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    Camping, rope games, and life skills training come together on this trip

    IF you are looking for a fun yet productive weekend plan for your kids, sign them up for an excursion with Bangalore Adventure Retreat (BAR). The six-month-old group, which organises experiential tours for children and adults, will hold a two-day camp for nine-to-17-year-olds in the confines of the Bannerghatta National Park next month. Their aim is to bring children closer to nature, and teach them life skills such as, confidence, discipline, leadership, and teamwork through a mix of rope games, film screenings, and interactions with its team of 10 naturalists.

    Off to a start
    After gathering at Decathlon (on Bannerghatta Main Road) on Saturday, the participants will board a bus headed for the park, along with the BAR founder, Shashi Kumar M. They will unload their bags at the camp site at Jungle Lodges, and sip on coconut water or pineapple juice before getting started with the drill. Make sure to carry full-sleeved shirts and full-length trousers, hard-soled shoes, and a torch. Mobile phones are strictly prohibited.Ice-breaking sessions, and concentration-building exercises will follow, to help the children mingle with co-campers, and instructors. Kids will also be briefed on the rules of the jungle, one of them being: Following orders, and co-operating with one another. “This is important. So we play a game where everytime an instructor shouts out Yo! Yo! Yo!, children have to stop whatever they are doing and respond with a ‘Yo, what’s up?’” The other important rule is not to litter.

    One with nature
    Kumar is an avid nature lover, and his experiential learning curriculum reflects his principles. On Day 1, children will be taken for a safari ride around the 260 sq-km-area, which is home to 38 tigers and 32 lions. On Sunday, they get to fill the feeding bowls of caged animals and birds in the zoo. Visits to the famous Butterfly Park (with 20 colourful species), and Rescue, Conservation, and Rehabilitation Centre are also slated. The latter will show them the difference between the health of recently rescued animals, and those who have been fed and nurtured by forest officials. The group will also go for an early morning stroll, and observe herbivores around their lodge. Short films on the wildlife of South India will also be screened.

    Review time
    ‘Reflection’ is the key feature of experiential training. It involves analysing one’s performance and behaviour during games, and interactions. “We will sit around a bonfire in the evening, and ask each student to review his or her performance, as well as call out the name of the camper who they think is the best among them. We want them to have the confidence to own up to their mistakes or weaknesses, if any, and work on it,” Kumar says in conclusion.

    July 23-24.Tickets (Rs 2,299) on eventshigh.com. Details: bangalore-adventure-retreat.com

    — Barkha Kumari

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