Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nature camp at Samagodu School which made me redefine Giving back

This nature camp was conducted in the Samagodu school (One of the YFS adopted schools) in Hosanagara taluk with the intention to bring the awareness about the conservation and wildlife in the kids and also we thought the kids can relate it very well as they live close to the nature and also they can appreciate what is around them. 

This time I reached out to a team called Naturalist By Choice (NBC) who are experts in this field, have already conducted many nature camps in different schools.And they happily agreed to conduct the camp at Samagodu School. We planned for bunch of activities related to conservation. 

This time I couldn't go to school and interact with kids to prepare them for the event. I was just having some discussions with teachers over the phone once in a while on the activities and how kids can participate etc. Since the kids are from very remote place and they hardly have any exposure, we had assumed that they may not open up very well and they may shy out. But at the end they completely proved us wrong!

Total about 20 volunteers (NBC + Cisco Sambrama volunteers) were all set to go and conduct the camp.
When we reached the school , the kids were eagerly waiting to welcome us with the natural bouquets which they had prepared for us.They sang and welcomed us. This was the first surprise for me :)
Kids welcoming us with bouquets which they had prepared

Then we had the first activity for kids which was drawing competition for the kids from 1st to 3rd std based on the theme Wild life and conservation. Kids were so involved and did an awesome job.
Drawing Competition

We had Poster making for 4th and 5th std kids which again was related to conservation. We had assigned each volunteers to help the kids think out of the box. But you believe it or not kids hardly gave any chance to the volunteers to help them out. They had much more ideas than us and again I was stunned to see these kids involvement in this activity.

Poster Making
Next we had the Charcoal sketching session on conservation by an amazing Charcoal sketch artist Mr.Prasad. The kids were amazed looking at the drawing and when they were asked to explain the conservation message of the drawing, before we could give any hint ,kids started explaining about the sketch and the message which it was trying to convey and made us stunned !

Charcoal sketching by Mr.Prasad
We also had the workshop for kids by teaching kids on basics to sketch and make drawing a means to express their passion which was well received by kids and they all enjoyed drawing the sketch which Mr.Prasad taught them.

Sketching workshop for kids

After lunch we had role play by kids where in kids showcased small role plays on conservations which again was unbelievable.

Kids Role play on stories related to conservation

Then we had the Interesting and wonderful Sessions conducted by experts from team NBC on:

Personal hygiene and its importance for all : Kids response were so good and the kind of questions which they asked during this session impressed the Doctor who had come along with us to give this session. Even parents did participate well in this session.

Birds as natures companions and birding as a hobby : Kids received this very well and I am sure it brought them different perspective and curiosity about the birding.

Butterflies and its ecological importance : They were so excited to know more about these tiny beauties.

Snakes and the need to co-exist : We were thinking that they would get scared about the snakes and may not respond well. But believe it or not they did know much more than us and their responses made all of us spell bound!

Interesting session on birds,butterflies and snakes

Apart from this our Dharmendra engaged the kids in various creative games and made them think out of the box in all those games. Kids had lot of fun playing them and singing with Dharmendra :)

Dharmendra engaging the kids in various activities

​After all our activities they took us on school tour and I am sure all the volunteers who had come had something to learn from these kids and they all stunned looking at the creative ideas which they have implemented in the school.

School tour by kids

​Now it was time to showcase their cultural talent. Almost all the volunteers were tired by then. But kids were so enthusiastic to showcase their talent. The  performance started and went about 2 hours. And only 24 kids performed 2 hrs continuously which included various events like Songs, Skit , Folk Dance to Gangnam style dance :) You believe it or not their energy level was so high that all the volunteers got back all the energy looking at their enthusiasm and couldn't stop cheering them for entire 2 hrs. Finally they ended their performance by the Skit which had the conservation message for all of us! 

Kids performing various cultural events.

Finally when we were about to leave in the night around 8.30 pm , each kid came and presented each of the volunteers with the gifts which they had prepared from the things which they have around them. I dint have any words to express my gratitude towards them!

Sample of the gifts which kids gave us

This was the most satisfied giving back I have ever had which had the equal participation and involvement both from kids and the volunteers. And the dedicated Teachers  (Deepa,Jyoti and Shurti ) and the School SDMC committee head Mr. Rajashekhar (The man of innovation) did show a lot of interest and had put their effort to make this event grand success and memorable one. 
Volunteers and teachers with kids

And also I feel very lucky to have parents who support me in all my passion and interest. They were more than happy to host all the 20 volunteers and they were back bone for me in planning the logistics. Felt awesome taking the volunteers to our home and getting them introduced to my parents and spending 2 days with them. 

PS: Thanks to Sandeep and Bhanu for wonderful pictures!


  1. Awesome maddy :) Felt like I just had a virtual tour of this place :)
    Great school with great interests :) Well ACTION speaks more isn't it :)

    1. Thank you rosy! :) every time I visit this school I come back with new thoughts and these kids amaze me every time I go there :)

  2. Awedome experience penned down beautifully, Cheers!!

  3. Good work Madhuri!,,, Kudos to the entire team and volunteers involved in this activity especially to your parents. :-) ... In fact it is an inspirational event for many of us. I could feel what it meant to the kids since I also studied in a similar environment. So keep up the good work and keep me informed so that I can make myself available and contribute a bit towards society. :-)

    1. Thank you :) yeah definitely will keep you posted on our future events..Also will get in touch with you to discuss more on how we ( old students group who have come from the same place and background) can contribute back to the schools which we have studied.