When you think of an ocean what do you associate with it? Blue, Big, wet?? Well, at Camp Ocean you‰Ûªll learn there‰Ûªs so much more to the deep blue and experience a beauty and vibrancy you‰Ûªve never thought was there and the best way to hear about it is from a first hand experience…Thomas Davies from Ringwood says it all… When I arrived the first thing that struck me was the sand and surf so it was only a matter of time before we dived in. After a long day of traveling, it was nice to kick back and relax in the open water. We only got out because the guards asked us to!! We also enjoyed a gorgeous slice of cake from the dry bar at the camp (dry here to mean there‰Ûªs no alcohol sold in it), they are to die for. Honestly it did remind me of good old fashioned home cooking. After Makongeni and Kaya camps (all very awesome camps), this camp seemed a breeze. Ocean Camp, Diani Beach However, you can‰Ûªt get away from the work and we were soon cleaning beaches off refuse and debris. It‰Ûªs appalling how much stuff you can find there and that only made me more eager to push on. It‰Ûªs extremely satisfying to see those rubbish bags fill up with bottles, flip flops and rubbish galore! It‰Ûªs also great to see something which is only a minute task mean so much to the organization and I will definitely think twice before dropping my rubbish now! Another amazing task was transforming this junk into something beautiful. Seeing flip flops transform into dolphins, turtles, necklaces and bracelets is a magical moment. I marveled at this craft and how it‰Ûªs demonstrating the sheer scale of the problem.åÊ The epitome of this is the whale-shark structure, not complete but is the best things about it- seeing it build up like a jig-saw was a nice sight- to see a little more done every day. I wasn‰Ûªt very good but hey what‰Ûªs the difference between a turtle and a square anyway? Flipflop whaleshark Ultimately the main attraction was doing PADI open water and it was one I greeted with apprehension. I‰Ûªd done a bit of scuba when I was younger and nailed it so I was keen on going another round. Ultimately though, I loved it. The instructors took you through it step by step demonstrating the tasks you needed to complete to pass. Some of it such as taking your mask off was really hard because it takes a lot to hold your breath underwater. But it‰Ûªs a fantastic feeling when you complete a task knowing you are one step closer to the ocean. The two mornings spent training for the sea was time well spent. But the lessons would not be lessons without exams and a good part of the training was theory. It‰Ûªs a pain in the after completing GCSE but it‰Ûªs important and so I spent hours glued to videos taking notes and answering questions. But with the instructors‰Ûª guidance and the videos‰Ûª poor sense of humor. What could possibly go wrong? The reward was four dives into blue. It‰Ûªs only then that you appreciate the results of the beach clean-up. It‰Ûªs only then that you appreciate the results of the beach clean-up. It‰Ûªs a truly breathtaking sight to see a shoal of fish swimming towards you and although we had completed some exercises it didn‰Ûªt detract from the beautiful surroundings. It‰Ûªs what this camp is all about and now I can experience it first-hand. Diani Beach For those who don‰Ûªt like the blue, there‰Ûªs plenty to see on land. Monkeys can be rather mischievous so hold on to any bananas you‰Ûªve got. Keep your eyes peeled for rare Colobus monkeys and the cheeky Sykes monkeys who have a habit of raiding the camp for food. There are insects around but you probably won‰Ûªt mind them unless you maybe catch a spider in your tent or boots. Colobus Monkey Kaya Kinondo allowed me to experience the tribal nature of the Kenyans and its great get to know the heritage of the coastal people. We made a wish at a sacred tree and learnt about the old ways of the local Digo people. It‰Ûªs just another part of the ocean camp that touches your heart and soul. I will really miss this camp and I feel like I have taken a part of the African spirit with me to England. Thomas Davies, Ringwood Team Kenya 2011 IMG_0072