Youth Outdoor Exposure 2010 Report (May 21-23, 2010)

With a theme, “Let’s experience the difference”, Pax Earth Nepal organized “Youth Outdoor Exposure” at Dhulikhel Training Centre, Dhulikhel, Kavre during May 21-23, 2010. This exposure was mainly designed to inculcate and enhance leadership, management, team-building and communication skills of the youths and thereby facilitating their personality development. Including eight organizing committee members, thirty five dynamic and energetic youths of age 18 to 32 years from different walks of life participated in this 2 nights and 3 days exposure. The exposure was equally blended with indoor and outdoor activities and adventures. The participants were heterogeneous in the sense that they were from different culture, religion, profession and socio-economic background. However, despite extensive efforts, PEN could succeed to get only one lady participant, Yasoda Sapkota.

Day 1: Friday May 21, 2010
President Sujan Koirala formally inaugurated Youth Outdoor Exposure by lighting an oil lamp at 6.30pm. After a small inauguration ceremony and a brief introduction of the management team, participants and the exposure, YOE team left for an icebreaking session. Icebreaking In-charge Manohar Sapkota involved all participants in icebreaking games including name games, human knot, ordering games, etc. The icebreaking session helped the participants know each other to some extent.

Icebreaking session was followed by IQs and brainstorming session where In-charge Sujan Koirala asked some IQs and involved participants in brainstorming activities. This session was aimed at testing intellectual ability as well as developing analytical skill of the participants. Bikesh Manandhar and Rikesh Raj Bharati stood first and second scoring highest and second highest scores in this session respectively. After the session, the participants took dinner and the first day of the exposure ended.

Day 2: Saturday May 22, 2010
The second day of the YOE began with a physical exercise at 7.00am. Physical exercise In-charge Shreebatsa Basnyat engaged participants in some useful physical exercises. He also introduced B-P Exercise (Scouting Movement Founder Baden-Powell’s exercise) to the participants. The participants opined that the B-P exercise would be very useful to keep them fit and were prepared for the whole day activities and adventures. The management committee divided the participants into three teams. After the team division, the participants took the breakfast.

All three teams assembled at the session hall at 9.30am. Each team was asked to provide a unique name for the team as well as nominate a team leader. The teams gave “Tsunami”, “The Warriors” and “Silent Killer” as their respective team name and nominated Purushottam KC, Nagendra Shakya and Debraj Ghimire as their respective leaders. The indoor session continued with the first challenge i.e. “Introduce your friend”. In-charge of the session Sujan Koirala made eleven pairs from the participants and gave five minutes to collect personal information of each other so as to introduce one another afterwards. He gave each participant one minute to introduce his/her partner. All pairs introduced each other one by one. The main objective of this programme was to develop confidence of facing a mass and prepare them for the public speaking.

The introduction session was followed by Toastmasters where In-charge Sujan Koirala gave a familiar topic to each participant and gave two minutes to present in front of the participants. Every participant spoke on the given topic. The evaluation committee consisted of grammarian (Binod Pd. Mainali), timer (Manohar Sapkota), ah-counter (Rajan Dulal) and general evaluator (Sujan Koirala) presented their respective reports. They pointed out the strong and weak aspects of each participant and gave important tips to improve his/her speaking skills. The main objective of the Toastmasters programme was to improve public speaking ability of each participant and develop self-confidence on facing the mass. For many participants, it was the first time. Still, they could face this challenge. This very experience helped them overcome some fear of public speaking. After the session, participants took lunch at 12.00pm.

After the lunch, all three teams gathered at a ground for outdoor activities and adventures at 1.00pm. The outdoor exposure started with the trust building activities where In-charge Manohar Sapkota involved each team in trust fall and trust sleep. The main objective of the trust building activities was to increase trust, confidence and team spirit.

The three teams Silent Killer, Tsunami and The Warriors headed towards the Base No. 1 “Spider Wave”, Base No. 2 “Toxic Waste” and Base No. 3 “Abseiling” respectively. The Spider Wave is a team building game. Each team has to pass its respective team member from one side of spider wave to another. While passing into other part, the member can use only one cell and should neither touch the rope or the bamboo. It demands a strong leadership, team work, communication and coordination. Silent Killer, Tsunami and The Warriors passed through the spider wave one by one. Each team showed a strong team work and succeeded in completing this adventure. In-charge of Spider Wave Sujan Koirala made it more challenging adding some strict rules. He was assisted by Laxman Pd. Neupane and Binod Pd. Mainali.

“Toxic Waste” is the other team building game on which each team has to throw the toxic waste of a bucket at a proper place with the help of some ropes. They are given an empty bucket and some ropes. They need to put all the toxic waste of first bucket into this empty bucket and throw the waste in a proper place. They can neither touch the bucket nor drop the toxic waste into the floor. Hence, the ropes play vital role in throwing the toxic into proper place. With strong team coordination, Tsunami, Silent Killer and The Warriors could successfully throw the toxic waste in the specified area. This game was fabulously coordinated by Base In-charge Bal Gopal Shrestha. He was assisted by Harihar Sapkota and Laxman Bd. Pahari.

“Abseiling” is an adventurous activity where each participant has to descend from a rock/hill with the help of rope and safety equipments. This time, the management team faced some technical difficulties as they could not hold “Abseiling” in a pre-confirmed location. It took couples of hours to find a suitable place for the abseiling. At one time, Base In-charges Shreebatsa Basnyat and Manohar Sapkota were about to drop this activity. Many thanks to the patience, determination, encouragements and active support of The Warriors which added further impetus to the Base In-charges for accomplishing the mission. With the effective coordination between the Base In-charges and The Warriors, they could find a suitable hill for the abseiling. It was in a distance of forty five minutes from the training centre. It took nearly two hours for finding a proper place for the Abseiling. This very reason forced the management committee to drop some activities including raising team performance, cross cultural communication and crossing the river together. Abseiling turned out to be the most challenging event of the exposure. Some kinds of fear could be seen in the face and body language of every participant. The team members from The Warriors, Silent Killer and Tsunami completed this adventure one by one. It was almost 7.30pm while wrapping up this adventure. Each participant could abseil about 35 meters. Besides, all the participants could involve in one and half hour hike while going/returning to/from the Abseiling base.

All three teams were gathered at the session once again at 9.00pm. The management committee involved all three teams in a “Blindfold/Nightline” one by one in five minutes interval. All team members were blind folded and were instructed to follow their respective leaders. They were not allowed to make any noise and could only whisper for the communication. The management team members Sujan, Bal Gopal, Manohar, Laxman, Shreebatsa, Binod, Harihar and Manab put several hurdles throughout the trail. It demanded a strong leadership, communication and coordination among the team members. Due to few communication and coordination errors, some members got into troubles also. The Warriors, Tsunami and Silent Killer could complete the half an hour adventurous and thrilling trail in spite of some hurdles and obstacles. The game added extra flavour, more thrill and adventures for the participants. It was already 10.30pm while having dinner. Some participants were very tired, so, went to bed right after the dinner while others attended the Campfire. It revitalized and reenergized the participants and opened room for relaxation and entertainment. The participants could forget all the pain and tiredness while singing, dancing, caricaturing, joking and memory sharing. The campfire continued till 1.30am in the midnight.

Day 3: Sunday May 23, 2010
It was the final day for formally closing the Youth Outdoor Exposure. Since some members had to join their colleges and jobs, they left early in the morning. The management committee members were busy collecting the evaluation sheets filled by the participants for the early morning. All three teams assembled at the session hall at 10.30am. The team leaders were asked to share their experience. They thanked their respective members and congratulated Pax Earth for successfully organizing this exposure. They were more than happy to learn what leadership means, how team works and how to communicate in a team practically. Accordingly, every participant was asked to share his/her experience. They were also asked to point out the positive and negative aspects of the camp. They thanked PEN team for providing such a wonderful platform where they could learn many new skills besides making many friends. They opined that the gathering of thirty-five youths is challenging in itself and the way PEN made them learn was praiseworthy. They expressed that there has been tremendous improvement in their leadership, management, team-building and communication skills in these three days. They felt remarkable improvement in their personality as well. They admired the ways that PEN team made them learn with full of fun. The method “learning by doing” adopted by PEN team was highly appreciated by every participant. Besides, they pointed out some weaknesses and shortcomings of the management committee. They have suggested for improving time management and developing alternative plan in the next exposures. Nevertheless, they were very happy to be a part of the exposure and even desired to participate in the next event. They strongly advocated that such type of exposure is quite essential for the youths of Nepal and insisted PEN to spread their exposures throughout Nepal. They strongly agreed that they have “Experienced the difference”. After the participants’ remarks, YOE management committee members Harihar Sapkota, Laxman Bd. Pahari, Binod Pd. Mainali, Shreebatsa Basnyat and Bal Gopal Shrestha expressed their views. They were very happy with all the participants for their enthusiasm, determination and performance. They thanked each and every participant for their active and valuable participation. They whole-heartedly accepted weaknesses and shortcomings pointed out by the participants and assured to improve in the next exposures. The coordinator Laxman Pd. Neupane also expressed his experience. He was very happy with the way the outcome of the exposure. He appreciated each member for his/her active effort and support and also thanked for being a part of this three days adventure. He especially thanked Mitrapark guys for their outstanding support for organizing this great event.

At the end, President Sujan Koirala congratulated all participants and management committee members for successfully holding YOE and achieving its mission. He praised all participants for their active and energetic role and contribution in making YOE a grand success. He thanked all PEN members for their praiseworthy role and commitment; PEJ Secretary General Soko Aoki for his encouragements and supports; Advisor Dr. Hari Prasad Shrestha for his valuable advice and inspirations; Arun Khadka for financial support; Oral and Dental Clinic, Kantipur Saving and Cooperatives and Jayabageshwori Youth Club for sending participants; Dhulikhel Training Centre for arranging a suitable learning environment and accommodation; Rajan Dulal for logistic supports; Manab Gautam and Bikram Rai for photography and movie making; and all those who directly and indirectly supported in successfully organizing this great event. He highly praised coordinator Laxman Pd. Neupane. Last but not the least, he wholeheartedly thanked YOE organizing committee members Bal Gopal Shrestha, Manohar Sapkota, Shreebatsa Basnyat, Harihar Sapkota, Laxman Bd. Pahari and Binod Pd. Mainali without whose continuous effort and commitment, the YOE would be a day dream only. After his final remarks, President declared the formal closure of the YOE. It was already 11.30 to wrap up the exposure.

Not only the participants but also the members of the organizing committee could “EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE”.

1, PEN could not organize the certificate distribution ceremony due to some technical circumstances. This will be organized in the near future.

2, The evaluation committee collected and analysed the evaluation sheets filled by the participants. It was quite surprising to see that more than 95 percent participants wish to participate in the next exposure. The overall rating of the camp was 4.12 (measured in a 5-point Likert scale) which indicates that the event is highly successful. Hence, it was the most successful event in the history of Pax Earth Nepal. The most impressive aspect of the exposure as pointed out by the participants is friendly people and impressive learning environment. The participants have ranked abseiling, blindfold and spider wave as the first three most interesting activities. Only one weakness of the camp as opined by most of the participants is time-management. Hence, they have suggested PEN to improve this weakness in the next camp. Ultimately, they were quite delighted to be a part of this historic event. PEN thanks all!