Our corporate responsibility and community projects
Ever since we started building The Bush Camp on the banks of the magnificent Ping River, we explored the local area and established relationships with local villagers and schools. We wanted to understand the community, their way of life, challenges they face and opportunities to work together for the benefit of the village.
We feel that helping the children and improving their education is the best way to invest in a brighter future for this rural area that we at The Bush Camp call home. Many of the students are from poor families and although attending the school is free, some struggle in affording the school uniforms, clothing for sports classes and other school activities, stationery, and notebooks.
Enabling school transportation for poor families
On top of the expenses, often in rural areas sending the child to school also means one pair of hands less for the poor families to help with household work and agriculture to provide income for the family. After visiting the local schools and talking with the villagers it quickly became evident that many children living in some of the more remote areas are struggling with attaining school transportation.
The parents are working hard to earn the family’s daily living and understand the importance of education for their children’s future. We decided to sponsor school transportation for the less privileged students to ensure that they will be able to attend classes. Over the past couple of years, we have been helping nearly 30 students from three local schools to have access to education.
Baan Dong Dam School, heart of the local community
Baan Dong Dam is the school closest to The Bush Camp, and we are regularly in touch with the teachers. In addition to sponsoring school transportation, we have done several projects together to improve the school facilities, supplies and equipment. On a recent collaboration with Elephant Hills, located in Khao Sok, Southern Thailand, we donated much-needed kitchen ware and sports equipment.
Within another great initiative we built a new sign for the school. The official sign is very important landmark, and an essential part of any school premises in Thailand. We also accept donations of stationery, art supplies, children’s clothes, and toothbrushes and paste if any of our visitors would like to contribute to our Children’s Project. We will select appropriate items depending on the school’s needs at the time and deliver donations to Baan Dong Dam School and other local schools.
Pack with a purpose
Are you, your friends or family planning for a holiday at The Bush Camp Chiang Mai? Please consider supporting our Children’s Project. Even the smallest available space in your luggage can make a positive impact, if you fill it with one of these items:
• stationery, such as pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, notebooks
• warm children’s clothes for the mountainous areas of Mae Hong Son
• watercolors and crayons
• blackboard and sidewalk chalk
• educative toys and games
• kids’ toys; stuffed animals, playdough
• toothbrushes and toothpaste
• piggy banks
• books (very basic English books: colors, animals, weekdays & months, short phrases)
Elephant welfare is and has been a top priority for us at The Bush Camp since the opening of our resort. With the revenue from our ethical tourism and resort operations we are able to provide the best possible care for our beloved herd. We hire a resident veterinarian and professional, trained mahouts, have ample space for free-roaming and spacious, chain-free, and safe night pens. We grow high quality food and enable natural living environment with various enrichments to our elephants.
We understand that achieving such high welfare standards and medical care is not possible for all elephant owners in Thailand. Some are located in remote areas with difficulty in reaching medical help in case the elephant falls ill or gets injured. In some cases, the available space and funds are very limited, hence they may lack the resources for improving the elephants’ living conditions. Sometimes the cause for lower welfare standards can be the lack of knowledge.
Thailand’s Elephant Hospitals provide essential care and education
Over the decades working with elephants in Khao Sok and now also here at The Bush Camp, we have had longstanding, close cooperation with the government run elephant hospitals. We have learnt that the dedicated vet teams not only provide free health checks to elephants all over Thailand, but they also do essential field work in terms of a mobile clinic to reach some of the most remote locations. During their regular visits to elephant camps, they provide health checks, treatment and educate the elephant owners on the best practices of elephant husbandry.
The successful cooperation over the years has proven that one of the best ways to aid Thailand’s domestic elephants is to support the work of the elephant hospitals. The closest elephant hospital to The Bush Camp Chiang Mai is located in Lampang province, which is adjacent to Chiang Mai. During a recent donation in collaboration with Elephant Hills, we donated a versatile selection of most used medical supplies, as requested by the veterinarians. We also support seminars, work-shops, training events and other gatherings where the elephant vets share their knowledge and exchange experiences on challenging cases.
As one can imagine based on our tented camp’s concept and surroundings, we at The Bush Camp Chiang Mai are big nature enthusiasts. Not only do we want to know what kinds of animals live in the large camp area that we have intentionally kept in a very natural state, but we want to tell our guests about them too! Our guides are a great source of information and can help our guests identify birds and other animals spotted during the tours at our camp.
To educate ourselves we take photos of the wildlife we encounter, identify the species, and find more information about it. Our team gathers booklets with photos and basic information so that our guests can enjoy some delightful moments with binoculars that can be found at our restaurant. Inspired by the fantastic wildlife footage we have captured at the Khao Sok rainforest, we have also tried camera trapping here at The Bush Camp.
Camera trapping brings great results from the get-go
Camera trapping is an excellent way to monitor and learn about wildlife in their natural environment and most importantly, without disturbing them. Hence, camera traps are being used in multiple conservation projects all over the world. Currently it’s still rather early days with our Wildlife Monitoring Project here at The Bush Camp, but even during the first experiments we were able to capture something amazing. Have a look at the below footage of the magnificent and endangered Green Peafowl.
Green peafowl are found in a wide range of habitats. One preferred habitat is dry, deciduous forest close to water and away from human disturbance. Proximity to water appears to be an important factor, and this makes The Bush Camp an ideal environment for the peafowl population to thrive.
Green Peafowl has been listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red list since 2009. It used to be common throughout South-East Asia, but widespread deforestation, agriculture and loss of suitable habitat has sadly led to fragmented populations and decline in numbers.
We are excited to keep monitoring and safeguarding the peafowl population at The Bush Camp and hope to share many more thrilling camera trap videos with you in the future.