May 27, 2011

Young Naturalists camps - July 2011

What’s this all about?

With an exponential rise in the number of children inclined towards Nature, it is only logical that there exist more avenues for Children to learn about, interact with and experience the Natural World. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for most city dwelling children. Children seem to possess more information today than ever before but are unable to test their knowledge or hypotheses through experience. Consequently, they don’t actually learn much.

If experience and life are our best teachers, then it is only fair that we offer children the chance to learn about what they are passionate about through experiences that we bring to them.

This July, The Gerry Martin Project (TGMP) will be running two ‘Young Naturalists’ Workshops’ at different locations, focusing on separate learning objectives from Crocodile Biology to Game tracking.

1. Reptile Biology at The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT)
We will be working on reptile biology here, focusing on management of reptiles in captive conditions. There is also a very interesting field component to this program. To enable us to focus on non-captive scenarios, we will also be heading out one morning with the legendary Irula Snake catchers and experiencing their incredible bush wisdom and skills. Children will get hands on experience by working with the staff and specialists at the Croc Bank as well as shadowing the Irulas during their snake hunt.
Some of the topics addressed are Reptile Captive Management, Safety Protocols, Small Wildlife Tracking, Reptile Veterinary Care, Survey Techniques, Field Techniques in Crocodile Research, Snakebite First Aid Protocol, etc.

Dates- 04th to 08th July 2011.
Age bracket: 12 to 19 yrs.

2. Naturalist Skills at Romulus Whitaker’s
Rom Whitaker is a pioneer in reptile conservation and has been at the forefront of the field for around four decades. He founded the first snake park in India, the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team, Irula Snake Catchers’ Co-operative Society among many other achievements and endeavours.
Rom now lives on the edge of a reserve forest about an hour away from Chennai. He has set up a small campsite to allow enthusiasts to experience Nature and also build skills in field biology.
The Gerry Martin Project will be taking a group of 18 kids over to Rom’s campsite to run them through the basics in field biology. They will learn outdoor skills, camera trapping, biostatistics, reptile biology, bird watching and a lot more.

Dates- 11th to 15th July 2011.
Age bracket: 10 to 16 years. 

Each of the workshops will be led by a person with relevant skill and experience. There will be also be support faculty who will help children during the activities and see to their general wellbeing and safety. We will maintain an adult to child ratio of at least 1:5 where we will only count actual faculty on the program and not include other adults who work at the locations. All our faculty will be screened and have prior experience with children.

We completely understand your trepidation about sending your children off on experiences like this. When it comes to safety, we keep a constant vigil on children to ensure that they don’t get hurt, physically or emotionally. The ratio of adults to children that we maintain ensures that children are never alone and unwatched. We also keep a keen eye out for interpersonal dynamics and will step in if any children are being bullied or put down.
Our equipment is all tested and cleared. Wherever necessary, we have certified and experienced instructors.

To register or to get more details, please get in touch with Conan on 9972068300 or email at or Gerry on 9845779666 or




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