For a lot of today’s children, adventure is what Tom Sawyer did in a book written in 1876. Most students in Delhi today are busy studying for exams or downloading music for their iPods. Oh, and when they get bored, they also poke each other on Facebook. But, don't worry; the summer vacation can change all of that.
Delhi has some great options- from new-age activities such as Zorbing to the tried and tested hitchhiking - for students who want their routines to 'go, take a walk' this summer.
Zorbing and paintball
Zorbing is a fun-filled adventure sport, involving a ball made of transparent plastic. The ball — 16 feet in diameter — has a thick air cushion that protects a smaller ball inside. You are placed inside the smaller ball, safety belts helping you stay upright, and the ball is rolled down a slope. You spin around in a virtual anti-gravity form of weightlessness like a space traveller. As you tumble head over heels inside the ball, the build up of centrifugal force keeps you pressed hard against the plastic wall, so you go with the flow and enjoy the view outside. Perfect if a 'revolution' is what you wanted to start.
"I was nervous when I was inside the ball for the first time. But as soon as they rolled down the ball, it was great fun," said six-year-old Arushi Srivastava.
"Children are tired of those old sports. Zorbing, which is new to India, excites children a lot. The game is absolutely safe and reliable. Our team is always around to support children in case they need help," said Major S.K. Yadav, managing director, Wanderlust Travels.
Wanderlust also offers a unique game that involves small guns firing "bullets" filled with colour. The game involves a face off between two teams with 5 players each. A flag is placed on ground and the teams have to fight to win that flag. The game involves hiding behind trees and running across the ground to win the flag.
“My kids really enjoyed the game and want to do it again this year," said Kanchar Naib, whose 10-year-old daughter went for the camp last year.
Where: Wanderlust Travels (Near Damdama Lake, Sohna Road, Gurgaon) When: April 3 to June 30 Age group: 7 to 18 Charges: Rs 550 for a day, Rs 1,400 for an overnight stint Call: 9811043497
Mountain-top star gazing
Are you an astronomy buff and love gazing at the night sky, the stars and the galaxies? We’re sure your starry pursuit is usually hampered by the city’s light pollution.
You can overcome this problem by joining an Astro Camp in the Himalayas this summer. The camp will allow you to combine adventure with astronomy.
At Astro camp, you will also learn the practical uses of telescopes, hydro rockets, and other cool stuff. “I hated science earlier, but learning astronomy as part of an adventure camp changed my attitude to science," said 10-year-old, Anirudh Sahni.
The camp also allows you to perform physical activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, treasure hunts and slying fox. "Children have always been curious about the stars and the galaxies, but they can hardly get to see them in the city," said Anurag Mehra, Director, Zice Holidays, which organises astro camps.
Where: Camp Redstone, Near Dehradun When: May 15 to July 5 Age group: 12 to 15 Charges: Between Rs 6500 and Rs 12000 (depending on the content of the course that includes several activities) Call: Zice Holidays 9911039423
Hike in the Himalayas
If you love nature, you can opt for an eco-walk in the dense, mysterious forests of Kumaon.
It will not only help you enhance your understanding of the diverse flora and fauna, but will also help you learn more about environment preservation. The eco-walk will take you past rough hills, gurgling river, lakes and streams. “Our camp helps children explore nature. It ultimately enhances a child's confidence and curiosity and makes him fall in love with nature,” said Manasi Goyal, Director, Mystic Routes.
Where: Mystic routes (Kumaon Himalayas) When: June 4 to June 29 Age Group: 8 to 17 Charges: Rs 18,000 for a full package (includes other activities also) Call: 9999983767
Flying high in the sky
If you want to fly but not in an aeroplane, go parasailing this summer.
You will be hitched to a parachute, called parasail, and set aloft in the air. The parasail is attached to a long towrope pulled along by a speeding car or a jeep.
When the speed exceeds the stalling speed, the parasail rises, hoisting the pilot up in the air. Parasailing is an experiential flight which will thrill you no end. And it’s quite safe too.
“Looking down from a parachute is an amazing experience,” said Anurag Mehra, Director, Zice Holidays. “Initially, as I went up in the air, I felt butterflies in my stomach. But soon I started enjoying it,” said 13-year-old Navya, who attended Camp Red Stone, an adventure camp near Dehradun, last year.
Where: Zice Holidays, Camp Redstone When: May 15to July 5 Charges: Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per child (depending on the content of the course) Age Group: 12 to 15 Contact: 9911039423