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Beating the Heat with Umang’s Summer Camp- 2024

Umang Foundation Trust organized an incredible summer camp lasting 13 eventful days, from 6th May to 18th May. It was a time of enrichment for all the students, who participated in engaging, hands-on activities that strengthened their soft skills and practical knowledge.

Day 1 was the Plantation Drive. Students got to paint their own ‘vases’ made of old plastic bottles, which taught them the importance of recycling. They understood the process through which plants grow. Ultimately, they potted soil and took home a seed to watch grow over time- their very own creation to look after.

Day 2 was Poster Making. All the students made posters about Mother Earth and the environment. They had creative control and could let their imaginations run wild with their original combinations of drawings and slogans.

Day 3 brought in an outlet for the students to release their energy with Sports Day! The children took part in exciting games including Book Balancing, Tug of War, Individual Racing, and Group Races. They enjoyed the chance to run around, compete, and interact with their friends bringing play and learning together.

Day 4 inculcated a green spirit in the students with Best out of Waste Day. They unleashed their inner environmental warriors as volunteers helped them make several useful items out of old newspapers. These items included jewelry holders, pencil holders, and newspaper flowers. The students also used their creativity by painting the items they had made in unique color combinations.

Day 5 was a therapy-based activity where instructors Poonam Ghadigaonkar and Harshada Pavaskar from Disha Counselling Centre came to teach the students aged 6-10 years. They imparted soft skills and communication skills. They engaged in conversation with the students and taught them important values. The students outside that day’s age group played games on the playground, including kho-kho, lock and key, sakhli, catch-catch, etc.

Day 6 was Paint Your Imagination, which allowed the students to get in touch with their inner artists. They painted variations of trees and painted dots around the tree stumps instead of leaves. Using dots was a way for students of all ages to take part in the activity, while the choice of colours left room for each student’s imagination to unfold. The students also used their handprints to make a vibrant collage.

Day 7 was all about celebrating one of the most impactful people - the Mother’s Day Mandala Activity. Students brought their mothers along and used our mandala templates to colour and draw interesting patterns. Together, mothers and their young ones created mesmerizing designs.

On days 8 and 9, students did a paper-making activity where they took used paper and transformed it into fresh, recycled paper. The process involved soaking old shredded paper overnight, blending it up, pressing a water-paper mixture in a sieve, and letting it dry to make paper. Students were amazed by the power of reusing materials, almost like magic. There was also a visit by Poonam Ghadigaonkar and Harshada Pavaskar from Disha Counselling Centre, where they conducted verbal and non-verbal communication skills to the students, through fun means such as Chinese Whisper.

Day 10 brought out the students’ culinary talents with the Little Master Chef activity. Students created their version of dry snacks like bhel and sev puri, using ingredients they had gotten from home. Each student’s ingredients came together to form delicious local dishes that they got to savor after their hard work.

Day 11 was a fan-favorite: The Talent Show! Students arrived all dressed up and prepared to take the stage. They performed songs and dances they had prepared from home- in groups, pairs, and solo. They expressed themselves confidently and artistically, cheering each other on throughout.

On Day 12, the students were once again visited by Poonam Ghadigaonkar and Harshada Pavaskar from Disha Counselling Centre. For the first time, students of all ages were taught together. They were able to connect and understand various points of view.

All the students’ efforts culminated in the Grand Finale on day 13! It was a huge ceremony to celebrate their contributions. Students were made to play interactive games such as musical chairs and “make groups of…”. There was a prize distribution ceremony to recognize, for the students who excelled on each day of the camp. All the students received snack boxes with refreshing bites.

All in all, the summer camp entailed an eventful two weeks that had an outstanding turnout of students. They brought their excited, bright selves to class every day, and our volunteers and teachers met their enthusiasm with their own. It was an educational, entertaining time for all parties involved. Umang looks forward to many such lively activities in the future, and will keep striving for the well-being of its deserving students.

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