Experiencing Aarohi – Knowing Self – Summer

Aarohi is not about learning about a topic or gaining knowledge or learning and mastering the skills. The life at Aarohi revolves around ‘discovering self’. The first discovery is of self and that begins with “I need to think for myself”.
Summer camp at Aarohi began with asking “DREAM”. One of the child shared spontaneously “I never dream, I have no dreams, I don’t know what I want to do?” Soon all started drawing their dreams. The day went in understanding about the campus, adjusting to the place. Next day they were oriented with purpose of Aarohi that ‘Aarohi is DOING place”. Dream and Do. The energy was alive with planning and sharing and coming together as a community. Initially, they moved around lost, soon they started choosing what they want to do and started exploring. Various areas at campus came alive with carpentry, sketching, cricket, football, cooking, inventing, exploring solar heater, making, creating,jewelry making,baking, reading, playing, being with pets, bird watching, art, painting, drumming, dancing, model making and just being there. Some got involved, while some observed, few moved around.
EXPOSURE is one of the key learning fertilizer at Aarohi. Komal, a politician by profession, shared about politics and government. She emphasized on knowing about the constitution, know your right and start questioning government. We have rights and equal responsibility to participate in running the country. It’s important to know our constitution and our roles. Right now it’s not representative Democracy. Kids do not participate. Kids can change and participate only if they raise their voice. Do we know the fundamental rights? Do we know When do you become the citizen of the India? When can we vote? Why do we not know our rights?Is politics government? Why are some govt spaces like hospitals and schools stinking? How do our lives get affected if we do not know the politics?
Cost your burger and buy for free brought excitement. Calculations were flowing around with the empty stomach but costing was the key to getting a free burger – 100 buns for Rs 250/-. 100 Tikki for Rs 1000/-, Chips Rs 300/kg with the limited quality available (20 gms), Mix veg Rs 50/- kg….this was enough to apply all concepts and debate on the costing among the hungry souls.
In a team of 3-4 cook your own meal and add nutrition to the base food supplies given brought team-work, deciding what to add and how to cook. The kitchen was buzzing with excitement.
A trip to the nearby natural pond was the discovery of self-apprehensions and strength of self. Many who were reluctant to plunge into the trek to pond came with a satisfactory smile of their achievement.
Rain brought relief from the heat and an opportunity to work together on afforestation at campus – we call it Seeding. Planted trees around as the community in Active WE. While many have heard about afforestation but taking part and doing brought a sense of contribution and connection with the land.
The opportunity for Aarohi kids to take part in play conference brought gaming during the week. We explored
  • History playing games..take historical keywords and find those words in history books.
  • Balance coins to explore fulcrum.
  • Play board games to explore and understand emotions.
  • Race the cars to explore fractions using dice.
COMMUNITY element of the living at Aarohi brought various natural dynamics. Sleeping under the sky in hot summer was a natural choice for many while sleeping on bunker bed with individual space was the choice for some. Coming together for the exercise in the morning brought fresh energy but the new experience for many. Planning to know the various happening at campus got clearer and joyful as the community understood the importance of self-directed learning. Coming together for campus care was another space to explore CARE for the campus. Playing together in community sports was another experience for many with different ages. Music jam in the evening brought all of us together with a dash of dance, music, and prayers. Thought club and reflection at the end of the day would bring day alive to draw and reflect.
The experience at Aarohi is not complete without REFLECTING and DOCUMENTING our week. A simple set of questions were enough to compose our week and create a storyboard of the week. What all you did? What more you could have done? What achievement did you feel? Anything you need to improve? New friends, you make and worked together? Anything you did differently?
Energy circle and friendly hugs were the closing ceremony.

Feedback at the end to experience ‘raise your voice’ adds value to our working and each voice is value in our democratic system.