This is the best ever camp i have been to.. And i must say it was just amazing.. Not just amazing but absolutely astounding, awesome.. just great… (am out of adjectives to descibe what i felt ;) )
But one thing certain.. i dont think there was a second today when i didnt enjoy.. A complete mind-boggling experience.. And 3 cheers to all the volunteers who have worked on this day and night.. Absolutely great..
Though Jitin Jr, has already captured the day through the snaps, I just cudnt help myself but to share my experience with the not-so-fortunate souls who couldnt attend the camp. Check out Mad Camp At Holy Ghost & his other blogs.
It kick started at sharp 7am with the Art of Living class by Mr Venkat Mani. 5 minutes into this session, and i knew that I was never gonna repent coming on this camp trip.
He had a unique way of connecting with the kids, through his simplistic approach – converting the basic yoga exercises into a fun activity. For eg: the way he demonstrated making of fruit salad – of stretching to pluck the fruits, on twisting to put into your basket, moving your body to define the shapes of fruits, on twisting and turning and jumping while mixing the fruit salad..
It was just fun. It was also a confidence building session along with meditation.. through small pointers given during the hour, which girdled into our hearts – opportunity comes seldom, and it is our responsibility to grab them.
Art of Living Session By MrVenkat Mani
Kids enjoying the stretch
On the paths of Making “Fruit Salad” Yoga
Meanwhile, the other volunteers chartered out the plans of the day.
Soon after we had an introduction session of all the volunteers.
And then after relishing a quick breakfast of delicious appam and chicken curry.. and hot-hot tasty tea; Rohini took on the centre stage – with a small game to divide the kids into 4 teams – Elves, Pixies, Fairies & Lapricorn – to build team spirit and competition.
The first event which followed was tressure hunt. The team spirit shown by the kids was incredible, they ran helter-shelter looking for clues which were well hidden by the Volunteers.
Innovative techniques were used by the kids when they didnt have pencil or chalk to do mathematical calulations – they took a stick and calculated on the ground. It was fun watching the enthusiasm and energy carried by the kids.
Trying to decipher the clues leading to the Grand Treasure.
Mathematical expressions on the ground to crack the clue
The gr8 mobile clue giver :D with his prized possession…
And the WINNERS are ELVES…………. In Jubiliant Moods…
Victory Dance by all teams:
A round around the ground to shout their joy in winning the treasure hunt.
The next session was by the eminent journalist – the distinguished Leela Menon. I was so excited seeing her… She has been kind of a lady role-model for me since young… the way she reported news.. the way she went out to the roots of the news.. travelling around to get the accurate information. She is one of the first woman journalists from Kerala. She came with all smiles; her trademark big red pottu.
Then came a heart-to-heart talk with the kids.. on the hard realities of life.. emphasizing the fact that girls are not behind men. They stand shoulder to shoulder in all activities of todays world – And how the girls need to look after themselves, to stand strong and face the world with boldness.. to be confident.. It was simple flow of language between her and the kids.
The group photo with the kids
In the next session all looked on with rapt attention – a session on Public speaking – small tips to speak more confidently and convincingly by Mr Sooraj of “Career Dot Com”.
The girls in Rapt attention – noting down each point by Mr Sooraj
He emphasized of 12 points to make a successful speech – this was well demonstrated in the interactive session (i also learnt about the common mistakes i make while speaking – it really was useful for all). So…. here comes the points (what i learnt today).
1. Maintain eye contact with the audience – of around 3 secs per person.
2. Initially greet the audience – with a smile. Be pleasant.
3. Stand on both legs – steady – without continous shifting of weight between the legs.
4. Dont play too much with your hands/shawl. Do not keep it hidden in pocket/behind.
5. Through movement of hands & variations in speech tone bring emphasis to speech.
6. Bring emotions to your face. Believe/feel what you say. Speech should NOT be monotone.
6. Do not point fingers at audience. In case of need to point to something/someone – use the entire palm for the same.
7. Check your speed of speech – not too fast – not too slow.
8. Do not make the “eh” sound while speaking.. while giving a pause during the speech.
9. Other than the language for speech; use any other language only after approval from audience.
10. Use simple language. Sentence should not be too hard/long.
11. Duration of continous talk should not too long. Look at sentiments of audience.
12. Give thanks to audience at the end.
Mr Sooraj capturing the audience by his play of words
It was good session, and each girl got a chance to step on the stage with a mike and confidently speak 2-3 lines (either in english or in malayalam). It was certainly a good achievement for the shy girls who were scared to be in the limelight; let alone hold a mike. But the morning sessions, and patient efforts by MAD volunteers became fruitful, as the girls stepped on to the podium with a 3 line speech – many of them using their own words.
The tummys had started rumbling by this time.. It was close to Noon.. and hunger was on the rise. After a mouthwatering chicken friendrice & chilly chicken; it was the turn of the heavenly ice cream.. I scream.. you scream.. we all scream for “Ice Cream” :)
The “Ice Cream” Gal
3 cheers to the creator of ice creams.. yummy yummy……….
Time to Relax.. The “Holy Ghost” Volunteers.
Where are all the ice creams????
Ahhhh…. here it is.. The “Ice cream” smiles….
The next big event was something to completely digest the lunch. A hip-rocking, shake-a-leg dance by the kids…under the guidance from Ms Radhika… a talented dancer. This started with a balloon dance, where the kids had to dance around in pairs holding the balloons (all blown by the girls themselves) between their faces.. It was surely a galla event.. with the careful dances.. and everyone joining in the fun..
Start of the Balloon Dance
And Pappu can dance Sala…………..
Volunteers trying their bit on popular demand from the gals…<video>
Gals in jubilance with their new dance teacher.. Ms Radhika
Next was the tea-snacks break..
where all of us shared the lighter moments of life.. filled with talks and fun..
The 3 Jithin’s of MAD….
All energized with the coffee and snacks; we started on of the most exciting and adventerous event of the day (actually it was 4 events)… Let the pics talk for themselves.. and you wud know the fun we had.. :)
Walk through the shaky bridge – Sky walking
And down we go.. whooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm…. – Monkey Gliding
There sure was lotta talented monkeys around… :)
A compete mind-blowing experience….. Gimme more………
Event 2: Up the tyres we twist and turn and goooooo – Reptile Act
Event 3: Walk through the ropes…. – Rope Walking
Actually in the above pic.. they are supposed to walk from one end to another individually.. but seeing the spirit of the girls on the ropes playing.. i just cudnt resist clicking this one.
With these.. my activities of the day came to an end.. <sob sob>..
There were more activities planned out for the day.. but I had to make a move.. Hope to see more of that in the other blogs…This is me signing off.. too excited and and eager for the Day 2 camp tomm.
For those who didnt come today.. I am really really realllyyyy sorry for your loss… <try to make it atleast on Day 2>
And for those who did.. Let’s ROCK Day2