In the Spiti Valley members of our India team recently led an activity from the ‘Living Himalayas’ workbook in 20 schools where we have established the Himalayan Nature Clubs (HNCs). The activity conducted was ‘What does garbage tell us?’, and it consisted of students learning about solid waste, focusing on which items degrade naturally, and which items do not. We also organized a teacher’s meeting and invited the teachers from all of the 20 schools with HNCs. They were asked to conduct one activity from the book on their own. The teachers were extremely enthusiastic and chose the activities they would like to carry out.
The nature education camp was held over the last two weeks of June in an area at an altitude of 4500 meters (14,763 feet). The summer was late in coming, so amidst the howling wind during the day and the freezing temperatures at night, the students forged a bond with nature. One hundred and forty eight students accompanied by twelve teachers attended the camp over two weeks. Each batch stayed at the camp-site for three days and two nights. The days were spent engaging in a variety of activities which employed all their five senses to form a better understanding of nature. At night tired and cold feet were warmed by a bonfire. Often traditional song and dances accompanied the bonfire sessions.