News & Reviews

DI KIds and the Great Outdoors Author:Roshan Choudhury   Posted On:2018-11-18


In India we celebrate Children's Day on the 14th of November while internationally Children's Day is celebrated on the 20th. DI is certainly celebrating both as it lays out oodles of fun activities for its little members. On 18 November, DI organised a whole-day fun outdoor camp for its appreciative band of over 40 kids.

While registrations were on in the Courtyard@DI, some children decided not to waste a minute of time and took turns to swing by the rope hanging from the DI gulmohar tree. Elsewhere, we saw Rayed being carried out ...his hands and legs held by his friends. Rayed seemed to enjoy his royal carriage.

Then it was time for the camp to start. All 43 children gathered in the Hall. Children sat on the pretty red and white check sheets. Uncle Les introduced himself and the rest of his team – Tanya, Shaheen, Betty, Lorenzo, Leonardo and Faiyaz. The order of the day was shared.  Four captains and vice captains were chosen. Teams were made in a well thought out impartial manner. Each team had girls and boys, of all ages and heights. Next it was time to decide the all-important name for each team. Children decided to go wild - Tiger, Lion, Cheetah and Jaguar were the 4 teams. Colours were allotted to each team and every member of the team wore coloured ribbons tied to their wrists. The camp boss shared the instructions with the captains who went back to their teams and explained before leading their teams to the lawn area. The four teams lined up height wise ready for the relays to begin the excitement. 

The Races
Team Jaguar won the first relay, followed by team Tiger, team Lion and team Cheetah.  Up next was the Mala race where the children run and exchange rope malas without touching the rope. Heads went round and round as they exchanged the malas. This was followed by the Cinderella race, where children, wearing only one shoe each had to run and bring back a shoe from the pile at the end of the lawn. The child whose shoe came back was the next to run. This helped children realise the importance of planning, team work, helping one another and strategy. 

The Scavenger Hunt 
Aunty Shaheen gave each team a set of 15 slips to be found. All children ran helter skelter as they worked on gathering the treasures such as safety pins, shuttle cocks, paper napkins, five rupee coin, metal bottle caps, pink sock, hair clip, leather shoe, price of egg rolls from Sanjha Chulha and Papri Chaat from Deeya Bati, and even the signature of the security guard!

The well earned break had the hungry children wolfing down hot crisp French fries and lemonade. 

Base Camp Challenges
The captains and vice captains gathered with uncle Les as he explained the challenges ahead. Each team geared up for the 4 challenges arranged at different corners of the courtyard and the lawn. Interesting and innovative tasks aimed at building teamwork, strategy, time management skills were planned.

From making Cup Towers using one hand, to managing the Nuclear Bomb, to Key Punch, to Tarzan Swings over the blue water represented by a mat, all the challenges were unadulterated fun. 

Dev set the bar high by climbing up the rope right up to the branch and climbing back down. 

To give a chance for the smallest ones to contribute to their teams, the 5 youngest in each team were given the Jungle Gym Challenge where they had to clock the lowest times running through the set up in Uncle Alan’s Park.

Feeding the Animals

After such a lot of fun in the sun, a fairly exhausted and hungry bunch of kids washed their hands and settled down in their teams to eat a homely lunch of pulao, daal, chicken bharta and mixed vegetables for the veggies.  Some kids found it a trifle jhaal but finished it slowly but surely, perhaps because the elders told them wastage would result in lower points.

The Comic Quiz

Lunch over, the kids trooped into the air-conditioned hall and sat in their teams for the Comic & Cartoon Quiz conducted by Brett Fernandes.  Three Q&A rounds ranging from Doraemon to Bugs Bunny to Asterix and Batman, an Audio and a Video round completed the exciting quiz, the greatest excitement being that only 2 questions came to the audience; the rest were lapped up by the kids!

Catapults and Bridges

But the call of the outdoors was strong enough to have all the kids out again, this time to use mind and muscle to construct the Roman Catapult.  Uncle Les tore his hair with impatience as some of the kids exhibited no idea of how to tie a simple knot – one of them was convinced that wrapping twenty feet of string around two sticks would somehow join them firmly!  With a little help from Lorenzo and Leonardo, the Catapults were finally constructed and the teams got down to shooting the “cannon balls” and earning points based on distance!

It was a joy to see the youngest members of the group diligently dismantling the catapults and returning all the equipment to the organizers after the exercise, while others decided to have their own private tug-o’-war.

Back in the hall, the mental gymnastics continued as the teams were asked to construct a bridge entirely of newspaper and tape, to span the space between two tables and to carry a mineral water bottle.  The poor young engineers, having no clue of what a bridge really is, created everything from a passable bridge to a thick slab of paper which they just laid across the tables!  And one team exhausted a whole roll of Sellotape and decorative tape making the bridge resemble a Diwali gift!  Again, the little ones had a great time collecting the scrap and piling it up in one place while a few larger ones grabbed the best bridge and ran around the hall avoiding eager hands trying to dismantle it.

The winning team, Jaguars received a token pack of eclairs to share while all the other kids also received a few eclairs from the organizers.  Everyone’s a winner on a day like this.

The day ended with a well-deserved tea consisting of Popcorn, Cheese Sandwiches, Aloo Chat and Maaza for all.  Several of the kids came up to thank the organizers (a dying art these days) and a few parents thanked us for the brief respite they received on a Sunday.

Thanks to the great team work of the camp team and on the spot assistance from parents Simran and Anirban who were there to help.

[With a little input from Camp Boss Uncle Les]