Youth Adventure Camp with Anuvuti International organized by YES! Club Nepal
In a jungle forest in Nepal, a 20-meter long rope bridge hangs tied between two trees. Clutching a rope tied above, students of Kathmandu’s St. Mary’s High School slowly walk on the rope beneath their feet. Grappling with gravity, the students find their balance and new self-confidence with each step. 72 students took part in the one-day YES! Club Nepal Youth Adventure Camp at the Bajrabarahi Temple near Kathmandu, Nepal on 22 October, 2011. The Art of Living YES! Club of Nepal recently partnered with Anuvuti International, a provider of outdoor experiential-learning education.
The adventure begins
It was 7 a.m. when the Anuvuti facilitators split the group into four teams. Brain twisters and physical strength challenges were waiting for them deep in the forest. During the Spider Web game, team members had to be inserted through openings in a ‘spider web’ of ropes without touching it. “I had to be very straight, very aware, it was a game of being in the present moment,” says Mamta Kafle, a volunteer from The Art of Living. “I’d never been in an Adventure camp,” says Aishwarya Singh, one of the participants. “At first we didn’t really work well on the team. We had some fights with the team members, but by the end we all got to know each other, it was really great,” Aishwarya says.
Aishwarya is both a student and a young media personality. She has been a co-host of “Musicology,” an online radio program in Kathmandu. During one of the games, her team was given a task that seemed impossible. A bucket wrapped with 18 ropes was placed slightly higher than another bucket on the ground. The team had to pour the water from the higher bucket to the lower bucket. “Since it was tied with ropes in a circular way, it was just impossible to lift the bucket and pour the water,” explains Aishwarya. After a long silence, a young girl gave the winning solution. “The group was surprised when her teacher said she always fails in physics,” recalled Aishwarya. “And she was the one who came up with the idea. This camp was a success because it showed teachers that students have their own capability, own uniqueness, and cannot be judged only on the basis of marks.”
Finding their reflections
The day had been full of physical and mental challenges. The students had faced fears of heights, fears of falling and humiliation in front of their classmates. Challenges abound on any given day, but today, the St. Mary’s students faced the challenges in celebration. Many felt transformed. In a self-reflection session at the end of the day, the girls got the chance to write about it. “This activity made me realize that I was someone important and special in my own way,” says Vaishally Shah, of Class 9 at St. Mary’s. “It made me feel proud of my existence for the first time ever.”
“This was the best part,” Aishwarya says. “Most of the time we do not give time to ourselves because we are busy with Facebook and watching TV. And if we ask ourselves the question, ‘Who are we?,’ we do not know who we truly are.”
Confidence. Leadership. Teamwork. These were some of the responses from the students when they were asked what they learned. Overcoming fears, better communication. “Basically we are all students, we want to learn something from practical knowledge. It was fun learning to use my brains. This taught me about leadership skill, teamwork and having fun. It was a huge success,” says Aishwarya.
About YES! Club Nepal
The YES! Club Nepal Youth Adventure Camp was planned ahead of the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!), to be held this December. YES! Club Nepal organizes self-development programs and leadership training for youth aged 13 to 18. The YES! Course, a dynamic life skills training program, is offered in many countries around the world. Students learn innovative breathing techniques to help relieve stress. With more energy and a calm, focused mind, students become able to handle their emotions and perform better in their studies.