CAS (IBDP Kondane trek)
Kondane Caves, Podar is ready for action!

On 20th February, 2010, Podar International School organized a trek cum adventure sport for the Diploma Programme students under the aegis of CAS, with the expert guidance of Trailblazers . At 6.30 am in the morning, 35 brave hearts got into the bus, a bit dazed at their own feat of being up and going this early in the day. Little did they know that the scene was already set for ACTION. After a brief breakfast stop, it was a straight run to the rugged terrains at the base of the Sahyadris. The trek started innocuously enough. A lot of bantering and jostling as the group wondered why cows would choose such precarious heights to `moo' their bowels! Cow pats brought out the worst in these 17 year olds with ipods growing out of their ears and blackberries in strawberry pink clutched in their palms. The soft mud abruptly gave way to bramble-covered uneven terrain that took urbanization's softies, in designer tees and shorts, by surprise. The banter ceased as everyone concentrated on tackling the path in front of them. Life's first lesson: The path is always upwards and uncertain.

With each step forward, their ability and skill was put to the test. When you put your foot on a rock that is not steadfast, it is going to let you down. You can slide down before you know what hits you. Life's second lesson: Trust only steadfastness. Anything lesser than that, can let you down badly. When they did get to the really steep climbs, they simply formed a chain and first transported the backpacks up. Then the stronger ones helped the weaker ones and they literally carried the group together. When they went out of their comfort zone, they relied on and reached out to one another. Life's third lesson: Work collaboratively with others to succeed in unknown places. The compassion and care they showed were exemplary.

At every turn, they knew the limitations of their own strengths and tended to weigh their options and work out the best path to reach the top. They discussed with each other and reached a consensus. One group even lost their way when they took a wrong turn. They learned to listen to instructions and soon joined the main group. The two options of rock-climbing and rappelling found enthusiastic takers. The activity of rock-climbing again was an eye-opener for many. Even as you have found a foot-hold, your eyes have to scan for the next palm-hold or a pinch-hold to push yourself up. Decision, decisions! The fourth lesson was plan and initiate actions to move forward.

All garbage was put back in the backpacks and not strewn around. But orange peels could be thrown as they were biodegradable. This care and concern for the environment spoke of great ethical consideration for the generations to come who will inherit the earth we live on. Though the trek and adventure activities were tough and pushed every student to the limits of their endurance, they persevered on and showed their mettle.

Such brave-hearts deserve acknowledgement and so have been awarded with certificates.

Kudos to the batch of May 2011!

Hema Rajan
IBDP Coordinator