|Posted by AOE on December 2, 2019 at 11:10 AM|
Report by Deepika Singh
A Youth Nature Camp was successfully organised by the Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE) from 5-7th November 2019 at Nasik. The Coordination team comprised Fr Joseph Gonsalves, Fr Ryan Alex, Fr Joshua D’Souza, and Ms Deepika Singh. The Nature Camp started with the participants leaving by a mini bus from Bandra to Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva Mandal (MPSM), Nasik. The bus travel was a great time to get introduced and familiar with each other while enjoying the beautiful scenic and joyful moments with onboard entertainment by the participants as well as party songs played in the bus.
The Camp schedule began with a wise allotment of rooms, a soothing welcome drink, lunch and the introductory session with very creative icebreakers by Fr Ryan Alex followed by sessions by Fr Godfrey D’Lima, SJ, the Director of MPSM who shared on the ideas of rual-urban dependency on environment with specific focus on the various environment and climate change focused programs and activities being implemented by MPSM. The herbal remedy session with demonstration by the MPSM unit was much appreciated and welcomed by the participants who even patronised by purchasing many of them before they left the campus on the last day. The evening of the first day was power packed with several and exciting telegames under the direction of Fr Ryan with the team of 4 assistants - namely Fr Joshua, Ms Deepika, Joy Lobo and Renita. The last telegame concluding with organic holi colours was the craziest and most enjoyed by all.
Reciting the Rosary near Grotto was relaxing after hectic game time followed by dinner and sessions by Ms Deepika Singh on “Environment and You” & the “Family Carbon Calculation”. The presentation began with Greta Thunberg video “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,' climate activist Greta Thunberg has told world leaders at the 2019 UN” and sharing important facts and predictions of IPCC on future threats and challenges, the worst impacts on the poor and marginalised, understanding how the industries and human society is polluting and destroying the mother earth, urgent need to change, understanding our carbon footprint and possible change we must make to be less heavy on the mother planet.
The second day of the camp began with celebration of Holy Eucharist by Fr Joshua followed by breakfast and time to connect with nature and people. The participants travelled to the near villages, visited 2-3 points to view the farming and tree cultivation programs where in group of women plants about 1000 trees, we also visited villages and interacted with where the Indigo CSR projects are implemented. People poor though welcomed with whatever they have. Finally the Campers enjoyed and appreciated much the lunch prepared and served in the village style in “Nadurkipada” of Harsul village.
The Mushroom plantation was the last activity in the village exposure tour, reaching the camp site, after a break for rest and refreshment the Campers gathered for a common activity, energised with games the group was led to recapture their moments spent during last two days, formulate themes, compose a skit which should have both comic and content. The mother earth, people we met and the all our concerns were lifted in the holy Rosary at the Grotto followed by the Campfire (not literary) on the terrace where the teams performed their skit and continued with their entertainment.
The last and concluding morning began with the interesting and well appreciated activity the “river walk” and the “nature-prayer”. Breakfast followed by an interesting and interactive session by Fr Joshua on Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si', where by the participants deeply reflected and pledged to “make a change” in their life style to contribute to caring for mother earth, the most loved session with “Snake Friends” by ...and finally the Earth Worrier Nature Camp 2019 came to a conclusion with Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr Ryan. After Lunch the Campers decided to take a short break at “Sula Wines” after which we headed towards Mumbai.
TESTIMONY BY JESSICA AUGUSTINE
A breath of fresh air, the sweet wind blowing the birds singing and the magnificent big blue sky above. what perpetual beauty.. the same perpetual beauty that can be experienced only with our eyes closed. Well, a enriching and a very fruitful Nature Camp had been organised by the Archdiocese of Bombay in the first week of November. It all revolved around "A BETTER EARTH" from fellowship to meeting wonderful new people, visiting villages knowing the villagers, farmers and their cattle and living a sustainable life. All of it under one roof was the nature camp. Personally from being a person that didn't care about how buying clothes after having enough to using the AC during winters would actually make such a huge difference collectively to now me being able to at least try to live and support sustainable development. And this is the impact that the nature camp created on me, and I know each one of use at the camp has gone back to be a better version, the one that cares and craves a better change. It might take years to show the change we do today or might even feel impossible for the huge destruction. I believe and we should all believe in Mat 19:26 with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Let's be the change we wish to see.
Let's do this, together. If not for us, for the ones to come.