05 Nov Lasting Impressions Of Woodstock’s Activity Week
It was Henry David Thoreau who said “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Shikar, (Grade 11) gets a taste of Thoreau like adventure walking through the jungles and crossing many a river at Corbett National park. He shares what Activity week at Woodstock is all about.
Every year, Woodstock school gives the students a week off from school for a week of exploration, fun, and learning. Due to the amazing activities which each grade does during this week, it is accurately called the ‘Activity week’. Not only is this week a time which every student looks forward to, it is also enjoyed by all the teachers. By making learning fun and exciting, Woodstock school sends off all its students on a week full of unfamiliar, but sensational adventures.
Students from each grade in the ‘upper years’ departed on various different journeys. The students in 9th grade decided to go to various villages around the state, and experience a week in the lives of the Indian villagers. Like many 9th graders before them, this year’s group helped the villagers with farming and tending to the cattle. They also interviewed the older members of the village to see how the village life had changed over the past 50 years or so. 10th graders on the other hand, tackled different hikes and pushed themselves to the limit; many reaching heights of 13,000 feet.
Similarly, two groups of 11th graders daringly went on advanced hikes which went as high as half of the height of Mt.Everest (about 15,000 ft). Another group of students in the 11th grade ventured all the way to Bihar to spend a week in a hospital, gaining a lot of experience along the way. Finally, the largest 11th grade group went to a tiger reserve called ‘Jim Corbett National Park’, and had the rare chance of seeing tigers and elephants in the wild.
The seniors too went on various different adventures. One privileged group had the chance to visit the Dali Lama’s residence at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. They spent a whole week in the city; having many chances to shop, explore the area, and meet the Dali lama himself. Other groups went to Manali, and Rajasthan and one group even went cycling! The seniors really seemed to enjoy their last activity week and thought that it was a pleasant getaway from school.
When organizing all these different trips for activity week, the school did not forget about the people who were too unwell to go with the rest of their class. The Hanifl center organised a trip to a bird watching sanctuary for all the kids who felt a little ill. This relatively relaxing trip also was very fun, and the people who went on it had a very memorable time.
Just like every year before this, the students had an amazing time in all their adventures. Meeting new people, exploring new places and spending memorable time with friends are just some of the fun things which the students did this year. I really think that times like these are the ones which each student remembers later on in life, and schools like Woodstock are the ones who grant them this pleasure.
-Shikhar, Grade 11
Mountains photo by Pieter TerHaar