March 23, 2013

Summer Camp by the sea; Idea only

A summer idea is getting tossed about in my head. And it is taking all kinds of forms.

The idea is simple. Create a base camp on the coast outside the city where kids from the city can enjoy themselves and also interact with the kids of the village. And invite our friendly, young creative people to share their talents with the coastal community.

The idea germinated when we got to see a circular community hall standing on concrete stilts in a fishing hamlet some 100 kilometres from the city.

This Community Hall was built as part of the tsunami rehabilitation project undertaken here. This was an add-on to the colony of concrete houses that the state had built.

But for social functions - puberty and betrothal related - the hall was hardly used and had become a dank, dark space. Could we use it?

The kuppam's kids loved their cricket on the sandy green and the crab catching flings in the backwater which earned them some decent money, selling to highway shoppers. But they didn't mind getting together this summer for some fun and learning.

But what could they offer to our young friends from the metro?

Can you show them how to catch crabs? I asked.

The idea was to get these kuppam kids to take the metro ones on a kuppam tour. Start with time spent on the shore, looking for the fishing boats that come back after the sun comes up, observe the boat landings and watch the collection and auction of the catch.

Our young kuppam friends would then take out sample fish and share their knowledge.

Break for juice. Then walk down the shore till the legs got weary. Adjourn to the casuarina grove for light breakfast. Get back to walking on the dunes, look at the local vegetation, hop across to the backwaters to sight birds and end the camp with an adventurous speed boat ride after lunch and pallankuzhi games.

The idea has taken shape and I have tossed it over to my friend Jaspal Singh who was once rode the seas on merchant ships.

If Jassi says yes, we should have a good summer experience. What are looking forward to to do with the kids at your end?

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