Recreation: To keep students meaningfully engaged during their winter holidays, 272 students, aged from seven to 24 years, participated in a three-week long winter camp that ended in the capital yesterday.

To observe the last day of the camp, students showcased their dancing, storytelling, acting and singing talents. The participants also exhibited their drawings and art work  on various themes during the camp.

The camp was organised by the Youth Development Fund (YDF). Most of the students are from Thimphu while a handful of them are from nearby dzongkhags. Each participant paid Nu 250 as registration fees.

Coordinator of the camp, Pema Wangdi, said the participants were divided in two groups – from age seven to 12 years and from 13 to 24 years.

“There were sessions on dance, reading, forum theatre, and arts and crafts for younger groups which were taught through various games. The older students were taught about ethical leadership and developing resilience skills,” Pema Wangdi said.

Developing resilience skills mainly focussed on overcoming challenges in life and the importance of showing empathy towards others, Pema Wangdi said. “The students also learnt about keeping nature clean and the importance of making decisions based on mutual respect.”

The participants also went for a community visit in Changangkha and the RICBL colony area, Pema Wangdi said.

“The students learnt about some of the issues the community members face such as the high stray dog population, more bars and rising youth problems in these areas by interacting with members of the community,” Pema Wangdi said. “The students discussed on how to address these issues. The students also participated in a cleaning campaign that was held during their community visit.”

One of the youngest participants of the camp, Rinchen Tenzin Tshering, 11, studying in Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School, said he found the winter camp helpful. “I learnt how to draw and made new friends. I am looking forward to participate in such camps in the holidays,” Rinchen Tenzin Tshering said.

A corporate employee and parent, Pema, 46, said the camp keeps the children occupied instead of wasting their time watching television at home. “My sons didn’t want to come initially but they seem to be loving it. It’s important to keep young children meaningfully engaged and help them learn new things,” Pema said.

Thinley Zangmo