Yet another wonderful experience with M.A.D Chennai. The Dream Camp! A 2 day super camp where our little ones and some big ones were exposed to a lot of value – oriented and talent – oriented workshops. Needless to say , for as long as I was there I could see NOTHING but smiles , excitement and enthusiasm on the faces of the kids. 😀 😀 😀
Unfortunately , I could stay just for the 1st day. But that was enough to make my heart just stay back at the camp while i sadly had to leave 😦
Day 1 of day camp started off with us taking our kids to INDeco Hotel in Mahabalipuram ( gorgeous by day and shady by night 😛 ) with a beautiful beach you wouldn’t want to miss!! 😀
The bus ride was absolutely amazing and a lot of fun specially with the DB boys being themselves and their impossible songs!! :O (god knows where they find these songs 😐 )
I was so surprised to find my kids (CHI) just being so silent and staring off into space. I expected them to make the most racket. *sigh* Well , with too many of us standing on the ” FUN BUS” a few of us switched to another bus with the GL kids. Boy, were my kids annoyed. 😦 But they were pretty chill about it later.
Now , THAT bus was a WHOLE OTHER scene. The shady talks 😉 , the song singing till our voices went hoarse , the kids dancing , making of fun of our fav volunteers , daring each other to do stuff , all that was complete bliss 🙂 🙂 except for the fact that compared to everyone else I was so short that i had to ask people to keep moving out of the way for me to see what the kids were doing in the bus 😦 In the end they just pushed me forward while most of them were standing either on the other side of the bus or behind me like body guards 😛 😀
Finally we reached the hotel. You should have seen their faces!! The kids were so excited and ready to run all over the place. Thankfully for our AWESOME mentors , the kids were put into groups and taken into the hotel.
As I was not a mentor and pretty much had NOTHING to do.. I volunteered to take care of the experiment things and bags. Boy were they heavy! 😦 Sheesh! I was so paranoid about losing them that I refused to keep them down anywhere until my co-teacher gave me a stern glare and I had to leave them behind the coffee table 😦 *hmph*
After breakfast we went into the conference hall to give our kids their AWESOME dream camp tees and shoes. They were all excited about it and showing off to one another. I could not help be excited myself and just could not stop clicking photos of them. I had completely forgotten i was a co-mentor . My mentor just stared at me and was like ” HELP ME!” By the time I could react , my kids had pulled the camera away from me and were clicking away. All good anyway as I had no idea where to keep it while helping my mentor out. There was a little bit of a shoe disaster where we had to endure a lot of glares from our kids 😛 but finally all ended well with them running n skidding about in their Dream Camp outfit 🙂
Finally , after what felt like a eternity and with the kids getting restless , the SESSIONS started! The kids had their very first cooking session where they were taught how to make vegetable soup and fried rice. The enthusiasm was so much that , some kids even got up to see how they were made and what ingredients were used. We had to make sure they sat back down so that the other kids could see. After all that fuss , the kids finally got to taste the soup and fried rice! 😀 They were so happy about it , that my camera pretty much clicked by itself 😛
After that we had a talk on Army Personnel for which i was so surprised at the kind of questions my kids came up. I had no idea if those kind of questions could be asked or not. So i told them which of those that could be asked openly and those that could not. They approached the speaker separately for the inappropriate questions. I was so happy and proud that they actually wanted to know so much. Whether they understood or not was beyond me but they sounded interested. That was enough. 🙂 🙂
The kids needed a break so we took them to their rooms. The room was not just a whole different story but a whole different world for my kids altogether. They just could not contain their joy. Even before we knew it they had broken up into groups of 4 and decided who will be with who. Everything seemed fine , so were totally OK with it. So as long as they just stay in their rooms till we call them out. Of course , there was the factor of the boys – girls wanting to know whose room was better 😐 I didn’t know if to laugh or glare at this. We just let them be and after they were satisfied with their inspection , they settled down in their rooms flopping on the bed with the TV on :O 🙂
On the flip side , when the time came they just refused to get out! 😦 Then after a lot of cajoling they finally agreed. Though they are pain , they are still so lovable my kids. What would I do without them. 🙂 🙂
Our next sessions was on Origami and Clay Modelling.
Whether the kids were interested in this or not , I certainly was! 😀 I behaved and looked like a 10 year who had never done origami and clay modelling before ( which is true 😦 )
I just refused to let anyone take away my papers and clay and was very particular to do everything on my own. The other volunteers looked at me in disbelief. 😛 They found me so amusing but i was just too caught up in the art work to care. After successfully making my clay tortoise ( with which i was so proud and happy about 😛 😀 ) and a not so successful lotus ( which i was still happy about 😀 ) I gave them to my kids to keep for their carnival. 🙂
The kids also got to the play in the park near the dining area. They would just rush there at every chance they got. It was such a joy to see them free , having fun , enjoying , being themselves 😀 . It brought tears to my eyes. I just kept clicking away and when i was not there , I would give my camera to my kids for them to enjoy their photo-shoot 😀 They would always make sure it came back to my hands safely and I just LOVE that about them. They fully gained my trust at handling my things, I never hesitate now to give them. 😀
With all the sessions , tea done n all that. It was time for the DREAM CAMP photo-shoot on the beach. The moment the beach came into sight , we had to hold firm on the kids to keep them from running. The looks on their faces are just etched in my mind. It was just priceless and no amount of money in the world could change that or melt my heart , the way their smiles did. 🙂 *tears*
If the dream camp photo came out the way it did – AWESOMENESS!!! 😀 It was because of the kids stud poses , screams and more!
Now for the final part of Day 1 , the CAMP FIRE!!!! 😀
I was jumping at every step at the thought of it 😛 that my kids found me absolutely amusing and could not help giggling. I didn’t mind. They were happy and that s all mattered. 🙂
The camp fire ended with beautiful violin music , the MAD band and our kids singing and playing the drums 🙂
I could not have been more proud of them , so happy and at the moment the only thing I wanted to do was hug each n every of them for co-operating throughout the day and being the MOST AWESOME kids ( though there was one point when they were a pain) 😀 . But I would rather forget that , because chasing them around the entire hall and park was part of the CAMP PACKAGE and FUN! 😀 😀
I would give anything to get that day back , to stay the night with my kids , have heart to heart talks with them, tease each other , see their smiles , and what not! *tears* 🙂 🙂
It breaks my heart to think even now , that I had to leave and could not spend more time with my kids. But they are right here , 10 mins away from my home. If I even so much so want to go just randomly give them a hug I can. That s what keeps me going. My kids , a pain or not , they are the WORLDS BEST STUDENTS n tiny FRIENDS. 😀
The bond that the camp helped establish was beyond boundaries. A bond which I will make sure never breaks. Not just with me and the kids. But also the bond which I made with other volunteers.
Right now as I write this last line , all I want to do is , go give SINDHUJA (Our Camp Coordinator) a HUGE HUG for making that day happen , the way it did! 😀