Wednesday, September 17, 2008

August 2008 Camp

August camp started with extremely bad weather and it took our Toledo team 2 days to reach the camp because of the floods and washed away bridge on the way to Sibun, but nothing could stop them! We were very proud of all other participants and by the end of the camp, we all agreed that in order to be a good chess player, it is not enough just to be good at chess, you must show all these other qualities and skills:

In the end of the camp, Colleen Tate from Stann Creek team , won the award of the Ultimate Chess Player, and received chess board that Irianie Pech brought from Cuba specailly for that title.These were all the particiapnts: all 20 of us from Cayo, Corozal, Belize, Stann Creek and toledo!
The camp was big success due to the efforts of all the coaches who assisted in it: Wayne Huang, Young Jin Gomez, HUmberto Juarez, Frank Tu, Ian Avilez, Virgilio Ruiz, David Martinez, Jose Teul, Micah Williams, Irianie Peach and David MacEnulty ( our special guest coach from US).

In addition, Caves Branch Guides: Esperanza Gaitan, Elmer Medrano and Edgar Martinez provided not only safe and secure environment, but they were also active participants in all our activties: from running mini tournaments to swimming, playing chess and teaching how to repell.
Coach from Corozal helps with teaching how to swim:
US coach David Macenulty provides special instruction for the coaches.....and instructing our players:
David Martinez, our strongest coach:
Virgilio Ruiz, Corozal coach:

We had a very challenging Chess Camp, and we HAD FUN! Special Thanks to all other Caves Branch guides and staff who assisted in the camp, and King Arnold!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Girls Camp 2008!

19 girls from all over the country came to the girls only camp at Sibun Chess Kingdom. This was exceptionally special camp: in addition to the tremendous help of all the volunteers, we had Jennifer Shahade, US Women's Chess Champion working with them. Jennifer came specifically for that camp with the intention to boost their chess skills and confidence in themselves.
On the last night of the camp Jennifer played a simul against all the girls. THOSE girls actually made history! Nobody else in Belize had a chance to play Jennifer Shahade before!
We were very proud of their perseverence: Gabriela Ugarte from Corozal managed to have a draw, while Rajel Villafranco from Stann Creek played the longest game that night- 45 minutes of concentration and focus. Everybody else impressed Jennifer with their fighting spirit!

What else did the girls do in this 5 days camp? The theme of the camp was RESCUE THE KING! And they actually did! King Arnold was kidnapped on the last day of the camp, but since the girls learned a lot of useful skills in the previous days, they didn't hesitate to rush to rescue him: tubing down the river, hike and then repel down the 150 feet high cliff,,, and much more. See for yourself!

learning how to use compass.. and of course we had fun with sports, arts, map skills....

We used chess to learn how to read the coordinates on the map... Chess is always helpful!

Chess Adventure Camp for coaches!

Coaches week: July 22-24th, 2008 had 17 participants (teachers, principals, Peace Corps and community volunteers), who worked on improving their chess skills, brainstormed ideas for the upcoming school year clubs, learned to run mini tournaments and participated in a real chess adventure! See for yourself:
Participants were from Corozal, Cayo, Stann Creek, Belize and Toledo : David Coombs, Micah Williams, Aaron Garbutt, Lorena Cruz, Edgar Martinez, Anelie May, Ricardo Bailey, Jose Teul, Glorycela Torrez, Frank Tu, Myron Median, Wayne Huang, Humberto Juarez, Rob Magee, Gilberto Gabriel Perez, Ian Avilez, Domingo Salam. If you have any questions about chess, now you know who to ask!
We bet you haven't heard of playing chess in the caves!
Chess players have to be brave- part of our training is in the extreme situations: jumping off the cliff...