SAIIER Annual Report 2014-2015: Auroville Nature Camp
|Auroville Nature Camp|
Auroville Nature Camp aspires to be one of the manifestations of “a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.” This educational activity brings together the children of Auroville and those of its surrounding villages for a collective experience of nature in the forest of Kavunji near Kodaikanal. Each camp offers a range of experiences designed to introduce the children to the flora and fauna of the area, to increase their environmental awareness, to awaken the spirit of adventure through treks and climbs, and to deepen their relation to and appreciation of nature. In the simple rustic camp setting children learn to live together in a group and to care for each other and the environment. Everyone, including students, teachers and other adults, works together to create the camp and to maintain a harmonious atmosphere. In short, Auroville Nature Camp aims to foster increased communication, cooperation, and connection amongst a diverse group of students and adults while simultaneously connecting with and learning about the environment.
Activities of the year
Throughout the month of May 2015, three Nature Camps were held in Kavunji, just outside of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. 30 students participated in the first camp, 33 were in the second camp and 29 were in the third camp. Both Auroville and Outreach Schools were represented, including:
- Aikiyam School (10 students)
- Udavi School (10)
- Transition School (41)
- The Learning Community (6)
- Future School (3)
- New Era Secondary School (5)
- Last School (5)
- Deepanam School (6)
- Pondy (2)
- Home-schooling (1)
- Child Development (2)
In addition, 10 Auroville and Outreach teachers attended Auroville Nature Camps and were supported financially by funds from SAIIER.
Despite a skeletal Auroville Nature Camp team, we again executed another successful summer with three full camps (unlike 2014 with only two camps). While in 2014, we hosted 57 students, this year we had 92 in total, which is a tremendous increase! In addition, with the support of SAIIER and others, we have begun work to complete the infrastructure of the camp.
We would like to access other teaching/outdoor leadership resources within Auroville to further enhance the educational outcomes of Auroville Nature Camp.
Goals for the coming year include completing the infrastructure of the camp and working to fundraise further toward this goal.
This year Auroville Nature Camp exposed 92 students and 10 teachers to the wonders of nature and helped them develop skills for living and working outdoors. While these students were the direct beneficiaries, indirectly, their experience in and appreciation for nature will hopefully manifest itself in the Auroville bioregion in the future through nature conservation efforts.