Kids Summer Camp, by Stories By Meraqee

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For me, ‘exploration’ has been a way of life for some time now. And the more I indulge, the more I crave for.Creativity is the essence of life & I feel everyone has creativity in varying forms. We just need to put our mind to it. While in today’s day and age, people are constantly working on increasing their productivity, my recent efforts have been around improving my creative expression. And exploration has helped me a lot with this.I feel that kids need to be nudged towards exploration & experiential living. I find huge merit in this. As a father to two girls, I am keen on passing on my life lessons through travel & experiences.Recently, I floated an idea for a summer camp for my 10-year daughter & I decided to invite friends & family. I would've gone ahead even if it were just 4-5 kids joining, but to my surprise, we got 25. The camp was planned from 01-05 June, 2022 at Kesseraguta – 40 Kms from Hyderabad. It was meant for kids in the age group of 08-14 yrs. I roped in one of the best teams to organize the camp for us – Outlife. Diyanat Ali has been a dear friend & has known my journey for more than a decade now. So, I entrusted him with the job of delivering the content & experience.Tent-pitching, Trekking, Rock Climbing, Valley Crossing, Bird Watching & Star Gazing were some of the attractions for the kids. They also learnt the art of surviving in the wilderness. Overall, a great learning experience for them away from gadgets, screens, pampering parents, with no dumping ground for their tantrums. They learnt to play as a team, lead, share, let go, and most importantly, how to deal with rejection & crises.The first day was challenging. Many of them wanted to talk to their parents, they had difficulty sleeping in their tents. But we are human beings & we adapt fast. The evenings were spent having fun participating in cultural programs, which made them more inclusive towards fellow beings, and nature. With their newly learnt skills of knotting & lashing, the kids went about designing & building their huts. They even cooked food in a traditional manner.Our beautiful world needs more “collaboration” than competition. We must learn to co-create & co-exist. The camp turned out to be an amazing learning ground for this.The kids were re-energized after this experience of staying in the wilderness for 4 nights – all by themselves, away from all the comforts.No one can escape life. No matter how hard we parents try, but life has a way of putting everyone to tests and through hardships. The best we can do is to give our kids the necessary tools and skills that can help them beat the odds and embrace life as it happens.I think experiences like this camp gives kids a fighting chance in times when we parents won’t be around the protect them. I thank everyone who was part of this effort for making it happen. Most of all, I must thank the parents who kept faith in me!Signing off, Meraqee Praveen