Youth Camps at SECMOL Campus, Phey
SECMOL runs youth camps in winter and in May-June at Phey campus.
In May-June, SECMOL organizes annual camps for rural youth who have just taken the 10th class exam (ie aged 16-18). The purpose of the camps is to build self-confidence and awareness of cultural and environmental issues. They learn Ladakhi history and geography (which are not taaught in their conventional schools), English, solar energy, and Ladakhi songs and dancing. Senior students who have been living at SECMOL for one or more years get the chance to lead activities or teach.
Students from all over Ladakh meet each other and volunteers from other parts of India and the world. So far more than 1700 Ladakhis have participated, along with volunteers from all continents. Everyone gets a great experience in inter-cultural exchange. Year by year the camps have grown more popular, until now we get 100 kids in each of two batches, a substantial portion of the total number of youth that age in Ladakh.
A typical SECMOL Youth Camp is two weeks packed with activities from early morning to late evening.
Classes might include:
basic English and conversation with volunteers
There is a daily morning talk about education problems in Ladakh, current issues, and self development.
There is also a day trip to a historical site with lunch and singing and dancing at a grassy meadow.
Campers and volunteers also do physical work for 1 hour daily. This keeps us physically fit and ready for Ladakhi village life, and helps keep camp expenses low for the Ladakhi participants. They pay only the basic food costs, so that even those from the remotest villages can afford to come. Ladakhi campers pay no fee for teaching, rooms and other facilities at SECMOL summer camps.
In January 2009 we are planning to hold a camp in January for kids who might not otherwise have a chance to try ice skating. This will include the academic basics and cultural activities as well as ice skating and the chance to join a girls' or boys' hockey team.
The day starts with physical exercise, meditation / introspection, and then an inspirational morning talk.
Campers do one hour of daily work around the campus.