Adventure Camps 2013
Class 10 - Camp Saat- taal, near Nanital
THE REAL EXPERIENCE
When I returned from camp and was asked ‘So, how was camp?’ I found myself wondering, how was it really. I didn’t want to answer with the classic ‘Oh it was so beautiful, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking’ and so on. That would be much to common, much to mundane a reply for the experience that is camp. Sattal camp that is, the camp of 7 lakes in Nainital was an encounter with nature, and one of those rare pleasant surprises found in the most unexpected places.
Looking back now, the scars, bites, tans and cuts-all the souvenir’s of camp fade from our bodies and memories soon enough. Even diary entries of day-to-day occurrences of camp lose meaning over time. What remains are tiny glimpses of incredulity, happiness, or even the sorrowful pangs of leaving behind a little piece of you with nature each time we bond with her.
I could tell you about the various activities we did like kayaking, river crossing but that information can be found from any source, and I’m certain it doesn’t interest you very much. Instead I wish to share the seemingly insignificant nuances of camp that make it so great for all of us. I’m definitely going to miss the way everyone including the teachers just cut loose and broke away from the strict straightjacket like boundaries that restricted us in school. The way peoples true caring personalities emerged towards each other was quite an astounding and heart warming sight. Not major proclamations of loyalty but small gestures like grabbing a hand when one slipped on a rock or just passing a plate in line.
No matter how hard we try to emphasize our love and devotion to electronics and technology, being around nature makes these feelings seem more like infatuation. Though iPods and phones are missed sorely at camp (especially in the 10 hour long bus ride) I genuinely preferred the off tune and deafening voices of my peers along with me. We Vasant Valleyans are so often accused of being ashamed of our own language and culture yet I can proudly say Hindi songs were a large part of our playlist.
Though alarm clocks seem to annoy us it is quite another experience to be irritated at 6 in the morning sharp by mocking jays cackling in your face. It is a blood curdling experience to be told of water snakes and ghost stories by twinkle eyed instructors while being within the very lake these stories revolved around!
These are the memories that will stay on with me and I will cherish eternally, though I’ll admit the cold from sitting under a waterfall or getting stung by bichoo booti will be quite hard to forget too!!