Saturday, November 22, 2014

Camp Sikkim to resume


After a gap of eight years, the popular winter camp for children ‘Camp Sikkim’ is returning this winter. Slated to be held sometime in February 2015, this camp had first been held in 2003. Camp Sikkim had become a popular annual activity for children during the long winter break but had been discontinued since 2006.
Organiser of the camp, Lukendra Rasaily, who is also Managing Director Sikkim Tours and Travels, has said that the camp is coming back this winter with more activities and a lot more fun. The dates and venue are yet to be confirmed but the camp will be held somewhere around Gangtok towards the end of January or beginning of February, it is informed.
Mr Rasaily informs that the idea of organising such camps for children here was born out of his own desire to get his son in touch with nature. “Kids nowadays are far removed from nature since life has become very urban centric. There aren’t any activities that can bring them closer to their surroundings and nature so that is how the concept of Camp Sikkim came to me,” he explains.
The first Camp Sikkim was held in February 2003 with 23 children of age group from 6 to 12 years.
Conceptualised along the lines of summer camps in the West, Camp Sikkim seeks to encourage children to pursue different hobbies and interests, also giving them a chance to explore nature through different activities.
“The camp provides an opportunity and platform to urban kids for environmental studies, sports, music, arts, conservation and preservation of culture and traditions and encourages them to be more outgoing,” adds Mr Rasaily.
Music classes, environmental studies, painting, photography, camp managements, soft toy making, vocal training and competitions on different topics, classes on visual and print medias, hiking and other outdoor activities are part of the camp.
“For four years we organised this camp on a no profit no loss basis however the costs of hiring experts and organising activities grew and together with some other problems organising the event became unfeasible", he informs. The need for such a camp remains and therefore Mr Rasaily decided to resume Camp Sikkim this year.
This time Camp Sikkim will rope in more experts but environment education and value education will continue to be the focus area, he adds.
The camp, this winter, will be for children in the age group of 8 to 12 years. During the camp, children will also celebrate Parent’s Day where they will be performing and displaying their knowledge and skills learnt during the camp. “This time we will also teach children to make project reports and will be asked to make a project report on Camp Sikkim at the end of the camp. This will help them in future too,” he informs.
Also on the anvil is a camp for students of the entire South East Asia region next year and Trek Sikkim which will be a trekking and camping experience for national and international students.
“I want to develop Camp Sikkim into a brand and an institution in the coming years. When I see my own son, who is now a graduate and is into positive things and shows concern about nature and environment I really feel that I have no need to worry about him,” says Mr Rasaily.

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