By Noelle H. Lowery
Fourth graders Colton Wood and Isabella Angelis are headed to summer camp at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Tigertail.
For the third year, FOT presented two Tommie Barfield Elementary fourth graders with scholarships to one of the Conservancy summer camps. Woods and Angelis will attend “Wet-N-Wild,” a camp that explores the underwater world of Southwest Florida. From swamps to the salty sea, campers will investigate our local aquatic environments and discover the best methods of protecting them.
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students had to write a poem or essay about the natural environment, as well as a short paragraph detailing why they should be chosen. Wood wrote a poem titled “The Poem of Life,” in which he depicted the life of Tigertail Beach — birds, turtles, bees, plants — and how humans can impact that life positively or negatively. He closed the poem with a plea for all to help the animals and the beach survive.
Angelis composed an essay. “How to Protect Our Ecosystem and Why We Should Do It” discusses the beauty of Tigertail’s mangroves and the surrounding ecosystem. Angelis asks, “What is a mangrove island with no mangroves?”, and she leaves her readers believing “we can save the world!”
FOT members Ken Kubat and Dick Stone visited TBE recently to award the scholarships during the school’s morning news show. Kubat developed the idea for the scholarships, noting he and his wife are docents at the Conservancy and knew about the camp.
“We wanted to do something for the kids,” he says. “It is our way to give back.”