P4 Experiential Learning – Koyna Camp

As usual, the excitement of the field trip started way back, before the winter break.  We were asked to pack our own bags and be responsible for our things. Finally, the day that we were all waiting for arrived. We all were ready to explore the vast wonders of Koyna camp with the Adventure Mantra instructors headed by the trickster Mr. Monish.   

  When we boarded the bus, everyone was excited. The bus journey took more than 3 hours. We could not wait to reach.  After 3 plus hours on the bus and a quick snack and restroom break, at Sai Park Inn and freshening up break on the way to the camp. We finally reached where all the boats were docked and we were dressed in our life jackets. We took 2 boats: one for the girls and one for the boys. While we were on the boats, we had a race. The girls’ boat was the first to touch shore, however, the boys were the first ones to set foot on it. So, in a way, both won. A lot of girls were singing some funny songs and songs that we learned in our music lesson. We saw hills and trees and we had a lot of fun on the boats.  

  As we were starting to get closer to the campsite, our eagerness to explore the camp grew more. We had to hike a bit to reach our destination after we got off the boat. We immediately had our lunch as we all were starving to death. Soon after the delicious lunch, we collaboratively brought all the luggage down as our bus was parked high up from our campsite. It was quite hard work, but we had fun working as a team.  

No sooner did we get to our posh tents to unpack than we had to get ready for our next activity, which was to divide ourselves into groups and come up with the name and a war cry. The 4 groups that we created were Aqua, The Blue Riders, Legend of Alligator and the Surfers. We went on exploring the camp in our respective groups and had to make a map from our perspective. Some of us made detailed and complicated maps, while some tried and did their best. After the presentation, some of the groups realized that what they thought was North was in fact a different direction. So, with the help of a compass, we learned how to look at directions and align our maps with it. We also learned how we guess the time of the sunset just with our fingers and distance between them – it was amazing.   

  Now we were divided into two groups. One group went to learn how to make different types of knots such as open anchor, natural anchor, safety knot, clove hitch and many more. We were surprised to know that simple humble nylon rope can hold up to 1800 kg of weight.  

The other group had to pitch tents. They were given the bag containing the material for pitching a tent and were asked to work in a team and figure out how to pitch it. At first, they could not pitch the tents but later with some reflection on the listening skills and more instructions, they finally could pitch the tent. It was a perfect example of teamwork where everyone had to take responsibility and communicate. They also had to put back the tent in the bag which was another challenge but in the end, they could do it.  

  Soon after that, we went back to our tents and got ready for our scary night trail. It was pitch dark and we had to navigate without our flashlights and be absolutely quiet. On our way, we heard a hare running into the jungle, a monkey climbing down a tree, a very furry caterpillar and we saw a bird called Night Jar (which some students heard “Jaguar”) on our way back.  

  Once we were back, we had dinner and it was time to go off to sleep. We were so excited that we couldn’t fall asleep, but we had to wake up early the next day, so at 9:30, it was “lights off”. Even after “lights off” we could hear some talking and giggling.

  Early in the morning, we woke up with loads of enthusiasm and eagerness for the activities planned for us. After a quick hot chocolate and cookies, we set off on a bird trail. We saw parakeets, blue birds, funnel-shaped cobwebs, a porcupine spike, snakeskin, mushrooms, fungi and algae, and the wild cat poop with evidence of his eating a furry animal and  Mr. Monish tricked us by telling us that we were going to go on an interesting short cut but instead, we had to walk on big rocks and go on the same way that we went before.  

We came back and had a yummy warm breakfast. We were waiting to go kayaking, but the water was very cold, so the instructors decided to take us tree climbing and ladder climbing. It was so much fun doing these activities and it was not as easy as it looked especially ladder climbing. It needed a lot of focus and strength to climb and reach the summit.  

  Finally, we had some free time to play and do our own things. Some people were shouting like it was the end of the world! We had our lunch, got ready and went towards the river for raft making and kayaking. We were again divided into two groups and took turns to do both activities. One group went and started making the raft under the supervision of the Adventure Mantra instructors.  Again, they had to work collaboratively to build a safe and sustainable raft. It was fun sailing the raft that was made by us.  

  Kayaking was super fun. We had two types of kayaks, single and double. Kayaking with a partner was again displaying our learner profile such as communicator and being open-minded. It was a lot of hard work using the paddle and manoeuvring the kayak. We also got a chance to swim in warm and muddy river water.  After a quick shower, we had warm bread pakoras and biscuits, and we were ready for our next activity.  

We were back in our original groups and had to come up with an idea to show the water cycle through natural material such as fallen leaves, twigs, dry grass, rocks,

dry flowers, mud, etc. This activity demonstrated how all of us have a different perspective towards a similar concept. We made four different collages and presented it to everyone including a panel of judges.  

Soon it was time for the most exciting activity which we were waiting for – the “campfire” after dinner.  We enjoyed our time where we presented our talent to everyone and there were quite a few hidden talents we discovered. After that, we roasted marshmallows and enjoyed eating them. We said “good-night” and soon we were fast asleep.  

It was our last day. We woke up early in the morning, did some morning exercises and played some games while breakfast was being prepared. After we finished our breakfast, we went on a treasure hunt, packed our bags and said goodbye to the campsite with a heavy heart, wishing it could have lasted longer.  

The journey back was longer because it was Friday and there was more traffic. We took a stop at Mcdonald’s and ate it on the bus. Everyone enjoyed the yummy Mcflurry. When we reached all of us were happy to see our parents after 2 long nights.

Without realizing it we had applied a lot of transdisciplinary skills and showcased the attributes of the Learner profile throughout the overnight field trip such as; organizing skills, self-management skills by being responsible for our things and space, social skills while doing teamwork, communication skills when we presented our group work and mapping skills. This field trip was related to our unit about exploration. We were open-minded and risk takers when we did our activities.   

We hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures.

P4 Learners