The last weekend I and Ramam set out on a camping trip. I would not have thought of such a possibility as this few months back. But it was made possible by Sarbani mallick and her team at Bubbles. As everything was taken care of, logistics, food, accommodation all that was needed to be done was to pack my bags and leave.
But, yes there were way too many apprehensions in my mind in the beginning. Will I be able to manage him alone? What about his food? I think food is always such a major issue with parents. Loaded my bag with every conceivable gfcf snack. It was some solace there were couple of other parents with children on the diet.
The camp was being organized by the adreno group. Ramam enjoyed it from the word go. The excitement of the trip caught on to him watching me pack and he was up at 3 in the morning! He decided to sit on a 3 seater in the bus, decided on a window seat, listened to music on his i-pod, nibbled on his snacks in the bus ride. It took us about 3 hrs, 130km from Bangalore.
On reaching the camp we unloaded our stuff, had some replenishment, and set out for the rope activity. Later had lunch, took a breather and set out for trekking in the evening. Albeit it being only a short trek, praise is still due to all the mothers especially the ones of the younger lot who came along ,the little ones tagging along in their diapers. All of us were busy clicking away photos, the adage the more, the merrier. The weather was just perfect, breezy, cool………
Got back, there was a round of circle time with drums and music and some good fun around the camp fire. But, by then Ramam was exhausted as he had started his day very early. Ramam was thrilled with the idea of sleeping in a tent, and was overjoyed I was carrying his pillow and bed sheets. Just the look in his eyes said a lot. The volunteers pepped up the fun quotient up a few notches and were in the process enjoying themselves. Nilima, an art therapist also joined them in livening up the proceedings. There was a hostel adjoining the camping site .The children staying there also joined our party. It was heart warming to see such small children playing host, always ready to help us with a bucket of water( we were using their restroom facilities) or simply exchanging pleasantries with us. The next day we set out for still water rafting, had breakfast and began the journey back to Blore.
The beauty of this camp as I see it was the pace, the activities were well spaced out giving everybody enough time .It was never hectic or strenuous. All the children and parents got a chance, be it rope activities or the boat ride. It also goes to show the mettle of the staff, mothers, organizers, that the event progressed smoothly, with practically no hitches. The adreno gang was superbly efficient, ensuring everybody was comfortable. The children and mothers were ready to move on notice, food was served fresh and hot, everybody was cheerful and smiling. I even squeezed a short game of throw ball. The best part being the children cleared up the camping site after the pack up sending out a clear message of social responsibility.It was a tenet issued by Sarbani right at the beginning, no messing up the bus or the camping site.
The event was not meant to be a picnic or a family together, but it turned out to be all that and more. For the first timers it was a very different and refreshing experience. The children also surpassed the expectations and enjoyed themselves. Experiencing something very different from your city life, trying out activities of altogether of a different nature all of it had a cascading effect making it very memorable.