“Push your boundaries, keep discovering self” – Parental outbounds @ Indus

Every child is unique, we as parents can make a big difference

Human being evolves dramatically in the formative fourteen years, all the more dramatic in the first three years. Empirical research have yielded that the child can match an adult in the mental faculties to the extent of eighty percent by the age of three and ninety percent by the age of eight. The eight intelligences inherent in the human being, as propounded by Howard Gardner, are getting sharpened during these phases. Most Indian parents are oblivious of the dramatic developments during these phases and they wake up only when the child reaches the so considered ‘critical class’ of ninth, not realizing that the real critical years of development are already behind the child.

At Indus world schools, our endeavor has been to shake the parents and wake them up, to be proactive facilitators during these formative years. Indus Learning series takes various forms during an academic year, one of which is annual parental outbound that take the parental community of the cities by storm in the months of November and December. I am in the midst of this season, crisscrossing the country facilitating them every weekend at one city or other. After a few of them this year I thought of penning this article.

mentors and parents alike challenge themselves and push their boundaries…

Outbound learning modules have always been a great way to push ones boundaries, realize what more one can do and what one is capable of. The adventure activities and the team exercises throw one into situations that one has not been familiar with, and challenge one to find solutions in a few abstract or physical situations.

I am blessed to have been part of many an outbound every year, mostly as a facilitator, in the last two decades of the journey of Career Launcher – building internal teams, performers out-bounds of various divisions of the CL family, induction out-bounds at business school IWSB, out-bounds at schools – IWS : for mentor recruitment, out-bounds for its children and now for the parents of our school children. Every outbound continues to throw revelations for myself. The more I do, observe or facilitate, the deeper I dig within. The realizations have always been phenomenal.

In the context of schooling in India, most of the mothers and a few fathers too have never been part of any sports or games even in their childhood. Most become parents by accident and parenting is by trial and error. The limitations of thought and action of parents, who prefer to vegetate in their comfort zones, inadvertently ends up stifling the children. The parents fail to realize the impact of their deeds. It is a great loss to every child, family, community and the nation. Herein comes the parental outbound at IWS that shakes parents out of complacency to set the family on the path of realizing not only the potential of the child but also that of the family.

Parents are excited, cajoled and coxed to be part of the outbound. A great deal of effort goes into bringing parents in. Still we manage an attendance of about 40-50% only. We are not a sporting nation. Physical fitness is not in our blood, and being adventurous is not the mindset. But every parent who comes to the outbound goes back as an enlightened parent with a great deal of insights for self growth, parenting, facilitating child’s potential and family’s potential. The day-long activities of adventures, team games, creativity, learning environment, food meditation throw challenges at them – mental and physical, test their skill sets of leadership, people-people, problem solving etc.

Pushing Boundaries….

Parents struggle to overcome the barriers of fear when they are ushered into an adventure activity. A few of them are excited, a few scoot, while the rest wait and watch questioning their own abilities as the activity progresses. Most of the excited ones, though they wear the harness with an intention to do, freeze with fear when their turn comes. Many cry, a few yell and shout, almost everyone prays! They need as much motivation and handholding as any young one would need when she attempts a new challenge.

The excitement in team games are no less when mothers are included in cricket or football; fathers participate in the kitchen for food meditation; every one asked to paint the wall …. They break the barriers and discover a new side, left unexplored in their life.

When they attempt for the first time, they nevertheless succeed and many a realization dawn….

They share… –

• “we need to be patient with our children”;
• “children cannot do at the first go. We need to encourage them”;
• “Help them gain confidence”;
• “Trust them and facilitate them to trust their own abilities”….
• “I will be active physically and encourage the child to be
• “Will play games with my child”
• “Will study myself and help the child to learn”
• “I will not shout if child takes time to solve the problem…”
• “I will create a good learning environment in my family..”
• “we will take our children to more places to help them widen their horizons..”
• ……

The list is endless. With hundreds of them sharing their ‘wow’ moments and promising themselves what changes they will bring within and in their family and home environment….

Our role as a school has been fulfilling….it is a space not only for children, but also for parents, families, communities and societies to be more humane and better enablers..

These out-bounds every year are a pilgrimage of self-discovery for all parents… hope to continue facilitating and learning too in the process..

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Emerald Trail – A home away from home : on my Travelogue – Sreeni on Road

It was a wonderful trip of friends and their families who have known one another for the last 18 years.

And the destination was Emerald Trail, created by another set of friends Sumit Datta and Leena Lele at Bhimtal!

Here, I tried to capture Emerald Trail in all its essence, along with its immediate contextual environment – socio-cultural-physical-natural milieu.

A beautiful creation through sweat and toil. It is home away from home, in the rustic, pristine environment to recharge and relaunch oneself.

Apart from the peaceful environs that rejuvenates you and can give you time to think and initiate yourself in many a creative pursuit, you can

– Walks into the woods,
– go on trekks if you are adventurous
– taking off the skyway with parasailing if you are adrenaline-umped
– drenching yourself in nearby water streams
– go boating in so many lakes nearby
– if you love nature, then good-friend Peter’s butterfly research centre is a great place to invest for half a day

Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family

Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family



Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family
Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family
Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family
Emerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & FamilyEmerald trail and Bhimtal - with Kasturi & Family, Payal & Family, Marina & Family, Indira & Family

Emerald Trail – A home away from home!, a posting on my travelogue

Outbound 2011 – inducting pg13 @ IWSB – Knowing thyself

IWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning module
IWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning module
IWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning module
IWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning moduleIWSB OBL - Outbound Learning module

The academic year of pg13 started with pre-term, of which the outbound module is a very enabling one for the new learners on the campus, as much as the old and seasoned ones….

Along with Vivek of great escapes and Satya, the outbound was planned meticulously to give each participant an experience worth remembering for life time, for what they will gain from the exercises that they would go through. It all depends on ones own eagerness to explore, introspect and learn. To that extent, even though exercises were designed to put every one through similar situations, the take-away will be very different for each one, depending on the conscious investment one makes in the entire process.

Entire entourage set to drive in a couple of buses and cars late in the evening. As Satya wanted to test his car in the hilly terrains, we both found ourselves leading the cavalcade by an hour ahead by the time we were out of Delhi. The gap kept on increasing as we hit the foothills and we reach Bhimtaal by 3:40am, well ahead of the scheduled arrival of about 7am. So we parked the vehicle by the roadside and had a few winks by the time the bus reached the winding roads of the hills. Reaching the Saat Taal half an hour before the buses arrived, we refreshed ourselves to receive the battalion, with unique ‘wake up call’…. push ups the moment they disembarked the buses. This shook many out of the slumber and for the uninitiated this would have given the hint of things to come by…

The climb to the camp on the top of the hill overlooking the saat taal, with the backpacks on our backs, was a real test of ones strength and stamina. With my Camera bag also tugging along, it took some effort from me too as the innumerable tours that I undertook in the last 8-9 months threw spanner on my physical fitness regularity. I realized how unfit I had become. I discovered that I have put on about 5 kgs during this sedentary period, though not sedentary due to criss-crossing the country, yet sedentary in physical fitness terms.. This has made me lazier!! This outbound was a wake-up call for me too!!

As usual, the hectic three days had a lot of excitement, beginning with induction of the new entrants to IWSB value system and integration of the new hearts, bodies and souls with the entire ecosystem of the institution, and facilitating the others to introspect and offer themselves for greater responsibilities towards themselves, the community and the society at large. As we could see, we have been able to succeed to some extent, hopefully it will grow on each one of us. The facilitation and exercises took various forms like – group activities like football exchanges, tent pegging, kayaking, handicap treks, musical and cultural evenings around bonfires; the individual pushing of boundaries happened through rock climbing, rappling, zummaring, river crossing, flying fox, kayaking, swimming etc. The new members also bonded with each other very well when they were thrown a challenge of making a meal on the last day.

Yes, there have been a few taken-for-granted behaviours that did detract from the effectiveness of the program, but I am sure the realizations since then would serve each and every one good for life time.

Personally, my learning included –

a. I will be healthy and physically fit by pushing boundaries more and more even during my daily life
b. I will be part of every action and contribute to every cause irrespective of experience; work with enthusiasm as if I am doing it for the first time, even though I might have done many times ever over
c. I will be serious about every thing I do. No work is small or big
d. I am capable of finding new ways of engaging, even though the activity may look apparently old
e. So many more boundaries to be pushed, so many more capabilities to be explored…I will continue to do it..

There is so much within. Even when we feel that we are completely exhausted, we have so much in our storage…. if only we can dig deep and push ourselves…

I have but one life…

Sreeni@iwsb.in

kindly follow this set for more updates of pg13

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