The Naukuchiatal Experience

 
Outbound trips are an integral and compulsory part of the Beyond Academics Program at Inventure Academy. INME, an organisation well known to design learning experiences using adventure and challenge has collaborated with Inventure to create a graded curriculum, so that every year there is a fresh focus and area of learning against the backdrop of adventure activities in different locations. For Grade 10, the curriculum works towards enhancing consciousness by focusing on leadership and decision making. The students also learn a variety of skills, both physical and mental, all of which helps to develop their confidence and capabilities. These trips are meticulously planned for the students so that along with safety and comfort, they return with insightful experiences and a great deal of learning about independence and team-work.

Students of Grade 10 could not have asked for a better experience for their Outbound Trip, than the one recently enjoyed in Naukuchiatal, Uttarakhand. Leaving Bangalore on 13 May, the students accompanied with some members of staff, flew to Delhi and then traveled on to Lake Resort via Kathgodam, where they set up camp and began their happy sojourn.

Each day began with limbering up exercises to energize and prepare the students for the day ahead. Split into two groups, from the first day onwards, the students were assigned different activities. One team was engaged in an activity called terra terra where they learnt how to construct a bridge using ropes and put their learning into action by making a bridge and safely crossing it; while the other group went to the Serene lake and learnt about the basics of flat water kayaking. They also got a chance to kayak on their own with assistance from the Kayaking instructors. These outdoor activities are based on the program’s learning objectives and have a defined curriculum, rolled out by a team of experts.

Activities were exchanged after a couple of days so that both groups got a chance to experience all the learning projects that were planned for them. They also learnt Target Jumping and Tree Jumaring. All these activities took place in the first half of the day.

After lunch students were given some free time to read or catch up with friends or just relax.

Afternoons were spent in discussions around the results of the specific life skills included in the program; where the focus was stimulating students’ minds, encouraging them to share their feelings and thoughts, and involving them in a constructive dialogue with both their peers and the INME instructors. These sharing sessions centered around individual experiences, struggles, triumphs, and personal realizations.
Pranet, a student on the trip said, ‘The trip helped us to learn the responsibilities that come with Leadership.’

Campus time for two hours, was set aside for fun activities which included Helter Skelter, Marble & Spoon, Retro Games, Invisible Maze, Key Punch, Dumb Charades, Antakshari and other games. Games like Invisible Maze and Key Punch are games of memory, coordination, team-work and communication.

Students were also given time to work on their Program Workbooks which helped build a greater understanding and appreciation of Self-Discipline, Sense of Leadership, Social Consciousness, and School Spirit.

Sheryl, a student on the trip said, “The trip made us aware of the things that we never thought we were good at”, while Sagarika quoted, “It gave us an opportunity to unlock and explore our skill sets and talent.”

The students were fed very nourishing and nutritious meals throughout the day, including healthy snacks and soups to keep hunger at bay. Their physical, social and emotional well being is high on the priority list of the organizers.

The staff who accompanied the students gave regular updates via whatsapp to the parents of the students involved. Plenty of photos were uploaded of the activities the students participated in, and morning and evening posts were sent to the parents to keep them worry-free. As a parent rightly stated, “We were given a virtual tour of the trip!” Many parents suggested similar trips be organized for parents too!

The students have had an amazing experience, full of fun and excitement, and at the same time an experience which challenged their physical and mental skills, gave them opportunities of tremendous learning, bonding, team-work, coordination and self introspection.

Shalini Patrick, Educator, Counselling Services – Careers, Colleges & Life Skills, who accompanied the students on this trip said, “It was the most exhilarating and enriching experience. Students displayed confidence in every activity they participated in and did so most enthusiastically. They also gave some excellent and insightful ideas and thoughts during the sessions on Leadership and Decision Making. This was a great opportunity for self-awareness and team-work which, I am sure, benefitted the students tremendously.”
Mahesh Srinivas, a parent, summed it up aptly when he said, “Manavi has been talking nonstop about her stories from the trip. She says that this was the best trip EVER for her. It is so obvious that the school has done a fabulous job along with INME to give the kids an unforgettable experience. Thank you!”