Experience adventure, first hand

Experience adventure, first hand

Notwithstanding the unbearable heat, students are usually happy at this time of the year. Exams are finally over and with it has come to end the grinding timetable that they follow for months. It’s time to rejoice, unwind and enjoy two months of stress-free life. It’s also time to do all those activities that the tight academic schedule does not permit. A number of summer camps are organised by various organisations and you can consider signing up with one of them. Not only do these camps allow you the opportunity to unwind, they also teach you things that you probably cannot learn during the academic year.

Every year during this time, the city-based Jidnyasa Trust, an NGO that works for welfare of students, organises adventure camps for students of class X awaiting their board results. This year too, 44 students from various schools in Thane have enrolled for the camp and will travel to the Himalayas in the first week of April. For twenty days, starting from 04 April through 24 April, while the rest of us swelter in the high temperatures, these camping students will have fun in the Himalayan snow at 10,500 feet above sea level.

The camps are conducted by the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Government of Himachal Pradesh at Manali. The students will learn lots of interesting stuff like how to acclimatise their bodies to the altitudes, survival techniques on glaciers and high altitudes, environmental training, and even a few high-altitude trekking exercises. Rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, jumaring and forest navigation is also included. In the 14-day basic skiing course, campers will learn the techniques of skiing by professionals from the Mountaineering Institute of Himachal Pradesh.

Surendra Dighe, founder of the Jidnyasa says, "Jidnyasa believes in the all-round development students. Therefore, we lay as much emphasis on extra-curricular activities as on academics. Our objective has been to help students discover the hidden potential in them. Such adventure courses cultivate self-confidence and a spirit of adventure among the campers." Dighe adds that once students enter college, they never get to enjoy summer vacations. This is because, as they grow older, they become more career-oriented and end up spending their vacation time giving entrance tests, acquiring professional competencies or following academic pursuits that might get them some competitive edge in the careers. This was the reason to restrict enrolment only to class X students.

Away from parents and teachers, these students learn to be self-reliant and disciplined. Away from urban life, they learn to appreciate nature and wilderness. Away from the monotony of academic life, they learn about the glorious uncertainties of life. But most importantly, they learn to be with themselves, discover themselves. They experience adventure first hand. They experience what Helen Keller once said: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature."

While student spend their summers adventurously, why should teachers be left behind? With "Teachers’ Eco-Adventure Tour," they need not. But you’ll have to wait till next week to read about it.

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