The Hyderabad MADsters put together a terrific camp for 54 kids from 2 of the centers that MAD teaches in the city during the 3rd week of October, 2010.
It was 3 full days of doing, learning, thinking and questioning, along with our kids having loads of fun at Divya Resorts, Keesaragutta.
Here’s a detailed report about the camp for those who have been eagerly waiting:
—– Day 1 —–
There come many moments in life which you wish would stay to last out; marvelous memories of unforgettable experiences. But almost never does your luck allow you to ‘re-cherish’ them.
However, thankfully, this hasn’t been the case with all associated with MAD. We fondly reminisce the happy times and they only get better. The MAD Dream Camp 2010 was all about experiencing a sense of déjà vu.
The kids were up by 4 am and quickly readied themselves and were all set to leave by 5am. With a total of 54 kids aboard the bus from Rainbow Amanvedika Lalapet boys home and from Thara boys home, we set off to what we hoped would be an enjoyable 3-day outbound camp.
Well, it wasn’t just plain enjoyable, but an absolutely terrific and stupendous 3 days at Divya Resorts, Keesaragutta, that’ll go down in our memories as will in MAD history as a dream come true – a tradition that the Hyderabad chapter adheres to every year.
The kids were all settled down in their cottages on arrival, and were eagerly looking forward to what was up next. They jogged their way to the first activity which was yoga. It was definitely a calm yet all-muscle-stretching warm up for a long day ahead, lined up with numerous activities to come.
Sweta Sood, the yoga trainer, ensured her sessions on all three days were fun, filled with her flexibility, not just in asanas but also with the kids. It was indeed surprising to see that a few of the kids already knew some of these ‘un-pronounceable’ sanskrit asana names.
So far, things were going better than planned.
Personality Development: Mr. Ram Jaladurgam, a corporate trainer, gave an excellent session on Personality development where he stressed on good friendships, personal discipline, hygiene, self-belief, and the power of visualization, asking the kids to imagine themselves in place of the professionals they would want to see themselves in.
This was a very motivating, thought provoking session for them.
Robotics Session: This session taught the kids lots of details about how robots work and even gave them a chance to make one of their own. Prashanth, a MADster himself, lead the session through presentations and then went on to building a remote controlled, wired robot.
Yes, you heard that right!! But, it didn’t end there. The kids were so enlightened by the construction that they wanted to construct their own. And they did, five teams made five remote controlled Robots. How cool is that?!!!
—– Day 2 —–
Architecture: Building your MAD city!!
Ms. Anuradha Naik, a well known architect started the session by casually chatting with our kids to break the ice, gave them a brief introduction of what architecture is all about and quickly distributed the requisite material among the 5 teams.
They now had only one task to achieve, and that was to let their imaginations run wild and build their dream city.
MADsters & the trainer were spell bound by their ideas and creativity. At the end of an hour, they’d made several impressive buildings ranging from multistoried apartments to a school with a garden and a compound wall. At the end of the session, all the kids proudly took pictures in front of their very own ‘MAD’ city, built completely with their own imagination.
They also got to know what architecture meant as a profession and what skills one would require if one wanted to be good at it.
Analytical reasoning and presentation skills:
This session was taken by Ms. Geetha who focused on getting the children to paint their thoughts on a piece of plain paper. They were all given various paints, brushes and sketch pens.
Their only task was to ensure that they’d colored every inch of the given sheet. The children went wild & soon started showing off a range of very bold color combinations (red/yellow) to very delicate designs on their sheets.
Then, the entire team put their color strips together to make a collage to convey a bigger message. The message they conveyed through the collage varied, with themes like ‘The Heroes’ etc.
Volunteer Kid Interaction
After that amazingly scrumptious and very filling lunch, the children and the volunteers got together to have a little heart-to-heart interactive session. It was aimed at getting our kids to know what their ‘Akkas’ & ‘Annas’ do outside of their MAD classes!
The session was to drive in the importance of education and what varied options there were. It turned out to be an absolutely informative session for the kids and for us with so many – different interests, different educational backgrounds, different jobs, different passions.
Towards the end, the kids sure got one message right, that Hi-Tec city sure was the hub for all jobs! ;)
This was without doubt the “funnest “session for the kids. What better way to enthrall them than to get them up close and personal with the slithery beauties of the nature?
Friends of Snakes Society team gave them enough gyaan about vipers, cobras, pythons, to feed their curiosity, and also the chance to see them up-close while learning about them. It truly was an enjoyable experience. And frankly speaking, the kids weren’t the only ones excited.
The looks on the faces of some of the MADsters while they watched the ‘show’ was just priceless to say the least! :D
Defence Workshop: Air Force
This workshop was the best and the most enlightening one for all involved! The session was taken by Group Captain Ashutosh Lal from the Indian Air Force. His august personality, charm, confidence and patriotism, definitely made a palpable impact on our kids, the way they felt about defence, and how education would help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.
The awesome videos, and the wonderful talk by the Captain sent even our seasoned volunteers into raptures of excitement.
Questions like “Am I too old to apply?” were heard quite frequently during the session (that question only from the volunteers of course). And the icing on the cake was when he offered to give our kids a tour of the Air force base! (Now, that’s definitely something to look forward to! :)
Ah! What better way to end the day, and spend some pent-up energy than a dance workshop. And that too with trainers from the best in the industry – the Shiamak Davar Academy. Our kids were divided into two batches – one group danced to a Hindi song from a Salman Khan movie, and the other to Ringa, Ringa!
A lot of hidden talent, both in the kids and in our volunteers was on display here. Special mention goes to Raheem Mohammed from Thara, and our very own Krij!
— Day 3 —
Whilst the first two days of the camp were filled with activities aiming at inspiring the kids to shape their own destiny, the final day had a lot more fun and adventure in store.
Oracle joins the MAD Camp: Volunteers from Oracle also had reached the resort to be part of the day’s activities.
Adventure & Sports:
Rock Climbing, Commando nets, Zorbing, Sack Race – you name it!
What happened next was truly exhilarating! Adventure activities specialist, Vishnu and his team gave the kids some of the most exciting moments of their lives. The kids did everything from climbing a 12 feet tall rock to climbing up the twisted ropes tahat made the commando nets. Every child was cheered on by the rest with every completed task.
After conquering the Keesara rock, the kids and volunteers moved to the open ground where they participated in sack racing, zorbing and other competitions. The sound of laughter, teamwork, and encouragement resonated through the air.
Time Management – hear the time tick!
Satish Shah from Google conducted a 2 hour session post-lunch for the kids on presentation and time management that was filled with fun activities like crossing the river, some great videos. It was overall a great learning experience.
After relaxing for a while in the park, the kids hit the dance floor to perfect their moves for the grand finale. The dance trainers got the kids ready for their final performance.
A stage was setup by the volunteers in the grounds behind the main building for the final performance. .As the sun set on the resort, floodlights illuminated the surroundings. The final dance performances by the two groups of kids were a huge hit, and had the crowd on their feet.
Father Jose (Thara Home) and Mr. Suresh (Rainbow home) then addressed the gathering followed by the distribution of goodies which included bags and a pair of canvas shoes which indeed filled the kids hearts with joy..
Like every other MAD camp, this one too could not end without a blazing camp fire. Before the kids knew it, a 7 feet tall campfire burned in front of them symbolizing the culmination of the camp.
There are days in your life that you never forget, and for these kids and the volunteers, the three days of the MAD Dream Camp will certainly be among them. This was one camp that bettered the best!
The laughs, the giggles, the cheers, the bright innocent eyes. What else could you ask for? It was a complete package of fun, learning and unlimited enjoyment. Very fulfilling and over whelming – an experience of a lifetime. Proud to be MAD.
I just gave my name for the mentoring without having an idea of the work that I was expected to do, but I just had one thing on my mind – that I should be a good mentor to my team by supporting them in every aspect. I was the mentor for the team ***STARS***. There were 10 little stars in my team. The team leader was helping me through out the camp. They were creative and had a spark in their eyes. They really had that competitive spirit coupled with loads of potential. I certainly had an awesome experience mentoring the star team.
*** STARS ROCK***
When you have fifty kids madly doing each activity and eagerly awaiting for their next task, you can hardly take a breath! There was never receding energy, infectious enthusiasm and superb fun!! The activities not only appealed to the kids, but they were equally exciting to the volunteers!
Naveen : We learnt a lot of stuff , we didn’t know who an architect was or how air force works. It was a very nice , very productive 3 day trip.
Raju : The 3 days spent felt like 3 hours for us. Wish it could have been longer.
Bhanu : It was very nice, we enjoyed a lot. For us our world is always our center, but the camp was something away from our center it was a change , a good one. 3 days were spent like 3 days we spent nowhere else. All our hidden talents were out. It was a good opportunity for all of us to explore various things. We learnt so many new things and did such things we never knew we could in our life..
Venkatesh : When are we going for the next camp?? Next year? :o so long? I can’t wait. Next time lets go for more days and not just 3 days.
Anand: It felt very nice. I personally enjoyed swimming, dancing and the snakes work shop. I loved the adventures day too. I also liked the way the whole camp was organized. It was very disciplined. I enjoyed eating the snacks too :P
Sweta Sood, Ram Jaladurgam, Prashant, Shiamak Davar team (Andy and Gautam), Anuradha Naik, Geetha, Friends of Snakes Society (FoSs) Gp. Captain Ashutosh Lal, Vishnu, Satish Shah, Mr. Suresh, Father Jose, for giving such a fulfilling, enriching experience to our kids
Lokesh( Divya Resorts) for giving us such a splendid venue
Oracle team for spending a weekend with MAD’s kids
To all our donors & well wishers without whom none of this would’ve been possible.
Camp Coordinator – Ankesh Grover (who worked day in & day out to make this a success)
The MAD Hyderabad Team who made this happen.