Our VYBrant Valtsalya Bhawan, YMCA, Balbhavan camp began with some mopping of water that refused to dry up [ Courtesy: our dear Jr chetan and team who washed the floors the previous night], fixing the sound system, and distributing t shirts on the 29th of May at Chinmaya Vidyala. As our volunteers streamed in and mats were laid on the floor, Our wonderful kids arrived escorted by their dearest MADdest chechis and chetans.
The Art of Living session by Ms Sudha saw our kids writhing into serpentine and stiffening into feline poses interspersed with grins and giggles, while, our hungry volunteers were seen smelling around and drooling over the appam and stew to be given out for breakfast. By the end of the session our kids and volunteers had learned a lot from some quick yoga to meditation to the importance of self and were already yearning for the day2 session. In fact even this scribe of yours who loathed yoga thanks to the one-hour-a-day-compulsory-classes-at-school was seen contemplating on making it part of her daily schedule.
Post breakfast, our one and only Sr ;) took over. Divided into four groups and assigned mentors our kids were soon seen shedding their inhibitions and mingling with each other. Rainbow, Check9, Galaxy and 9stars started vying with each other for the “van bumper sammanam” (grand prize) to be given out at the closing ceremony next day.
MAD pentathlon comprising of passing the parcel, bombing the city, decking your favourite teammate with some real good accessories, blowing the maximum number of balloons, and bursting the maximum too had both the volunteers and kids going MAD. The victim for the demo of decking-your-favourite-teammate-with-some-real-good-accessories was Jr. to quote Sr, “da this is the revenge for all that all you write on the blog”. Oops!! Readers please do pray that this favourite scribe of yours never is victimized for all that this pen, I mean keyboard, is yet to write.
Next session had Usha Uthup crooning a lot of her popular numbers and the kids and volunteers alike doing a jig. A certain male volunteer from NUALS busy going gaga over the girls, from chinmaya vidyala who came to catch a glimpse of star, was an exception though.[ mail me for more details!!!].
Half way through it and in walked Ranjini Haridas of the Idea Star Singer fame. After a good round [I mean literally, all steps were being done in circles;)] of dancing our kids settled down for a personality development session were the kids divided into pairs was asked to collect as much info as possible about their partner and to introduce their partner on stage.
It was a very satisfying experience to see our kids open up to other kids of the opposite gender in spite of coming from girls only/ boys only schools. The what-happens-when-you-entangle-a group-of-kids-and-try-disentangle-them experiment on her guinea pigs that followed did give some fruitful results and wholesome fun.
Post lunch (yummmm!!!!) was the confidence building and self esteem session by Priyanka Idicula and her sister, our very own MAD volunteer, Rohini. Each group was allotted a state and made to make the outline of it on a cardboard and also represent its relief features using various kinds of dal and newspapers. They were also asked to find out some important information about the state and were quizzed on it later . Another activity involved tying up as many paper bags as possible filled up with newspapers onto one of the members of the team. Both activities concentrated on developing team spirit and confidence in the kids.
In the public speaking session by Mr. Sooraj, a renowned trainer from ‘Career Dot Com’ the kids not just learned the ten important tips for a good speaker but also came forward overcoming their stage fright and delivering some real good speeches. Indeed a proud moment for us at MAD.
Mr Stefan from Geojit BNP Paribas, a beloved donor of ours paid a visit to the camp. While our kids were impressed with the heavily accented “ente peru Stefan” by a live German in flesh and blood ;) , the guest felt all the more impressed with some really good questions like, “what does India stand to gain in case of German-Indian ties”. The non acceptance by the kid of a diplomatic answer by Stefan got all of us feel so good. Our kids are smart!! Any doubts??
Dance and Body Movements session was taken by Ms. Radhika, a talented dancer trained at the prestigious Shiamak Dawar Institute of Performing Arts. The purpose of this session was to remove the inhibitions that the children have of the stage, of moving freely, and of being in the lime light. The paper dance in which each pair was given a sheet of newspaper and made to dance on it by folding it as small as possible in each stage saw some winners and some cheaters ;) [ mail me for more info]. Everybody, kids and volunteers learned the steps to desi girl. Must have looked like one MAD MAD world to the school watchman.
Dinner and all of us were done for the day. With promises of a fun filled day kept yet miles to go before we sleep (thanks to sumesh 4 the taxi), we bid goodbyes. Hearts yearning, Clocks waiting to tick seven.