Weekends are meant to be fun and frolic and when we received an invite to visit the Green Getaway camp at Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, we grabbed it immediately. Living in the cities and working for corporates does not give you a lot of time to spare and hence, we opted for a ‘Simply-do-nothing-holiday’ and had the most wonderful experience for two days. As the name suggests there wasn’t any itinerary that was to be followed, we were our own boss and could do whatever we wanted to or simply do nothing and immerse ourselves in the natural beauty.
After a 10-hour road journey from Delhi to Dharamshala, we reached the campsite early morning. Completely exhausted, the clean and nicely maintained property filled in us a sense of relaxation with peaceful and surreal surroundings. The tents were large with clean linen and a western style toilet including a geyser for a hot bath. On arrival, we were welcomed with tea/snacks, along with the sounds of children’s laughter and chattering, they had started the day with some fun games. After the breakfast, the management suggested the activities we could take up.
We decided to join a group of children of 8-12 age groups “The Red Star” and took up the trekking and camping activities with them. We went for a small trek with them; it was the first time that we interacted with the children as well as the instructors. There the kids were taught how to set up different types of tents using poles, rope and stakes, then they had a small do-it-yourself task for the same and every team excelled in it. On our way back, the group was also taught to set up a camp kitchen and cook food.
We reached back to the camp around lunch and were served with a nice homely meal. After that everyone was geared up for the next big trek The Survival Expedition! We all prepared for it with our backpacks geared with sleeping bag, raincoat, sleeping pad, water bottles and other essentials. Everyone was very excited as it was going to be a night out in the woods and started the trek with full energy and excitement. To our destination, the trek was an awesome experience. The children were trained to take care of each other on the way and did it pretty well. It surely gave a chance to bring out the leadership and team spirit in each one of them. Trekking along the thickets through the rugged narrow path feasting the eyes with a magnificent view of the pine forest, tea plantation, rivulets, sprawling mountain range blanketed by mists is an adventure not-to-be-missed!
After a 3-hour long trek, we reached our destination. After a while of lazing around and rest, everyone geared up for the cooking task. It was nice to see children cooking their own food and deciding their menus as well. Every team was very innovative and came up with different things they can cook with the given resources. As we finished our last supper of the day, the dawn started to process and the view of sunset atop the hill was truly mesmerising, the stars lit up the sky and the lights from the nearby town made the view completely picturesque. It is hard to go past the simple pleasure of sleeping outside with nothing between you and the spectacular star-filled sky. The feel of the gentle caress of cool breezes on your face, smelling the woody fragrance of the forest and experiencing the soothing and intriguing sound of nature is incomparable. Next day we started early and trekked back to our camps. We had our breakfast and then the next activity planned was stream walking. On the location, a beautiful flowing river welcomed us. We got a chance to walk through it and had a fun time playing in the chilling water.
We packed a lot of awesome memories with us to take back to Delhi. We simply loved the experience and the time spent at the Green Getaway camp at Dharamsala. The program is structured nicely with an interesting flow that keeps the session enjoyable and engrossing all the time. The focus was to understand oneself better and the program did a great job in making us realise that we are more capable than what we think. The camp was exhilarating, educational, entertaining, adventurous and empowering at the same time.
Written by Kirti Birla
Pictures by Kanishak Jain