Newsletter-cum-magazine of Oasis Movement YEAR 5 I ISSUE 20  I Sep 16, 2012

65 Students Celebrated “मस्ती की पाठशाला...” At Oasis Valleys

Second SummerHill Camp Organized By Jumbish & Oasis

અહીં ફક્ત એક નિયમ છે... જિંદગીને માણવાની પૂરેપૂરી સ્વતંત્રતા

‘ભણતર’નો કોઈ ભાર નથી... ફગાવી દીધી છે પરતંત્રતા

A brief Report:

The second SummerHill Camp at Oasis Valleys was organized by Jumbish & Oasis during 26th Aug to 2nd Sept 2012.

Jumbish is a Surat (Gujarat, India) based NGO working for underpriviledged children. For last 3 years (since inception) they have adopted one of the municipal schools of Surat which has 409 children studying there. Jumbish helps children to improve their educational skills by various aids like - taking subject classes, Health & Hygiene classes, Workshops for boys & girls, Educational tours etc.

Jumbish has a dedicated team of 40-45 volunteers and is headed by Meeta Shah, who is the founder of the organization.

The purpose of the camp, Principles, Values, Dos & Don'ts were discussed well before many days by Oasis & Jumbish team.

65 students along with Jumbish team arrived at Oasis Valleys on 26th Aug, evening. Little did children know what is awaiting for them in next 7 days; they arrived at lush green valleys (which is rearing almost 5000 trees of some 120 species).

On the very first day they were completely taken by surprise when it was announced that, here at SummerHill Camp, they are given complete freedom to do what they want. They had almost no idea what it implies. But they had to experience to believe it. We believe that children thrive and grow the most in an environment of complete freedom.

First thing they did was to make their own parliament & they elected their representative members in a complete democratic way with some facilitation by Oasis members. Then, they made their own rules – how they will stay, enjoy & learn at SummerHill Camp. They took a whole day to realize that this is their own miniature country and they are the actual rulers.

The schedule of the camp, from morning 6 to night 10:30, was tight enough to give maximum to the children. At every session of the day they had plenty of choices of learning various things/subjects. The whole schedule & options were designed in such a way that all children get mental & physical exercise every day.

There were some students, very few, who enjoyed their freedom by not doing anything for few days. But that was perfectly Ok at SummerHill

Camp. Because we believe that Learning is always a voluntary choice; one cannot force children to learn in a creative way. Some remembered their family and friends at night and cried, but soon they were back to joy and fun learning.

On the weekends, very special guests were invited to share their knowledge with the children.

Apart from all these fun & learning, the whole community waited every night for their parliament session where they ran their own court for rule breakers or for sorting out their problems. Though it was children’s first experience, all the elders were amazed by the maturity children showed during the court trials. Even management team was not barred from the court trials for their lapses. At Oasis, we believe that given freedom & opportunity, children are capable to sort out their problems on their own and that too, creatively.

The last day was celebration day and the whole week’s work/learning was on display. Children performed confidently in front of outside guests.

At the end, on the moments of departing, almost everyone wanted to stay back for some more time.

Let’s go through the pictorial journey of the camp -

Children Made Their Own Parliament, Their Own Rules & Followed Them

બાળકોએ પોતાની જ અદાલતમાં ન્યાય કરવાનો અનન્ય અનુભવ લીધો

The evening attraction was parliament session; almost attended fully. The rule breakers were taken for trials and those found guilty, were given punishments, too. Larger issues pertaining to community were also taken and discussed amongst all, including facilitators and management team. We respected the children and they proved they can solve their problems themselves.

24 Subjects, 18 Facilitators; Everyday Children Had Plenty Of Choices

“રોજે રોજ નવું નવું શીખવાનું અને એ પણ મસ્તી-મજા કરતાં કરતાં”

Every session was learning with fun for all the students. Soft-toy making, Crafts, Painting, Music & Singing, Leadership Training, Drama & Acting, Spoken English, Environment Sciences – everything was designed to open up hidden talents of children. In the atmosphere of complete freedom their creativity came out naturally.

Daily Routine Was Balanced Between Physical & Mental Activities

“આ કૅમ્પમાં મને ખેતી કરવાનું અને કમ્પ્યૂટર કરવાનું પણ ગમ્યું”

From Morning Exercises, Yoga, Aerobics & Mountain Jogging to evening Games & Agricultural activities, all were interwoven in the daily schedule. Children also heartily accepted household duties of taking dried cloths, arranging food counters, cleaning bathrooms, passages and residential area, helping in cooking etc. and performed them without much supervision. We trusted them & they took responsibilities on their own shoulders.

Everything Was Learning With Fun; Evening Games & Recreation, Too

“ઘણું બધું શીખ્યા, ખૂબ બધું રમ્યા, સંગીત અને નૃત્ય પણ દિલથી માણ્યું”

Children learned various new games. Singing and dancing were part of evening sessions for couple of days.

Special Guests Shared Not Only Their Knowledge But Love, Too.

“આટલી બધી સ્વતંત્રતા અને એટલું જ બધું શીખવાનું, એ બાબત જ કેટલી સુંદર છે!”

Special guests from Surat, Vadodara, Vaghodia (dist. Vadodara) came on request to share their knowledge. Learning internet, Kung-fu & Self defence Techniques, Environment Learning Van, Salad Carving, Learning Leadership fundas, Singing with Sitar, Chess Techniques, Making Greeting Cards & Story-writing were among the subjects.

On The Final Day, Children Presented What They Learnt In 6 Days

“હરવાના, ફરવાના, થઈને બસ મસ્તાના; રમવાના, કૂદવાના, કોઈથી ના ડરવાના”

Day 7 was celebration day and all children presented what they learnt in last 6 days. Crafts and painting were exhibited. Singing, Drama, Reading their own story written in last 6 days and some gymnastics were on the show. Everybody appreciated the hard work put up by children.

Given The Atmosphere & Opportunity, Children Become Most Creative

“જે વિચારેલું તે બધું જ અહીં થયું, અહીં જે કરવા માંગીએ એ કરવાની પૂરી છૂટ છે”

The crafts, Soft toys, Paintings & Environment Display were exhibited.

Coming to this point, you will surely have some questions, like -

What Children felt after the camp?

What they liked? What they did not like? Why?

How they received love & returned it back to facilitators?

What the facilitators felt about the whole experience?


Wait for the next issue of Alive… for all such answers.

  Team Alive   Alive Archives

  Alkesh Raval

  Jolly Madhra

Kshama Kataria

Mayuri Gohil

  Mehul Panchal

  Sanjiv Shah

  Sheeba Nair

  Umesh Patel

To View Alive Archives, Please Click here>>>

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