Classes 10 and 12 visit Chail and Shimla on memorable School summer excursion

52 students of classes 10 and 12 participated in a 3 day adventure camp at Chail from 1 to 3 June 2024. Vice-principal Dr Anu Singh, and senior teachers, Ms Navreet Shergill, Ms Sahodra Pawayia, Ms Archana Raichandani and Mr Rajeev Massey, accompanied the group. 

On the evening of 31 May, the group assembled at School, eagerly awaiting the adventure ahead. The students boarded two buses, and the journey to Chail commenced at 9 pm. After a comfortable overnight bus ride, the enthusiastic group arrived at Jungle Livinn Resort, Chail, at 9 am. 

DAY ONE: 1 June 2024  

After a hearty breakfast upon arrival and room allocation, the students were divided into 2 teams to participate in ice-breaking activities. These activities included games like "passing the bottle" and "toss," aimed at fostering team spirit, coordination, and concentration. The resource persons, Mr Aman, Mr Kamal, Mr Kuldeep, and Mr Kamal Shandilya, led the activities and kept the students engaged in a fun-filled environment for the next 2 days.  
After a sumptuous lunch and a brief rest, the students embarked on the Maggi Trek through the lush pine forest to the "Temple in my Dream," a stone Kumbh Shiv temple situated atop a peak. The structure, made of twisted metal wires, was single-handedly built by one Shri Satya Bhushan over 38 years after he saw a Shiv temple in his dream. The temple's simple yet elegant architecture seemed to blend harmoniously with its natural surroundings.
The young trekkers were invigorated by the surreal experience at the temple complex. They proceeded with the trek to a cozy spot in the pine grove for a Maggi-making competition. The Maggi Trek was one of the most anticipated activities of the three day trip to Chail. The crisp air filled with the gentle chirruping of the birds and the rustling leaves welcomed the nascent chefs who whipped up a whirlwind in their haste to cook the Maggi! From collecting dry twigs to lighting the fire, the excited children participated wholesomely in making their all-time favourite snack.  Students of class 10 were the first to complete the task successfully and triumphantly offered plates of steaming Maggi to their teachers! 

Gentle rain bathed the delighted trekkers as they returned to the resort for a welcoming cup of hot tea /coffee and steaming pakoras. 

The evening ended with an exciting DJ night at the camp. The DJ played popular tracks that immediately got everyone on their feet. The beats were infectious, and the entire group soon danced and sang along. The mix of contemporary hits and classic tunes ensured that everyone had a great time regardless of their musical taste. At the end, all gathered in the dining hut for a delicious dinner. Fully stuffed, the tired travellers headed to their rooms for a good night's sleep.

DAY TWO: 2 June 2024

The students started early with some light exercises and a few more team-building games, which saw them fully awake and warmed up for the first adventure activity—the zipline. After a satisfying breakfast, the group headed uphill to the zipline's location. They soared across the tiny valley on the zip line one by one, experiencing an exhilarating rush of adrenaline and fresh air cutting through the lush green pine trees. 

Next, the students cleaned up the hilltop as part of their School's cleanliness drive, collecting litter and cleaning the surrounding areas, contributing to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. They collected various types of litter, including plastic bottles, wrappers, and other non-biodegradable materials, left behind by picnickers and tourists. Vice Principal, Dr Anu Singh educated the students about how human activities affect the natural environment and emphasised the significance of responsible behaviour during her orientation speech to the children.
After completing their civic duty, the students returned to the next adventure activity, rock climbing and rappelling. They took turns scaling up and down the challenging rock wall amidst encouragement from their counterparts.  

The tired but jubilant adventurers returned to the resort for a satisfying meal and rest. They assembled again at 3.30 pm to trek downhill to the scenic spot for the last challenging activities – the rope obstacles.  This course consisted of four bridges: Burma Bridge, the Ladder Bridge, Bamboo Bridge and the Unstable Bridge. 

The children tackled each of the challenging obstacles securely in their safety harnesses. This activity helped strengthen their self-confidence, balance and problem-solving skills. Watching the young students push their limits and face their fears as they navigated the sheer mountain drop on rope bridges was heartwarming. 

The young adventure enthusiasts also got to savour the famous " Pahari Maggi" at a nearby tea stall. 

At night, the organisers lit a huge bonfire around which the children sang and danced. Later, all retreated to their rooms to pack their bags for an early morning checkout the next day.  

DAY THREE: 3 June 2024

The morning saw all the students out of their rooms with their bags at the reporting time of 7.30 am. After a heavy breakfast, the group boarded the buses for Shimla at 8:30 am. En route, they crossed Kufri, another popular tourist destination. A little distance from Shimla, the travelling party disembarked from their AC coaches to board two smaller buses more suited for the ride up to Shimla.
The party got off the lower road and walked up to Ridge Road via the Lakkar Bazaar, which had a tempting display of souvenirs and handloom shops. The children got an hour to explore Ridge Road and visit the exhibition at Christ Church before relaxing at McDonald's over burgers and beverages. 

The students then dispersed like the wind to explore the Mall Road, Ridge area and the Lakkar Bazaar. The lively atmosphere was captivating with its blend of colonial architecture and modern establishments. Many students purchased wooden artefacts, Himachali shawls, and handmade jewellery as souvenirs of their trip.

The students reassembled in front of the State Library at 5 pm with flushed faces and shopping bags! The group walked down the Lower Mall Road to the lifts at Combermere Hotel. They stopped before the Combermere Sub Post Office to take pictures of this unique heritage building. The lifts brought them to the parking area, where they boarded the buses again to begin their homeward journey.

A halt at a beautiful café for tea and snacks in the pouring rain rejuvenated the waning spirits of the young tourists. At the next stop in Pinjore, the weary and hungry travellers were greeted with a sumptuous dinner and dessert.

Thereafter, the students settled into their seats in anticipation of the long ride ahead, meeting their parents after three days, and reflecting on the trip, some silently and some aloud.   

The travellers arrived back in Delhi on 4 June  at 5.45 am, tired but content, carrying the memories of a fantastic trip that helped them foster camaraderie and renewed appreciation of nature.