Summer holidays are a lot of fun! Warm weather, cool drinks, flexible routines, and along with that, a lot of “I’m bored!”. In answer to that, we designed a week-long eco-summer camp that keeps your young eco-champs busy with learning activities on nature awareness, skill development and sustainability. While this summer looks a lot different than summers past, it can still be filled with new adventures into nature, the beauty and benefits of it and how we can help by making simple small changes in our everyday habits.
As part of Organo Et School (OES) Eco-Summer Camp program, children from the age-groups of 9-12 from various communities in Hyderabad participated in the week-long program. The program covered all 7 strands of sustainability (Air, Water, Energy, Food, Shelter, People & Earth) and the learning outcomes were delivered through tailored workshops by teachers & experts using varied online-teaching methods, that are apt for the age group. At OES, we recognize that for any positive impact to be sustainable, it has to be long-term and inter-generational.
In addition to introduction to sustainability, physical activities were incorporated daily to the children through Music and Movement. Below is a quick recap on the week-long program.
Day 1 Concepts: Introduction to Sustainability, Resource Management, Urban gardening, Origins of Food, Music & Movement
On Day 1, children started the session with a dance warm up session and moved on to yoga starting with Dhanur asana (that helps body fight infections) and Cobra asana (that helps nutrients in the body get absorbed effectively). Children also learnt a sequence of yoga poses and performed the sequence in a dance. In addition, they also learn various hand movements and gestures, and were introduced to Indian Folk dance – Bhangra. This session was led by our frequent collaborator Ms. Sachi, an accomplished dancer and fitness expert.
During Nature talks, children were asked to share their perspective on Sustainability. Children had enthusiastic responses on resource management. One young participant observed that “our resources are going and not growing", which is so true. During our discussions, we also discussed about resource management and responsible consumption of our limited natural resources.
During the Food section, children were taken through a step-by-step process of growing Microgreens through hands-on demonstration by our in-house expert Shilpi Shukla. Also, children participated in a pop quiz wherein they identified the different categories of food and their nutrients.
Day 2 Concepts: Waste Segregation, Composting made easy, Plastic waste in Oceans, Eco-footprint of Spices
Children started the session with a dance warm up session and moved on to yoga starting with Vriksh asana (that helps in improving focus and concentration), then learned Veera Badra asana (Warrior pose that encourages good circulation and respiration). Children learned a dance sequence on a song about reducing the plastic usage.
During the Earth session, children learnt about different types of wastes generated and importance of waste segregation. One of young participants, Soham Shulka (age 11) shared an interesting fact that the whole earth will be a landfill by 2050, if waste is not disposed responsibly. Other children also shared about waste segregation process they follow at home. They were walked through the process of making compost by hands-on demonstration. The session ended with a virtual game where children played a game of segregating different wastes into categories of household waste, food scraps and recycling.
During the Water session, children enthusiastically shared their favorite sea/beach vacation experiences. In game time, children played a memory game, learning about different species of plants, mammals and birds found near waterbodies of India. The topic then discussed about plastic waste in the oceans, how they travel there, and what we can do to help our aquatic neighbors.
During the Food session, children were introduced to different spices found in an Indian kitchen. They were also told about the benefits of consuming sustainably & locally grown spices. Through a story writing framework, children were encouraged to research on spices and find the origins of the ingredients of their favorite dish. Click here to read an interesting short story by our talented young participants.
Day 3 Concepts: Eco-friendly Cleaning, Forests & Afforestation, Basic Cooking Skills, Learning Checkpoint/Test
The session started with children sharing their works from last workshop session. After a quick warm up, children learnt two yoga poses that helps in strengthening the back muscles: paschimottanasana (Forward bend), sethubandasana (bridge pose). Children framed sentences that include nature, birds or animals and enacted the sentence with hand gestures
During Earth session, children were taught about the benefits of using soap nuts as a cleaning agent. Children were walked through the process of making cleaning agents using soapnuts and to identify soapnut trees.
During the Biodiversity session, children shared their experiences of forest vacations. They were encouraged to shared their thoughts on how forests help us. Children gave their suggestions on how to reduce deforestation and improve afforestation.
During Food session, children were given hands-on training on how to make curd and little about dairy products.
During Quiz time, children enjoyed pop-up quiz on composting and waste management.
Before conclusion of the day’s workshop, they shared the stories/drafts they had written on "Adventures of my favorite dish"
Day 4 Concepts: Urban Gardening, Clean Energy, Energy Demand Reduction, Food & Planet
The session started with children sharing the 2nd drafts of the stories they had written on "Adventures of my favorite dish". After a quick warm up, children learnt two yoga poses that helps in strengthening the shoulder muscles: a plank, and Matsyendra asana (fish pose). Children also practiced various hand gestures and played a game of African dance challenge.
During Food session, children were walked through the process of setting up a windowsill herb garden through hands-on training. And learnt that urban gardens come in all sizes and shapes from windowsill gardens, to balcony gardens, to terrace gardens to backyards.
During Energy session, children learned about Sustainable Energy and How we can conserve energy at home. This session was led by our in-house expert Vaishnavi Paturu. As a bonus, children were given a fun activity to estimate their energy usage over the past year and to compare seasonal changes in energy consumption.
During second Food session, children were taught about the benefits of green leafy salads not only for their own well-being but also for the well-being of the planet. They had a fun activity session of making tasty and nutritious salad.
Day 5 Concepts: Learning Recap, Collective Farming, Nature Awareness
On this last day of workshop, Children did a recap of all yoga asanas, dance sequences and hand gestures they learnt in the last 4 days.
During an Art session, children had a fun doodling session of drawing everything they learnt in the last 4 days of the workshop.
During Food session, children were taken on a virtual farm visit to Organo Naandi. During the live video, children were shown a number of plants & trees like, Banana, Brinjal, Mosambi, Papaya, Pomegranate, Lemon grass, Peepal & Neem Tree. Children then had a fun culinary session making grated carrot sandwich.
Children were given a month-long assignment to create their own nature journal. The session ended with distribution of certificates for children for their active participation in Eco-summer camp.
Click here to download the June Month Nature Journal if you would also like to try it out!
We believe in connecting children & adults with nature. Connecting children with the natural world at a young age is the first step in creating responsible stewards of our collective future. If you or your children are interested, please join us in learning and playing in a week of sustainability-themed summer camp! You can connect to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 9154100775