It was a handful of magical summer days that Insight oﬀered its students in the last week of April, between25th and 30th of the month to be precise. No nook or corner of the centre was spared of the ring of amusementof 17 children who participated in the summer day camp titled Summer Magic, conducted by Insight. TheMAGIC held exclusively for children with special needs oﬀered diverse interactive, educative and creativesessions comprising Music, Arts, Games/Gardening, ICT and other Creative activities.
The Magic began with a stimulating icebreaking session by noted motivational speaker Brahma Nayakam. Theheady start gave the much needed momentum to the event. From day two, the camp activities began with yoga,tailored to meet the needs of special children. The sessions were conducted by Mr. Radhakrishnan. Yoga wasfollowed by gardening session. This was utilized to teach children vocabulary related to plants and gardening.In the ICT session, older children in the group were asked to write a paragraph on select topics using wordprocessor, after which they practised number activities and logic games. The others did simple activities likeknowing the computer peripherals and puzzles.In the arts and crafts session, the camp presented activities like painting, collage and paper crafts on diﬀerentdays. Children had great fun working with myriad colours and the joy of creating could be seen on their honestfaces. This session oﬀered mostly group activities during which they were made to interact with their peers,thus boosting their social skills. Children were helped to make Thank You cards, which were presented totheir parents on the closing day of the camp. There was music to help children relax amidst the disquiet.Popular English and Malayalam rhymes were played and animated videos accompanied the music. Childrenwere encouraged to sing along and enact the lines. A professional keyboard player played music when it wasthe turn of the tiny tots to sing. Mr. Pradeep, a folk artist delighted the children with ’naadan paattukal’ (folksongs) inherent to Kerala. With him, they sang, danced and made merry to the beats of his drum.The high spot of the camp was a puppetry session handled by Mr. Subin, a teacher, for whom puppetry is apassion. The puppets told them numerous tales and children happily chattered with their new friends. Theyalso learnt the art of making puppets out of common objects like plastic bottles. The children heard morestories during the story telling sessions, which were innovative with the use of digital slides, illustrating thestory. When the children saw the characters come alive on large screen, their joy knew no bounds and most of them could be seen trying to touch the characters on screen. After each story telling, children were providedwith worksheets based on the stories. They were given prizes everyday to encourage them to get involved.The camp came to a close with a counselling session for parents on 30th April. On the day, children put ona show for the parents with the songs they learnt at the camp. Consolations prize were given to all the campparticipants.
Ipshitha Chakraborthy, the lead resource person of Insight’s children’s centre, guided the camp. Seven otherresource persons assisted Ipshitha. Insight also made use of the services of seven volunteers, whose cooperationis commendable. The success of the camp is a result of the combined eﬀort of all those who worked for it.
The motto of Summer Magic was to help children learn social skills and develop their communicative ability.Insight aimed at helping children shed their inhibitions and let them free to express themselves, which is oneof the basic human needs. The camp intended to help children make friends and encourage them to express indistinct ways. We had prepared a detailed vocabulary list for each activity, based on which words were introducedto them during the sessions. For e.g., during their lunch, children were introduced to related vocabulary likespoon, rice, etc. and were also encouraged to practise table manners. The camp further nourished the creativesense in children, encouraging them to adopt alternative ways to communicate and express. Summer Magic,though an attempt as far as Insight is concerned, turned out to be a rewarding one for all who were a part of it.Insight is planning to revive the fun days of the summer camp. Insight is organizing another camp for adolescents,those above 13 years of age, that will begin on 16 May. It is the amazing response that we received for SummerMagic that motivated us to plan a second camp. The camp is titled Summer Magic 2 and will be on for a week.Insight has planned a diﬀerent set of activities for the second camp considering the intellectual capacities of theparticipants. Yoga, gardening, puppetry and ICT activities will be fashioned to meet their abilities. The campwill conclude on 22 May with counselling for parents and a programme presented by the participants.3