There are times when you fall in love with your own ideas and feel extremely proud while successfully executing them. SSP’s Parents-Kids workshops are a classic example of this. The concept, one of its kind. These specially curated tours, in the lap of nature, are a great way to engage, enthuse and empower kids toward the conservation cause.
After our first one-of-its-kind at Bandhavgarh, we were choosing a destination to plan second such workshop. A workshop where Parents bring their kids to learn photography, develop a sense towards conservation of nature and bond with each other while making memorable experiences.
Ranthambore. There was no second thought about it.
The semi-deciduous forest of Ranthambore looks beautiful in its own way in every season. The lush greens of Monsoon and winters contradict with the dusty browns of the summers; yet the forest looks brilliant every time! Our workshop was planned in April, keeping in mind school holiday schedules.
It was a 3 Nights – 4 Days workshop with 5 safaris. First day, as usual, was dedicated to travel and arrival at the resort. In the evening we had a brief Introduction session along with Agenda briefing by Swaroop.
The basic camera settings for first morning safari were explained by Sudhir before we headed for dinner.
Our safaris were planned in such a way that all the participants got to see different zones of the forest. Sudhir and Swaroop went with all the Gypsys on rotational basis.
It was exciting to interact with the participants, especially the kids and explain them about the bio-diversity of the park.
Sudhir was busy teaching on-field photography to the participants. He avoids carrying his camera on the safaris, so that he can concentrate more on teaching the participants. For kids, it was a dream-come-true moment to have this first-hand experience with Sudhir. They were very much excited and were trying different tips given by him.
Both, the Parents and Kids were clicking different subjects such as langoors, birds, Reptiles, leopards and the star attraction- Tigers! They were able to make some beautiful images in this trip.
Activities and sessions
We plan different sessions for every workshop, depending upon the availability of resources. The theme remains constant- Photography and Conservations.
Photography learning- Indoor and Outdoor
For this workshop, we had Sudhir’s Session on basics of Photography where Participants learnt about important functions of their equipment in details. Sudhir also explained them various shooting techniques necessary to make beautiful images. Kids were asked to try different camera setting and learn via practical sessions.
Once all of them got the settings right, Sudhir took them out in the resort campus to experiment on different subjects. This outdoor training session helped the kids to understand their camera better and make some really good images.
Conservation Session- Calls of the wild
During one of the evenings, we had arranged a session on conservation. This session was planned with a very serious and important motive- Awareness! Kids are the brand ambassadors of conservation and Hence, they have to understand various aspects of it. With the help of games and presentation, Swaroop explained them the current scenario of conservation, its need and means. As a part of the presentation, different bird/animal calls heard in the forest were played. Participants were told how to identify and differentiate between various calls, for example communication call, aggression calls, mating calls etc. All the participants, including parents interacted and exchanged their thoughts during this session. We made sure that as an outcome of this session, all of them felt responsible for the betterment of Nature.
After detailed training on the photography part, we had organized an Image Review Session. Participants were asked to present their best images. Sudhir reviewed and added his valuable inputs for all the images. Many queries were answered during this session and we had a push this one beyond its time limits. What a fantastic session!
While Planning activities for kids, we wanted to include a local art into the list. Art is one of the best forms to express yourself. In Ranthambore, we had organized a session for kids, where they were taught to sketch wild animals with ‘soot’ by a local artist. This was something unique and interesting. Kids enjoyed the session and many of them came up with excellent sketches, though they were doing it for the first time.
With a focus on experiential learning, we had planned the activities to ensure a mix of indoor-outdoor, theoretical-hands-on, group-individual exercises. Children were encouraged to discover newer dimensions and facets to their abilities and personalities. The jungle acted as the perfect backdrop as they picked up the rudiments of photography, look up the right words for their blogs and along the way make new friends and merry memories.
This workshop was full of energy with 9 enthusiastic kids and their parents. Everyone was a curious learner. All of them were on a roll, learning new things and making unforgettable memories. We would like to appreciate the parents, who chose to give their kids this kind of exposure. These early experiences will stay with our children to make them more sensitive and responsible while sparking their interest in nature and wildlife conservation. The photography and blogging angle to these tours will further excite them and in the process, give them powerful tools for self-expression. And who knows, present a very attractive career option in the years to come!
Moments to Cherish- Vansheika’s birthday Celebration.
Sumit, Vansheiks’s father was a participant of our January 2018 Little Rann of Kutch workshop. When he came to know about the Parents-Kids workshop announced at Ranthambore, he decided to get his kids for the same, specially his daughter Vansheika, whose birthday was on 28th April, one of the days during the Ranthambore workshop. When he mentioned this to Vansheika, she jumped with Joy! Vansheika said that seeing her first tiger in the wild with Sudhir Uncle will be her best birthday gift ever! To the little one’s bright luck, Vansheika spotted the tiger during first ever safari on her birthday! What a moment that was! All of us celebrated her birthday at the dinner table by cake cutting followed by sumptuous dinner. Indeed, a unique way to celebrate a Birthday!
Here’s the photo of the April 2018 parents and kids workshop group and some moments from the workshop: