- Centres: Big Boys, Pallaruthy and YMCA, Cochin.
- Venue: Choice School
- Age: Teens
- Mood: MAD
- Sound levels: Can’t-hear-ourselves-think decibels
A familiar scene in a plush setting. Come volunteers, come all, lend some cheer, for Day 1 at the Choice camp is here!
Past the champagne palms and white picket fences, sunny swings and parked yellow buses, the noise is deafening as we push open the doors of the Choice Primary.
40 teenage boys on their feet, defying laws of gravity and amplifiers, greet us. Ice breaking games are going on in full steam. And by the looks of it, Queen of Sheeba and I-spy games were quite a hit with the boys.
The second session of the day was conducted by Aditi and Sebastian. After priming the volunteers, the duo proceeded to conduct their workshop on body movements and voice modulation.
Mellowing the charged atmosphere with discipline and creativity, the teams of children performed, mirror images, follow the leader and tag, with ease. Team coordination was also brought out impressively through art tableaux like the blossoming of a flower, waves hitting a sea shore, heavy clouds pouring rain etc. To witness such youthful verve channelized into creative displays only speaks for the untapped talent these kids consistently exhibit.
Next in line, the photography session elicited excitement and eagerness. Using digital cameras and cell phones of the volunteers, the boys clicked away, anxious to play camera man for as long as possible.
The manicured lawns were crudely ignored, as the preferred subjects were themselves in various filmy poses. Have to say that they did handle the equipment with as much dexterity as they could muster.
Post lunch, the boys assembled in the courtyard to play some games. Bombing the City was a fun venture, as always. It was followed by the Dance Switch where the two teams, The Ghost Riders and Step Up, had to outdo each other with dizzying dance moves.
One team was asked to groove to the music until gestured to freeze in their dance pose while the other team took over. And so on.
After replenishing themselves with steaming cups of chai, the male folk scrambled to the grassy courts to play a game of football – man to man, face-to-face, MAD men against the boys.
A sweaty hour later, the volunteers looked as though they had been run over by a truck. The deft kicks and bounding energy of the boys out-maneuvered the MAD men 3-1. Apparently, the volunteers were secretly pleased with the improvement!
As the skies faded to a steel gray and the flaming star bid goodbye, we decided to call it a day ( to the backdrop of jeers and howls of the football heroes). Ahem! We will live to win another day!
By Susan Paul Mathew