“Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges and we must adequately prepare our children for the future they will inherit.”
Oakridge, one of the top International Schools in Hyderabad believes that it is important to make a real investment in understanding our environment. In line with this, a three-day camp was organised from 23 -25 August 2019 at The Golden Boulder Campus, Shapur Village, Khilla Ghanpur (PO) Wanaparthy, to sensitize Grade 12 students on the impact of various human developments that affect the environment.
This camp was committed to providing environmental education with an urban context to understand the challenges, find solutions and take proactive measures for Ecological Integrity through experiential and relational learning of Forests, Water, Farming and Food. The 60-acre campus is skirted by farms, hills and boulders, nature trails, Khilla Ghanpur (a 13th Century Fort) and is in close proximity to the Nallamala Forest, Koilsagar dam and Koilkonda Fort, thus providing the ideal location and environment to attain the objective of the Camp.
Students set out on a day-long hike to the Khilla Ghanpur – a 13th century Garrison Fort built around a hill, followed the nature trails up to the Golden Boulder while setting up for other outdoor activities.
They scrambled their way across rough terrains and steep rocks on their hike adapting themselves to their surroundings and letting their natural instincts come to play.
‘Biodiversity’ comes from Biology and it means the diversity of biological things in a particular environment. Campers were trained to sample and analyse a given environment, recognize the features that each element presents, ultimately creating a sense of awareness in young people about the environment.
Students were engaged with BUSHCRAFT – a wilderness survival skill. They had a great experience cooking innovatively without vessels. It was truly exhilarating to see them experiment with basic supplies like wood and stone to get a fire going and cook food. One could see the wondrous thrill on their faces when their efforts took shape as they cooked potatoes and rotis. The laughter at the various shapes and colors of the food they cooked echoed in the open spaces and one could see that they were enjoying the experience.
After a day of hiking and cooking, the students were engaged in learning navigational skills. From cardinal directions to the compass and its various components, bearing and pacing- these young adults were drawn to the science of the outdoors with continued wonder and interest. The session tested their scientific instincts and left them yearning for more.
This camp also aimed to pave the way for ‘Transformational Leadership’, while exploring their relationship with ‘Nature’. Participants were encouraged to extend themselves and build interpersonal relationships, act responsibly towards their community, and have a sustainable orientation to the world around them.
As a whole experience, they learned to respect for food and their surroundings, responsible use of water and what nature provides us, respecting instructions, stand up and support each other as a group, living in a community, survival instincts and how to enjoy oneself responsibly. This was an enriching experience for an enthusiastic group of youngsters who came back with so much of learning and memories for a lifetime.