During 29 – 31 March 2014, a group of 40 students of GD Goenka University along with two faculty supervisors, Dr. Sandeep Nagar and Mr. Abhishek K Pandey (Assistant Professors, School of Engineering) attended Ayar Jungle camp at Nainital, Uttarakhand. Students travelled by bus, up to Nainital city from where they walked towards the camp for about a kilometer uphill. Ayar Jungle camp is located in the middle of a jungle named Ayar, which is name of a rare breed of tree found in abundance there. Students reached the camp in the morning at around 1100hrs.
Adventure camp organizers provided welcome drinks on arrival and then allowed students to take rest for two hours before starting the first activity of trekking about 8 kilometer in the afternoon. After taking rest, students started trekking the jungle uphill for about 2 hours, learning various things to remember while trekking and how it is different than simple walking on a plane. At various points, students clicked photographs with scenic background of Himalayan mountain range. Students also learned how to act in a group while performing difficult physical tasks. After reaching the final point, students were excited to find 3 more trainers who already prepared the ropes on a small cliff for reaching rappelling. It is an art of using roped to come down from difficult heights. After a safety demonstration, each student attempted it one by one, along with faculty members and fought their fear of heights.
Students learned the skills of using knots properly and handling the ropes in a right manner for rappelling exercise and some of them have resolved to continue their new found interest in mountain climbing after this exercise.
In the evening, students trekked back to the camp from a different and more challenging route downhill. After reaching the camp, they had delicious dinner prepared by camp staff and then joined the camp fire. Here students played various games and enjoyed while making friends with each other. At about 2200hrs, students returned to their tents and went to sleep.
Next morning, students went for valley crossing activity, after the breakfast. Here students learned to cross a valley using ropes and harnesses. It was great fun to perform this activity in the morning when weather was very pleasant. After coming back to the camp and having lunch, students visited Mall Road at Nainital city. Students occupied themselves with shopping, boating in Naini Lake, visiting temples around the lake and general sight-seeing. Everybody retuned back to camp by 2000hrs, had dinner and went in for a very log camp fire till 2300hrs in the night. Many new talented singers and dancers came out of their shell as their friends cheered for them.
Next morning, everybody packed their bags and returned to Delhi by about a 12 hours long bus journey. Everybody was well pleased with the activities at the adventure camp and expressed their desire to go for the next one in coming semesters.