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Bringing young citizens outside four walls

Bringing young citizens outside four walls
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Highlights

Trailblazers have recently launched their 2020 summer camps that look at the development of 21st century skills by pursuing an outdoor sport or hobby.

Mumbai: Trailblazers have recently launched their 2020 summer camps that look at the development of 21st century skills by pursuing an outdoor sport or hobby. From the basics of camping, hiking and even surfing their camps cover a wide range of activities. With the advent of technology, outdoor activities have taken a back seat for both children and adults with screens, social media and technology being so accessible.

Research says that 8 to 18-year olds spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes per day on digital entertainment and social media (Kaiser Family Foundation). This increased screen time during the formative years of children has known to lead to concentration problems and attention deficit disorders.

It is important that as a society we work on our own and our children's social skills, allowing them time to mingle and meet real people over reel people. A recent study also found that introducing tablets and iPads to children at a young age can put children at risk from achieving essential development and educational milestones.

Experts say that they have noticed a rise in the number of children requiring occupational therapy and fine motor skills support due to a lack of strength and muscle coordination in their hands and lower arms as a direct result of the overuse of technology.

Across the world, educational institutions are looking at outdoor education and experiential learning to help children reconnect with nature.

What is school principals' take on the importance of outdoors Schools across India are trying to make a difference by encouraging students and parents to look beyond the four walls.

Principal of Kairos Global School, Hyderabad, Sonali Roy Chowdhary Singh believes, "The whole idea behind outdoor education is that children should be exposed to the air outside, they will get dirty and carry their own bags and all this acts as a self-building exercise," as she shared her thoughts with Trailblazers at a recently organized Principals' Summit Trailblazers Foundation. Camping and outdoor expeditions are a great way to build skills because of the uncertainty that comes with it. These experiences help in confidence building, problem solving and enhancing critical thinking. As said by Dr. Munmun Nath, Principal of Calcutta International School, "Life teaches you the best lessons and the outdoors help students gather all the skills that you need to face beyond the classroom." Psychology, Fun and Learning combined at Trailblazers camps A firm believer in the benefits and philosophies accompanying camping, 'Trailblazers-The Outdoor School', a pioneer in the field of outdoor education in India customizes their programmes to ensure all round development of the child.

"A child's psychology needs to be kept in mind while designing outdoor programmes. As much as learning is important so is fun and the outdoors is a great place to merge both," says Ranjan Biswas, Founder and Managing Director, Trailblazers.

Trailblazers have designed their programmes to target different stimuli of children, and for ages 8 years and above. 'Ocean Explorer' is a scuba diving certificate camp, 'Camp Pathfinder' is a wildlife-based camp, 'c' is a Himalayan adventure camp, 'Camp Surf's Up' is a surfing camp, and 'Camp Footloose' is a fun introductory camp.

Any activity that one engages in from a young age becomes second nature to them. It is important to invest in all round development rather than investing in an expensive iPad or TV that will socially handicap your child. The benefits of one largely outweighs the benefits of the other, as parents the choice is up to you to choose what is best for your child!

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