The fun-filled event that everyone was waiting for finally dawned – Summer Camp Lodge 2012! The kids stormed into the camp site after checking in at the Cinnamon Lodge, their favourite five-star resort at Habarana.abarana.
The Summer Camp program commenced with registrations of the kids followed by separating them into teams led by Uncle Chitral and Uncle Harshana. The teams were creatively named ‘Kabaragoyas’ and ‘Leopards’ by the kids themselves.
The first activity at camp was an exciting elephant safari at Minneriya, and they weren’t disappointed. Seventy-five elephants performed for many clicking young photographers while the kids were given a range of cameras to freeze these moments to be evaluated on a photo assignment by Uncle Chitral.
The first night at the camp brought out independence in the kids as they camped out in comfortable tents neatly laid out on the camp site. Singing camp fire songs followed by many fun games such as charades coupled with roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate created a sense of bonding amongst all participants.
Day two arrived with a 6 a.m. wake up call for all the campers. They staggered to their feet with difficulty and prepared themselves for the next day of events. It was yoga first and time for a nature walk in the sprawling Lodge compound, led by the genius on environment, Prof. Sarath Kotagama.
The Nature Trails naturalists assisted this experience, which concluded in time for a session of paintball firing. The dried Habarana tank bed was turned into a firing range and the kids took aim, surprising all the adults on accuracy.
Mid-day was a pool session and the highlight of the afternoon was kids being given an opportunity to experience snuba diving in the pool. Kids literally plunged in with joy and spend the next two hours learning to breathe underwater. The post-lunch session was a presentation on wildlife conducted by Prof. Kotagama.
The evening took the form of a talent contest where the two teams had to come up with a dance act which would be judged on specific criteria. The in-house team trained the kids for a scintillating dance act which was performed at the camp party on Saturday evening.
The highlight of the night was the dance act performed by the parents, which was one that bedazzled all the kids. They danced to an old favourite, ‘Oye ojaye,’ entertaining the young audience. The second night ended in laughter, dance and fun for all participants.
The final day of the camp began with the kids waking up with frowns as they knew the camp was coming to an end and they did not want to leave. The parents too were rather disappointed as their own holiday was coming to an end!
The kids took aim at a session of archery shortly after a scrumptious breakfast and then proceeded to get ready for the summer carnival. Dressed up in vibrant accessories and decorations provided by the Summer Camp Organising Committee, the camp grounds glowed with excitement and colour.
The Summer Camp finally ended with the awards ceremony while the winning team carried away the Camp Lodge Trophy. The entire event over three days was full of fun, entertainment, adventure and education that kept the kids s intrigued every minute.
The Summer Camp truly proved to be more than just any other camp; it brought out unity and togetherness amongst all ages, joy, a feeling of belonging due to the warmth and hospitality extended by Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and the fire of relationships rekindled at this signature event at the Lodge.
It was more than just a weekend getaway. It was an experience of a lifetime and one which would be nostalgically reminisced till the next camp comes by next year, an experience worth waiting for.