Experiment to know self

19 people from the age of 8yrs to 45 yrs

  • spent three hours to see just one pair of endangered vulture (small things became joy like how they were cleaning their wings, how they took flight, where they were perching and so on)
  • spent nine hours in being with rock climbing - while we waited for our turn we observed, some sketched, some learnt new techniques, some relaxed while some got indulged into mathematical calculation of height of rocks.
  • spent six hours to explore art of making wooden beads and clay articles - While we got the chance to work on pottery wheel only for few minutes, we spent an hour on observing every detail of making of clay Ganesha and Horse.

While we did all this we waited a lot - waited for our turns, waited for vultures to fly, waited for our turn to make try making beads. We observed each detail of making of clay horse. We took part in listening to guides in museum. We talked about those in detail.  All this would have been possible If we were not INTO these trip. 

Few things which are part of our outstation trips

One, PARTICIPATION - Amount of time in preparing and facilitating that preparation. Content of rock climbing or visiting a forest is not as important as the process of experience is important. Its much easier to plan a trip and take kids for a trip than preparing with them and creating experience out of each experience.  We plan in detail - we work on different roles each one of us will play.   Each trip which is handled by kids tells us that each child is capable and its just that we need  to re-look into our definition of success and also re-look into our roles.

Second, PREPARATION. Often going to places for kids are limited to go to that place and come back and that's all. So talking about places/activities in different forms, from different perspective or engaging themselves with the place becomes new experience. Preparing before going for the trip, taking part in organizing and every aspect of the trip to be able to connected with the trip becomes very important.  Few kids began with planning and organizing for the trip. A week before all the travelers divide self in various teams and works in various areas. 

Third, CONSTRAINTS to keep it FOCUSED - Two constraints - One, gadget free trip and second, all talks only related to the trip. Initially video games/gadgets were part of our outstation trips. Soon we started questioning the purpose of the trip and role of gadgets during our trips. The constraint we follow is ‘do/talk only related to the purpose of the trip along with no gadgets’. In the absence of any experience of this kind of experience initial responses were 'why?' There were expressions 'when we get bored we need to have our gadgets, we need to have this for our entertainment, how can we talk only about the trip?" This was a difficult proposal for some, while some were ready to explore. Initial trips used to be asking ‘is this related to to trip?’. And a long silence because there was so less to talk related to the trip. Listening to guides becomes important for us to know more about it and later talk about it. Talk about the travel, distance became so natural. Travel games received acceptance. Observation and focus on detailing became need to be able to talk about it later. Initial resistance of why no gadgets and why talks only related to trip does not looks so convincing. We can do more beyond killing boredom using chit chat or video games.  Each trip tells that environment plays a major role - while there is constraint on kids on using social media/ video games during the trips, adults also follow the same constraint with smile. 

Our outstation trips are just one of the many experiments we do in our learning campus for us to know ourselves exploring different ways.