News & Reviews

Hot and Happening Kids Camp Author:Leslie D'Gama   Posted On:2018-05-28


“I had a very, very, very, very, very good time today!” Forcefully expressed by young Agneev Sarker, it summed up what the 32 DI Kids felt at the one-day camp held on Sunday May 27th.

“Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye,” sang the Carpenters while explaining why they were on the Top of the World.  The lack of clouds, the intense heat of the sun, did not deter the kids from enjoying a wonderful day out with each other, engaged in intensive team challenges at Indoors@DI, Outdoors@DI and the Pool@DI.

The fun began indoors in the cool air (leftovers from the badminton).  In true DI style the kids began to trickle in as late as their parents would allow, with a few even forgetting to land up at all.  The organizers put them into teams based on gender and size and selected team captains to run the events. A few, quick relays got the kids into the mood with flat racing, hopping, Hot Potatoes, Somersaulting and more.  Advice from the DI: Keep your kids fit!  Most of them could not somersault, some could not hop on one leg and many couldn’t catch a tennis ball.

The teams then got into corners and were given some materials to make their team flags – pastels, cloth, a rod and some safety pins.  They also had to get a two-line Team Cheer to go with it.  This resulted in #Predatorz 7, Green Galaxy, Red Raiders, Night Reapers!  It was fun watching them wave their flags and yell out their cheers which were diligently “rated” by the organizers.  This set the ball rolling for the scores.

Soon after a quick snack of Kurkure and packaged drinks – there were some conscientious objectors to both among the parents – the teams headed out into the sunshine for the Mini Olympics.

Every team member had to participate in five disciplines – Discus Throw, Javelin Throw, Broad Jump, High Jump and Shot Put.  The fun began when the “discus” – a thermocole plate – caught the breeze and wafted gently backwards over the starting line!  The “javelin” – a drinking straw modified by stuffing a twig into it – was a little better as some of the throws did land a fair bit into the grounds.  Ryan, assisted by Leonardo and Lorenzo, ran around marking the throws and identifying the record breakers, while Rajashree carefully recorded the scores.  The broad jump, which was a standing, both-feet jump from a line, was a little better.  Some of our older young ladies, in their May Queen shoes, had a little trouble lifting off – a lesson to them on how to dress for camp.  The “high jump” consisted of a thick rope hanging from a tree, marked with four coloured markers.  Each contestant had to climb the rope and reach whatever level they could.  We had a couple of monkey-descendants who shimmied up the rope to earn 5 points for the team, and at least one coconut-tree-climber from Kerala who used a special technique to earn 5.  A few of the larger types could not get off the ground due to excess baggage, but everyone tried!  And finally, we had the “Shot Put” – each contestant had to lie on the ground and, using both feet, fling a football backwards over their heads … some did, some didn’t, and some managed to hit themselves on the head too.

Then came lunch.  Chowmein and chicken sweet-sour for the carnivores and veg sweet-sour for the herbivores.  As Suhana Choudhury said, “We really enjoyed the lunch!”  The rest were hungry and too busy eating to give any comments.  The AC dining room definitely helped the ambience!

After lunch the activities were at Indoors@DI.  First off, was the Kids’ Quiz prepared, designed and conducted by Christabel D’Gama.  She says she had more fun than the kids.  Remarkably, only ONE question came back to the QM – the rest were snapped up by the teams, and the younger kids seemed to have all the answers!  Way to go, DI, the home of quizzing!

The Quiz was followed by Poster Making.  Each team was given a limited set of pastels and a sheet of chart paper taped to the wall in front of them.  On the whistle the first artist had to go and start the poster.  On the next whistle places changed and the second artist went up – in relay format. Each artist was given about 30-40 seconds to add their pictures to the poster.  Eventually all the team members were allowed to go together to add finishing touches.  The posters were supposed to carry a message for DI Kids … these went from “Do Not Bully” to “Stay Away from Gadgets, Stay Outdoors”, to “Keep the Swimming Pool Clean” and “No Hitting” – is there really a problem with bullying at the DI?

And now, time to cool off at the Pool.  Ryan Shaw had his bag of tricks, and buckets of tennis balls, ready to go.  All the participating kids changed into swimwear and jumped into the pool. Volleyball Catch saw each kid involved in getting the ball across the pool.  The sense of involvement, especially for the non-swimmers, will go a long way to build bonds.  Diving Tennis Ball Catch gave individual challenges to all the kids. The littlest ones got to ride across the pool during the Balance the Tube Relay while all had a gala time changing into Aniruddha’s XXL T-Shirts during the T-shirt Relay. Little Haniya Bilal wanted to “stay and practice swimming after the camp” – over to her dad.

To round off the games, all teams got involved in a set of Tug-o’-War pulls.  The “heavies” lost to the “smarties” while various supportive observers gave ‘technical advice’ which was promptly ignored in their enthusiasm to pull. This whole team event is always the icing on the cake.

Back to the pavilion for the scores.  Kids expressed how much fun they had and what they learnt from the camp (team work, making new friends, learning to take orders, helping my team to do well) – this was very heartening, especially as they want another camp as soon as possible.

The scores were announced and eventually, everyone felt they had won.  So, though the winning team was #Predatorz 7 they decided to share their winning cake with all, including organizers!  That is what the spirit of sharing and team work is all about – let DI learn from its kids!

A bunch of tired but happy kids were treated to pizza, sandwiches, chips and cold drinks. At least a dozen parents asked how we could manage all that food, games equipment and involvement within Rs 200 per child.  Our secret sauce is a fabulous organizing team who do this exclusively for the DI, along with DI Kitchens, sponsors, Council members, Stewards and Staff.

A huge thank you is due to our President Jayajit Biswas and to the organizing team of Michael Rao, Rajashree Kundalia, Debra Alexander, Tanya Robinson, Aniruddha Sen, Alifya Rangwala, Christabel D’Gama, Leonardo D’Gama, Lorenzo D’Gama and the ever-energetic Camp Leaders Ryan Shaw and Leslie D’Gama.