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Keeping in line with our summer camp spirit we successfully conducted another summer camp this year. You may wonder what is so special about this camp? Do I really need to read about some children camp? So the answer to this is yes because this wasn’t just a camp. It was a whole new experience and a whole new learning curve in itself. See if you can a happy kaleidoscope in here.
When India locked down and sealed all its borders completely in the March of 2020 due to the covid-19 threat, it was a completely new state of being for everyone. All of us were shut within the walls of our own houses following social distancing. Schools were shut. Offices were shut. Markets were shut. This was not only a challenge physically but it took a toll mentally and emotionally as well. After the first few days of navigating this new way of life we all started finding ways and means to keep our life going as per our regular routine. We at Team Opash were all forced to work from home which came with its own challenges. Our spirits were high but somewhere there was sadness with respect to cancelling our summer camp this year.
Before the lockdown began we were already preparing for our camp. The creative room was full of design ideas for the mailers and flyers, the meeting room was filled with discussions regarding what activities to conduct and how to conduct them, the phone a buzz with calls from experts, parents, vendors. We were planning, brainstorming, fine tuning but most importantly looking forward to spending some really good time with our children friends in the vicinity of nature.
But covid-19 really knocked the world off its feat. During one of our post covid office calls our team member Ameya suggested that we should keep our spirits high in this time of tragedy and get back to working on our camp. Only this time it was to be online. With no prior experience in terms of an online camp and no idea about the results we would get we took his word and got to work and after a month of preparation we launched our first ever online summer camp. ‘Kaleidoscope’.
Kaleidoscope was a 4 day camp that covered over 7 activities arranged throughout the day. We had a panel of experts who though experts in their own field were first timers in online trainings. Our Aero modelling expert Mr. Rochan Kulkarni has been an Aero-modelling instructor at Air Force Training Team, NDA. He is associated with Schools and Colleges for publicity campaigns under Pune University quality improvement program. Has a personal collection of more than 200 fighter aircraft miniature models. At kaleidoscope he taught the children the basics of flight, parts of an aeroplane and also taught them how to make 4 types of paper plans that can be launched and flown at home. He also gave us a visual tour of his 200 fighter aircraft miniature models which was a feast to the eyes in true sense.
Mr. Rochan Kulkarni explaining the drone to kids
Our Bollyfitness activity was conducted by artist and choreographer Ms.Radha Purandare who is a dancer choreographer with 8 years of experience and the proud owner of dance academy named ‘The Dance Foundation’, Pune. Her most popular workshops include Bollywood, Folk, Latin American & Bollyfitness. She has been skilfully conducting dance workshops from last seven years for all age groups and this year she was part of kaleidoscope, teaching our kids fitness, relaxation, energising on the tunes of bollywood music. She skillfully guided our students through dance steps concluding the camp with a bollywood number.
Ms. Radha Purandare in Bollyfitness Session
Our Story telling session expert Ms. Neha Mahajan who has studied M. Phil in Political Science is a teacher by profession and a storyteller at heart kept us all enthralled through her story telling sessions based on the book “ The Adventures of Dennis” by Author Victor Dragunsky making kaleidoscope a magical experience for everyone involved. The children were hooked.
Ms. Neha in Story telling session
Our Art and Craft expert Ms. Jignya Thakar is an interior designer by profession with 12 years of experience. She is a gifted artist who loves to create articles and crafts out of waste. She taught the kids to make a multipurpose stand and picture from old CD s, bottles and newspaper as part of kaleidoscope.
Ms. Jignya Thakkar in Art n Craft activity
The Japanese Learning Workshop was conducted by Ms. Mayuri Kulkarni who is a network engineer by profession. She is an avid reader, a trekker, yoga person and a nature lover. She has studied Japanese Language and thoroughly enjoys the intricacies of its grammar and its scripts which she also loves to share with young enthusiastic minds. She introduced our kids to Japan/Japanese by teaching them the japanese greetings, Days of the week Numbers 1 to 100, Body parts, colors, Rhymes along with basic self introduction. So our days began with Ohayo gozaimasu, sessions ended with arigato gozaimasu and we happily sang tunes of ‘isshukan no uta’.
Ms. Mayuri In her Japanese session interacting with kids
Our expert Mrs. Alka Padhye gave a lecture on ‘What to expect and how to be ready for Academics amid Pandemic’. She is Principal, Modern High School (NCL campus) by profession with experience of over a decade in education sector. A hard core educationist, a Parental Counsellor by interest, she helps conduct parent counselling workshops. Her insight into the topics of ‘Changes after Covid –Social, Emotional and how to deal’, ‘What would we expect as a parent – From School and Child’, ‘Do and Dont’s’ during the pandemic were really helpful to all our kaleidoscope parent audience.
Mrs. Alka Padhye interacting with Parents
Our Know The Nature (Wildlife and Conservation) session expert Anuj Khare who has been working in the field of Wildlife for more than 20 years and has delivered more than 400 lectures on Wildlife along with various talks on Akashwani, Pune. He writes relevant articles in Sakal, Mata and other print Medias. A Honorary Wildlife Warden of Pune , Member of Maharashtra Eco Tourism Board, Govt of Maharashtra, Director of Nature Walk-an organization working in the field of Wildlife Education and advisor to many like-minded organizations working in the field of Wildlife, guided our children on the Wildlife in Deep Forests as well as Wildlife Around Us. He explained their ecological Role and importance. He inculcated values of Nature Conservation along with introduction to hobbies related to Nature. The children thoroughly enjoyed his sessions and were left wanting for more.
What was more exciting that our panel of experts and their interesting fields of study were the audience itself. An enthusiastic and bubbling batch of students and their parents who joined us online everyday to partake in some fun learning and activities. This program was really a success due to them more than anyone else. As this was a new platform for delivering information and education the children’s enthusiastic and wholehearted participation pushed the whole team to deliver to their best ability. So we danced, sang laughed and made some happy memories with all our young friends. Team Opash worked very hard rising to every challenge and helping each other in their times of need and moments of weakness. This camp not only taught what good team work is but has left us life lessons on how small steps in right direction, dedication and focus can help us reach our goals Kaleidoscope 2020 will not only be remembered for its challenges but also for how we made the impossible possible all while making new friends, learning new things, bring joy and knowledge when conditions were set against us. So here is three cheers for Team Opash, our children and parent friends and to another successful year of Kaleidoscope. Hip Hip Hurrayy!!!
Team Opash with expert Ms. Jignya before session starts 🙂