Mangaluru: 20 Kids of CIL Summer Camp Explore ‘Nature’s Gifts’ at D’Souza’s ‘Casa de Maria’
Mangaluru: “Casa de Maria” in Spanish/Portuguese means “House of Mary”- and “Casa de Maria” located at Souza Lane, Kadri Pumpwell in Mangaluru happens to be the residence of Joe D’Souza, a retired Electrical engineer who had worked in the US for 40 years, and also Alfie D’Souza of Team Mangalorean. In view of providing experiences to groom children into effective individuals, Centre for Integrated Learning (CIL), a city-based NGO had conducted a Summer Camps for children at District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) campus near Canara College in the city from April 6.
The ten-day programme was held for two age groups – Tiny Tots (LKG to 4th Std.) and Elders (5th – 10th std.) and focused on an array of activities that provided a unique experience for the participants, which are not gained in regular schooling.The salient feature of this camp was its exposure visits to various places of interest and relevance. Children were taken to Police Station, Department of Animal Husbandry, Corporation Bank Library, Old Age Home, Post Office, Central Market among other places. Concentrating on individual basis this camp took a limited number of children with the batch strength of 20 tiny tots and had also worked on different indoor activities such as mime, dance, art and craft among others. One of the projects of the camp was the visit to a Fruit/veg orchard, and ‘Casa de Maria’ was picked as the place for the kids to explore the beauty and gifts that nature had to offer.
There are many reasons why you should spend some time with your children to teach them about the wonder of nature. Get them to love the great outdoors. Nowadays children spend far too much time watching TV, playing video games or glued to a hand-held electronic device. Getting them out into the open air – even if it’s raining or hot weather, is a great way to get them to fall in love with outdoors. Spending more time outside will make your child fitter and more active, increase their imagination and learn just how amazing nature can be. Not to mention create meaningful memories that will outlast any video game.
We all should appreciate the beauty of nature, and also make the children enjoy the same. Beauty comes in many different shapes and forms – whether it’s a pretty flower, a special fruit or lovable animal or bird. If you foster your child’s interest in nature from a young age and they will continue to love nature as they get older. We also need to teach the children the respect for their environment From not dropping garbage, to realising the importance of recycling, children who love nature will have the utmost respect for the environment. They will understand that man’s actions could have serious consequences and that they have the power to change things.
Children who regularly get to explore nature outside are less likely to be obese and suffer from depression. All the senses are activated when outside; sight, sound, smell, touch and even taste under careful parental supervision. It is a truly absorbing experience and each time they venture out they can explore somewhere new or come across a new creature or plant they find fascinating. You don’t need to spend mega-bucks to enjoy a great family day out. A trip to the woods or nature trail should only cost you the price of a picnic for a memorable experience. Spending time together as a group exploring nature and discovering the joys of the outside is beneficial to all members of the group, and indeed everyone can learn something new each trip.
Creating a nature based home project over the summer was a great way to spend some quality time together as well as educate the children. And CIL had done the right thing in organising the summer camp where the children learned the outside world, including a visit to a garden/orchard/farm etc. At ‘Casa de Maria”, the children explored the goodness that nature had to offer, from fruit trees, vegetables to animals/poultry like goat, ducks, roosters, chickens, love birds, parrots etc- and also dogs and cats.
Joe D’Souza showed the kids around compound where the kids learned about fruits like mango, guava, pineapple, jackfruit, banana, coconut, papaya, chikku, Arecanut, Grapefruit, orange, custard apple, etc- and vegetables like tomato, brinjal, green chillies, black pepper, drumsticks, breadfruit, bimblis, curry leaves, greens, okra (ladies finger), etc- all grown in D’Souza’s property. The children also witnessed the live demonstration by the coconut plucker, as to how the coconuts were plucked, and also how they were peeled using the peeler tool. The children also enjoyed using the peeler to peel the coconuts themselves.
To bring awareness on cleanliness, as part of “Swachh Bharat”- the kids with full of enthusiasm didn’t hesitate to grab a broom, shovel, bucket etc and started cleaning the yard. The kids also enjoyed petting the goat named “Billy Goat” (remember the story behind “Billy Goat” of Chicago Cubs baseball team), also chased the two ducks named “Quacky Quack” and “Donald Duck” in the compound.. The kids also loved the company of my four dogs- a Daschund, two mixed Cocker-spaniel/labrador, and a country dog. Baby chicks, love birds, parrots and other kinds of birds also kept the kids busy in admiring them.
After a long tour and fun in the yard, the kids were treated to snacks and cold drinks- the snacks comprising of fruits like papaya, banana, pineapple etc from the D’Souza garden. There was also a quiz for the kids to identify/name the fruit/vegetable- and the winners got gifts sponsored by Celine Fernandes-Dubai/Mangaluru. Srinivasan and Sachitha Nandagopal- the husband and wife duo who manage CIL briefed the kids about the various fruits/vegetables/animals that were found at Casa de Maria. The kids also received some tips of gardening and about fruits/vegetables etc from Joe D’Souza. With over two hours spent learning about nature’s gifts, the kids were happy that they had the best fun time at Casa de Maria.
CIL is a not for profit organisation which has been working in the field of education since six years and striving to evolve strategies and interventions that add value to present education system. They do conduct various projects suitable for the kids and youth throughout the year. And this visit to an orchard farm was yet another attraction of their summer camp. For more details on CIL, contact: 9886347946