AERO conducted its flagship "Nature Camp for Youths" from 23 to 25 November 2018 at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary that was attended by 30 participants from all across Goa. Our camps are always a mix of fun and serious learning giving opportunity for all participants to explore nature like never before and a platform to discuss about burning and current environment issues of the world with our team.
Participants of the Winter Nature Camp came from all across Goa from different education background and prior experience.
The camp started off with an introduction of Team Arannya to the participants which was followed by an innovative method of getting participants introducing themselves and also to work as a team for the rest of the camp's duration. Our crew worked round the clock to keep participants engaged and ensured that every minute spent was either fun or a learning experience.
Introducing Team Arannya
Our team demonstrating rules of the activity
Participants in action
Team discussion session
Getting ready to perform
Participants in action
Participants got multiple opportunities to observe and photograph many of Western Ghat's endemic flora and fauna during the three nature trails conducted every day, giving a chance to observe animals from all niches. Nature trails were followed up every evening with great discussions which saw participation from all in the group. Topics of discussions ranged from, nocturnal fauna of Goa and the threats they face, bird migration and human influence on the life of birds, hunting of wild animals and what we as youth can do and how to be a more responsible internet wildlife-crusader. There were also multiple fun games and one of the most favourite activity for all the participants was the field sketching session, where Arannya's in-house artist Vighnesh Shinde taught participants the importance of field sketching and easy steps to do field sketching.
How best to understand the morphology of a Forest Wagtail?
Closer look at the Flame-throated Bulbul
Evening trails and understanding termites
Participants observing a basking Shikra
Campfires are the heart and soul of AERO's camps. We believe that fire and light reside in the hearts of the youths of the camp and hence shun actual fire and sit around the fire that is within everyone. Campfire saw participants who in teams performed an amazing set of short skits based on topics of everyday relevance, ranging from the menace of plastics to wildlife conservation. The campfire saw an unbelievable showcase of talent and sportsmanship amongst participants, who did their best to outdo the other teams.
Participants all expectant before the commencement of the camp fire
Across the three days of the camp, participants were divided into six teams who constantly competed with each other in a fun way, and their performances were evaluated based on their content, innovative ideas, leadership skills and team spirit. Amongst the six teams one team was recognised as the "Green Team" of the Winter Camp 2018 for their all round performance. What set them apart was their amazing content and ideas that they executed throughout the various activities.
Green Team of Winter Camp 2018
AERO always tries to ensure that participants of our camps get an opportunity to interact with the Range Forest Officer of the Wildlife Sanctuary, where camps are conducted. Dr. Sidhesh Naik, RFO- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, kindly consented to interact with our participants and spoke to them about the challenges of managing a Wildlife Sanctuary and a Zoo. He also encouraged participants to take up Forest Services as a career option. At the end of the camp, participants wished that the three days did not end so soon and were a bag of mixed emotions, happy for having spent three great days amidst wilderness and sad that they had to now leave however with the promise that, no matter where they are, they will
The group with Dr. Sidhesh Naik, RFO Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary