This summer vacation, your children can choose from a variety of adventure activities. Whether it’s snorkelling in the Konkan, an overnight camp in the Sahyadris or rappelling down a small cliff, there are several options to choose from.
If rising childhood obesity is any indication, there has never been a greater need for children to get involved in outdoor activities. According to the National Family Health Survey (2008), 7 per cent of those in the 6-18 years age group in urban India are obese.
Besides physical exertion, adventure activities inculcate a sense of independence and hone leadership skills. “When children are at home, they are completely taken care of,” said paediatrician P. Vaidyanathan. “But when they are outdoors, they develop a sense of ownership about their possessions. Invariably, someone falls and gets hurt, so they learn to cope with various circumstances.”
Adventure activities such as rock climbing or waterfall rappelling also allow them to develop greater confidence in themselves. “The first time my children tried waterfall rappelling, they were a little unsure,” said Vignesh Manjeshwar (41), managing director of a logistics company who, along with his wife, accompanied his two children to a day-long adventure camp in the Kondana Caves earlier this month. “But by the second time, they started to take pleasure in the exertion.”
Manjeshwar said the camp, which included trekking, a night walk and valley crossing, encouraged his daughter Divija (10) and son Hansin (9) to take small risks. “We protect our children when they are growing up, but expect them to be adventurous as adults,” he said.
Instead, take your pick from a list of adventure sports.
- Inputs by Dhamini Ratnam, Vidya Balachander, Alaap Deboor, Sai Raje.