With lush forests, campfire nights and ghost stories, accompanied by a few leeches here and there, 65 students from Grade 11 and 12 embarked on an unforgettable trip to Tusker Valley, in Sakleshpur. A hill station in Karnataka, Sakleshpur is renowned for its thriving biodiversity and luxuriant mountains, making it the perfect place for the students to create an intimate connection with nature.
30th September 2018: Day 1
After an exhausting yet enjoyable bus journey, the students reached the campsite with their belongings at around 11 am, preceded by a 3km walk to the destination. A hearty breakfast was served while the students freshened up for the day’s events. The first thing on the day’s agenda was a set of team building activities, where the students engaged in four groups. Assisted by Mr Chandrashekhar, who directed these events, the students had to think spontaneously and creatively to come up with a group song, create a human pyramid, and rationally argue about land ownership. Simultaneously, the students were able to experience a sense of adventure through invigorating activities such as river crossing, kayaking and zip-lining, with lunch in between. A review of the day’s events was made, followed by dinner accompanied by music around the bonfire. The day concluded with the students setting up their tents to spend the night in.
1st October 2018: Day 2
Re-energised with a good night’s sleep, the students were awakened at 5 am and prepared for the most daunting task of the entire trip: trekking the 12 km of HosahalliBetta.. After setting out at 9;30 am, the students were introduced to the various species of plants and animals residing in the forest and explored the environment through various terrains. They encountered steep slopes, a trudge through a coursing a river, and open grasslands. The exhausting trek was worth it when everyone reached the top of the hill and were welcomed with a refreshing breeze and a mesmerising view of the hills. The students returned to the campsite at approximately 4:30 pm, feeling tired yet accomplished. The day ended with the students cooking food over the bonfire, while listening to ghost stories which inspired an amusing prank played by the 12th graders.
2nd October 2018: Day 3
The last day of the trip gave the students a chance to laze around and take their time to enjoy the nature around them. A herpetology camp was held, which made the students aware of the true beauty of the geographical area they were camping in, and they were taught about the coexistence of different species in a limited area. Some students chose to interact with the flora and fauna by walking around the and identifying the presence of important aspects of nature. Others played in the barren land, took photographs as keepsakes, and spent some time by the stream, enjoying the breath-taking beauty surrounding them. Soon, it was time to pack up and leave and the students reached school by around 12 am.
Overall, the trip was something which simply can’t be forgotten, and each student left with memories to treasure.