Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Camping up the great outdoors: Trip to Sanajay Van

Shafa  always advocates the idea of residents to get socially reintegrated.  As a resident moves ahead in his treatment and becomes senior; he not only garners privileges based on his accountability but also get ready for reintegration back into society. It helps him practise what he has learnt from treatment; and is a very important phase of the treatment. Away from the safety net of the Shafa  facility; and in the open hostile world; it is a test of true grit and mettle for our resident. In our ongoing series of organising adventure camp to train our residents in survival skills, 19 members from Shafa   went on a camping trip on Sunday, the 18th January to Sanjay Van; a deciduous forest located 25 km away in the backdrop of Qutab Minar.

The chilly Sunday morning, was warmed up as we pulled into ‘Bikanerwala’ for breakfast and relished ‘chhole bhature’ and ‘garam chai’, a specialty of that shop. By the time our team reached Baba Gorakhnath Temple, our starting point, it was 9 ‘o clock. There, our team met the adventure sports enthusiast and the organiser of the camp, Mr. Ron. After a round of cleaning up the locality by picking up all the plastic and other waste material we could find; Ron divided us into two teams with two captains. The teams decided their names, as “Aravali Rangers” and “Bulls”. The first challenge given to us was to reach a spot called “Dreams Rock” on the map within 50 minutes. At this point, both the teams went into Sanjay van via separate directions carrying their necessities.
“Bulls” emerged as the winning team in the first challenge. However, this was not it. The next challenge was to build a shelter on the rock using only bare necessities. Both the teams were elated as they managed to get their tents up, kind of like a mini achievement. Once the tent was up we cooked maggi using just one matchstick, as was the challenge given to us by Ron. Ron guided us on the principle of “Leave No Trace”; meaning that once we have used up the place for fire etc. We were to leave no trace of it behind.Both the teams did a good job this time.
Next activity was to climb a rock blindfolded. This was an activity where building trust on one’s companion was necessary and was the best part of the day. The member climbing the rock could not see a thing and only relied on the directions given to him by his companion. Everyone tried the activity under strict supervision and thankfully nobody was hurt during the challenge. By the time we finished these activities it was lunch time – so we cleared the place, leaving no trace and went to a beautiful spot for lunch. After lunch, we took a small nap and returned to Baba Gorakhnath Temple while listening to soft music on the way.

A final cup of tea with Ron and his associates along with a discussion on what could have been different this time was the perfect ending to our camping experience before calling it a day. Hopefully, Shafa   residents would continue to immerse themselves into a whole new world of Mother Nature!

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