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Arannya conducted "Summer Camp” from 12th May to 14th May 2019 at Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. We believe in providing a mix of serious and fun learning giving opportunity for all participants to explore nature like never before and a platform to discuss burning and current environmental issues of the world with our team.

Cotigao is well known for its biodiversity and hence caught the attention of 20 enthusiasts who participated in the summer camp. Tented accommodation in the serene environment made three days two nights camp even more special as most of the participants stayed in the forest for the first time.

Group photo of Camp participants

Activities of this camp included the following things

1. The wonder of nature: The group assembled on a nature trail with open space at the edges. Players were asked to stay within outlined boundaries, set by the leader. The leader called out one of the instructions listed which included message about nature, and players were given 2 minutes to run and do or find whatever is needed. Everyone gathered in the center of the playing area to discuss each action or direction before the next one is called. It was indeed a great way to learn about the environment in a fun way!

2. Scavenger hunt: While we were on the nature trail, each team was given 10 puzzling questions that they had to solve and report to the camp instructor at the end of the walk. Each puzzle revolved around ecological aspects which helped participants understand how nature functions and how much it is important to observe nature in order to feel closer to things which otherwise go unnoticed.

3. Clay modeling: It is hard to believe how the next generation is going to save the environment if they haven’t spent time in it! To get participants connected to the very essential element of nature i.e., Soil the activity of clay modeling was conducted under the canopy of the treehouse at Cotigao wildlife sanctuary. The very idea behind this activity was to make participants realize that “essentially, all life depends upon the soil, there can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together”

Clay modeling activity

A participant who was much inspired by #NoSUP campaign made a model of the turtle with a straw stuck in his nose.

4. Herbarium preparation and Card making from flowers and algae was another activity conducted by our Botanist Ms. Akshatra Fernandes which raised the experience of campers on how to document plants scientifically and preserve them for future studies. Also, those who are not part of scientific studies can make this activity a part of a fun life by making greeting cards and gifting someone's natural product rather than buying synthetic cards that are coated with plastic.

Participants after completing herbarium sheet.

5. Treasure hunt was the most loved and fun filled experience for everyone as it revised all the sightings which had happened during three days of camp.

6.Nature trails are the most important part of nature camp as in every walk with nature; one receives far more than he seeks. Throughout the camp series of trails were conducted which were focused on Birds, Butterflies, Plants, Nocturnal animals, Herpetofauna. Special sightings included Three Slender Loris, Great Indian hornbill, Srilanka Frogmouth, Jungle nightjar, Growling of leopard, Black prince etc. There might not be wifi in the forest but one will make a better connection if you have quite walk through the forest path and we are sure that our participants did. the summer camp resulted in a comprehensive documentation of fauna and flora while out on the nature trails, records of which were maintained by participants.

Highlight species of the camp: Slender Loris

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