BENGALURU: It is summer 2021 and the rising infections due to COVID-19 has held most of us hostage. However, kids this time are trying to make the best out of the crisis with a window of exciting summer camps lined up before them. If drawing, painting, dance and music are on one side, summer camps are now offering a unique set of challenges and activities that aim to provide a holistic experience for children. Not to forget, the pandemic has also forced some organisers to keep the format of summers camps low-profile.
For example, We Love Theatre is a Bengaluru-based theatre group that is introducing children to One Leaf — a 10-day online theatre class for children aged seven to 14 years. Pavan Sharma, a theatre artiste and the learning curator for One Leaf, has adopted a different method to train the kids. “We have designed a specific curriculum for each class. Students from classes one to four will be dealing with interesting games related to theatre, classes five to seven will be dealing with theory classes based on creative writing, storytelling, and the high school kids will be trained in literature, acting and more,” says Sharma. Children will be trained for two hours every day from 11 am to 1 pm with 10 members per batch.
On the other hand, to beat the summer blues and to enjoy a green outing, wildlife photographer Phillip Ross, founder of The Outback Experience, an organisation that conducts regular nature camps and organises homestays for kids and adults, is conducting a rainforest summer camp this time. Ross is currently conducting a family nature and wildlife camp located on the fringes of Bannerghatta National Park. The camp attempts to introduce families and kids to the joys of birding, wildlife tracking, angling and wildlife photography.
“The camp covers a vast range of activities for children. They get to learn about diverse species of birds, learning camera techniques to capture wildlife, different fishing methods and a host of other fun activities,” says Ross. He has also lined up an online wildlife workshop that exposes them to India’s biodiversity and online photography workshop for kids, later this month.
Some kids are also engaging in reviving traditional games. Ragi Kana, a cultural initiative under the collaboration of Sri Ramakrishna Samagra Shikshana Kendra and Grama Seva Sangh, is organising Olden Days Golden Games — a workshop for children aged five years and above, that aims to throw light on old indoor and outdoor games. According to Abhilash, these games will teach children the benefits of social and interpersonal skillsets of playing traditional games. Some of the games included in the workshop are cycle tyre, lattu, bhugari, marbles, tennikoit ring, gilli thandu, hopscotch, nava kangari, and more.
Sportz Village Academies is bringing games to the doorstep. With the COVID-19 crisis looming large, the academy is offering coaching classes this month at apartment complexes for different sports like football, basketball, self-defence classes and table tennis. The kids will also be trained in life and leadership skills through sports. Jitendra Joshi, co-founder of the academy, says, “The recent times have been difficult, especially for kids as they have missed playing at the playground. We attempt to rekindle the joy of playing and help kids fall back in love with sports through this summer camp.”