to socialize, undergo strenuous physical challenges and the opportunity to travel to the unique islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and remote areas of St. Maarten have left our members with the mindset of extreme gratitude of “having been there and done that!”
We would like to thank Zenitel NV, Winair, St. Maarten Party Rentals, Hillside Adventures, The Edge, Linda Lindsay and staff from Buccaneer Beach Bar and Restaurant, Forvil St. Laille Bus T-32, Serge “Jacob” Abraham, United Car Rental, Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, Henderson Insurances, The Dive Shop in Simpson Bay at Kim Sha, Mc Donalds, Leonardo Bromet Bus 45, Gilbert Reid, SYB’s official bus driver.
Saba Tourist Bureau, The Red Cross staff in Saba, the Gwendolyn Van Putten School, Lago Heights and the Golden Era Hotel in St. Eustatius, and countless volunteers.
Our warmest and heartfelt thanks to our brother youth brigade organization in Curaçao, Brigada di Seguridat I Formashon (CJB) with whose cooperation and support, we were able to give our youngsters this incredible life-altering experience.