I woke up at an ungodly hour of 0330 and the excitement and anticipation of the camp made all my attempts at going back to sleep futile. Nothing unexpected then, that I should be one of the first two who reached Valsalyabhavan.
The girls were all animated but they did not forget their manners, as each one of them wished me ‘Good Morning’ and asked me ‘How are you?’ At 0853 hours, the tempo started on its journey to Zuri.
The girls spent the better part of the journey singing along to the songs that were being played on the music player and when Jithin later asked them who sang songs along the way, they unanimously replied – the music player. We arrived safely in Kumarakom and were treated to some delicious TANG.
While the girls from Valsalyabhavan were relaxing and playing with the balloons in the room, the boys from Snehabhavan joined them. This officially started the camp for us. Once all the kids were settled down, kraft (the sponsors for the event) spoke to the kids on what goes into the making of chocolate; in short the children got a virtual trip around a chocolate factory!
Once the talk concluded, the MAD volunteers and kraft volunteers assisted the zuri staff who took the children around the Zuri resort and explained to them about the various facilities they had within the resort. Although they were mesmerised at all the amenities in the resort, they were disappointed by the fact that they were not allowed to take a dip in the pool as well.
The excursion around the resort was followed by the ice-breakers session arranged for by the MAD volunteers. The kids then went on to have the delectable lunch prepared for them by the Zuri-staff.
After the meal, the children were divided into 10 groups and were led by the kraft volunteers to the MAD Spring Carnival that the MAD volunteers had put up in one corner of the resort. The kids enjoyed collecting Zuris (a currency we had formulated for the occassion) for completing the tasks at various stalls like the board games, pinning the dart, henna-painting, skipping, miniature bowling, etc.
At the end of the Carnival everyone reassembled in the hall and the first and second team were announced according to the amount of Zuris that they had managed to collect as a group. After this we proceeded with the prize-giving ceremony where everyone got something. We danced; we clicked photos.
As we left the resort, everyone was a little disappointed by the fact that the day had come to a close so quickly. Nevertheless, the children were all exhausted and most of them slept fitfully on our way back!
Anju Anna John