||Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM
Colonel Hill, Crooked Island
- Youths enrolled in a internationally recognized programme are keeping busy on the remote Crooked Island.
Jerome Forbes Photo: GGYA
rare jewel in the Atlantic Ocean, Crooked Island is home to roughly 300
residents. Fifteen of them are set to receive their Bronze Award from
the Governor General's Youth Award programme in a ceremony set for next
GGYA is a member of the International Award Association for Young
People, headquartered in the United Kingdom. The Award is an exciting
self-development programme where participants improve physical fitness,
develop important skills, provide valuable community service and take
adventurous journeys (hikes) in order to achieve a Bronze, Silver or
takes a minimum of six months to obtain a Bronze Award, another six
months to reach Silver (if a Bronze recipient) and 12 months to get a
Gold Award (if a Silver recipient).
15 who are getting their Bronze are now working towards their Silver,"
said Jerome Forbes, acting principal at the Crooked Island High School.
"They have a two-day, one night qualifying expedition [hike] coming up
on February 29 to March 1. The qualifying trek is about some 45 miles
total. It's not in a straight line. They will take in the coast, before
going inland and then back on the coast."
helped to form the first GGYA unit at the Crooked Island High School
back in 2007, when he arrived on the island to assume a teaching
position. Prior to his Family Island posting Forbes had assisted with
the GGYA unit at the CC Sweeting Senior High School in Nassau.
GGYA Unit at this school was an eye-opener and a sudden hit with the
students," he recalls. "The students took part in community clean-ups.
They cleaned the yards of the elderly and also cleaned the coast during
International Coastal Awareness Day. Within the GGYA they learned First
Aid and were introduced to the skill of surviving outdoors. They cooked
and slept in their tents outdoors. Most importantly, they learned the
value of team work."
the summer of 2009, Crooked Island snagged the attention of other GGYA
units when the Bahamas Award Scheme Expedition (BASE) was held there.
BASE, GGYA units from across the country and a few units from the
Caribbean come together to hike and qualify for various Awards.
Island’s population is only about 250 persons and to see another 150
individuals here was astounding," said Forbes. "It was an experience for
students from the other islands and countries, which included New
Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros, Jamaica, Bermuda and others to get an
opportunity to spend two weeks here."
2010, the Crooked Island Unit witnessed two graduates of the GGYA
programme, Berkley Pinder and Macalister Beckles return to lend a
helping hand to younger participants. Two weeks ago the men - both 2009
graduates of the high school - led a successful clean-up campaign at
Major's Beach. This was part of GGYA's participants service hours, in
order to qualify them for their Bronze Award.
served as the advisor to Mr. Pinder and Mr. Beckles. They came back to
support the unit," said Mr. Forbes. "They remember the good and
fulfilling experiences they had and they want to pass those good times
the value of the GGYA the government lent its support to the programme
in 2010, when Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Charles Maynard
announced a partnership with the GGYA through the G.O.L.D. Initiative -
an acronym for Greatness, Opportunity, Leadership and Development.
partnership brought a significant financial contribution to the
programme in order to make it more available to Bahamians 14 to 25 years
old, regardless of what island they called home.
her 19-year-old daughter, Dashanique Moss, has long graduated from
Crooked Island High, parent Dorcas Moss continues to help out with the
GGYA programme. She chaperones overnight hikes.
programme is a good one," said Ms Moss. "I saw the difference in my
daughter. She's more outgoing now. It's helped her a lot."
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