BugOut’s Buzzworthy VISIONS Volunteers: Fighting Mosquitoes in the BVI

Bite Back: High Schoolers Engage in Scientific Internships in the BVI

When it comes to community service and volunteer work, VISIONS participants are no strangers to lending a helping hand. Throughout VISIONS British Virgin Islands’ program, dedicated teens have the opportunity to engage in a variety of meaningful projects aimed at making a positive impact. One such project is BugOut, an internship-type experience that focuses on mosquito research and control.

The Importance of BugOut in the BVI

The British Virgin Islands, with its tropical climate and lush landscapes, faces a persistent challenge: keeping mosquito-borne diseases at bay. BugOut plays a vital role in combating this issue by conducting scientific research and implementing control measures. With a mission to minimize the impact of mosquitoes on public health, BugOut’s work is crucial in protecting both local people and visitors from mosquito-borne illnesses.

Engaging in Meaningful Work

BugOut volunteers become active participants in a range of essential projects, including mosquito identification, trap setting and monitoring, inspection and treatment of potential and active breeding sites and installation of biocides in septic tanks. By actively contributing to these initiatives, VISIONS teens make a tangible impact on the local community’s health and well-being.

The Volunteer Schedule

While most VISIONS worksites include groups of five to seven volunteers, each shift at BugOut includes just two enthusiastic VISIONS teens who are paired with the scientist and field technician. In order to keep consistency and build the learning curve, BugOut prefers to work with no more than three different pairs of VISIONS teens during the program, so if you are part of this project, you’ll be doing it for the duration of the program while getting to be part of the other worksites, as well.

BugOut shifts typically take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 9:30 am. In order to meet up with the BugOut staff on time, these dedicated teenagers may need to rise earlier than their peers. This requirement highlights the importance of self-discipline, organization and personal drive. There are also BugOut volunteer opportunities on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 6 pm.

Note that VISIONS recognizes the importance of cultural activities on our programs, as well, so if a scheduling conflict with a community event arises, the activity usually takes precedence and volunteers may miss that particular BugOut shift.

Expressing Interest & Commitment

Participating in the BugOut internship requires a certain level of dedication and interest in the work at hand. This internship provides an ideal environment for individuals who are curious about science and wish to gain practical experience in a real-world setting.

Teens who aspire to volunteer with BugOut during their VISIONS BVI program can express their interest by completing a simple form that is reviewed before the program begins.

Intentional Service

The collaboration between VISIONS and BugOut on the BVI summer program is an opportunity for teen volunteers interested in scientific research, community service and public health. By engaging in mosquito identification, trap monitoring, and other essential tasks, students gain valuable knowledge while immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the British Virgin Islands.

VISIONS in The New York Times