Summer at Aarohi – Discovery of self


Summer camp is no different for us at Aarohi than our normal living at campus.

Community time brings all of us together for care of campus, meals, catching up with our talks, spending time with each other just like that. Sports is another place where we spend tome together and play with all ages, all skills and all kinds of sports – football, Lagori, Dodge ball and rock climbing were some of our attraction.

Planning brought clarity and this week we worked on friendship – friendship of people, skills, beliefs, talent. We worked on various ways we worked with our friends – some new, some old. Reflection of 15 minutes in the evening brings our day back to us. Thought club creates space to share and express – this week we worked on making few policies at campus, presenting our thought through advertisement and rock climbing holding hands.

We worked on various projects of our interest – Zip line to cross over two trees took few days to figure out to make it safe and for all. Falling and failing was part of making of zip line. Cooking brought basic skills – how much water to mix in dough was explored in many different ways, baking Brownie was another experience – tried with wheat flour, baked in unknown oven (children are used of electric oven at home, here they experience wood fired barrel oven), met family of frogs while cleaning oven. Some worked on communicating with others over phone and emails, read in details information about summer to be able to communicate with summer inquiries. Making of 3D model of leaning tower of Pisa called for patience and dexterity. Repairing solar water heater explored various aspects of sun and water and its science. Science experiments with mud, with a challenge of new 29 experiments opened up the curious minds and lead to making of stress-free ball. Make up and cosmetics were explored with joy and application. Electronics came to engineered mind, consistently opening, making and failing to create something. Poetry with Sonali brought exposure of loooooooooooong poetry.

Making of mud wall and exploring the power of Bamboo to create our own wall.

Sunshine was another community time to come together to exercise self, listen to music and dance to the tunes in any form one desires.

Climbing tree to know self, reaching various heights, breaking our own fear, feeling good about self and doing all this to not to show others but to achieve for self.

Climbing rock holding hands, coming out of our own barrier of holding hands, fear of height, understanding the slopes of nature and facing thorns to know self

Theater was another sought after activity which brought various aspects of body and its power.
Ponding, is our own term to visit nearby pond and experience water and nature in it pure form. Pond clay bath became natural activity. Crossing pond, playing and breaking our own barriers of water, body and self images. Cooking by the side of the pond after a good bath in pond was refreshing and rewarding.
What is an NGO? Some have heard , some had no idea. Anu and Navin of Headstream joined with their team to share about NGO they run. Well, they began with a small dynamic skit to share problems people face on society and kids came up with the solutions (drunken father, helpless mother, drugged school dropped out son, eager to study daughter). This set the stage to know what is an NGO. They shared how they are working in schools in Karnatakta to make learning through play. Rahul added expression through cartoon strips. We read cartoons, some of us like it very much, it feel nice to get closer and knowing this art in detail.

Every week comes and goes, leaves many memories behind when we start reflecting over the week. Last week we decided to come up with 99 words related to our week, and here we go – Planning, Friendship with people, friendship with skill, friendship with ideas, some new friends, some old friends, some new skills, some old skills, cooking, chapati, cutting and chopping vegetables, cutting fruits, market, mopping, sweeping, mulching, pets food, pets water, play with pets, sorting resources, painting walls, rock climbing, ponding (visit to nearby pond), cooking near pond, making policies, helpmates to solve problems, expressing discomfort, frogs, snake, safety, safety holes, rock climbing, tree climbing for the first time, breaking own beliefs, crossing own limits, making lots of friends, sleeping under sky, start gazing, astronomy, space, galaxy, patience, organizing, mentoring, helping, knowing what is NGO, writing poems, theater, making own advertisements, quiz on how I asses, 3D models, learning mela, diseases, work with Bamboo, work with mud, wattle and daub, power of Bamboo, zip line, failing, inventing, solar heater, imagining dreaming, baking, washing our own plates, handicrafts, uncomfortable questions (sex, body, safety, cast, religion), making own book, playing cards, making movie, editing, sketching, Yoga, dance, singing, helping, fun and ENJOYMENT.

Children choose what they wanted to do, how they wanted to do and where they wanted to do…guided, and mentored by different age groups. We lived together for five days and at the end of the week we felt we have been living together for years, We not only made friends, we also made bonding.