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An Unforgettable Adventure

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Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 

The memory of that day of adventure, i.e., 7th June 2018 is still very clear in my head. I woke up bright and early in the morning, all set for the “The Outbound Program” at The Empower Activity Camps, Kolad organized by SSBF, Pune. Though I had slept for only a few hours the previous night, the excitement gave me enough energy to drag myself out of bed. 

At 6:00 am, everyone gathered outside the Bus Bay of Symbiosis just in time. A few minutes later, the vehicles started their journey on the roads of Pune. After an hour, we left behind the busy and polluted streets and entered the lush green pathway of the mountains. I gently opened the window, and the gentle breeze started flowing through my hair and straight through my body, relaxing me instantly. 

Suddenly everyone realised that a vast white blanket of the lightest mist covered the mountains and the travelers inside started shouting with excitement. As my eyes traveled to the edge of the forest, it became silhouettes against the blanket of white. 

After about 90 minutes, the buses came to a halt near the camp, and everyone got down and followed the instructor. We went to an open dining space. “Welcome SSBF Pune!” said the TV screen in front of us. 

After a while, we were divided into various groups. The instructor heading the group asked us to decide on a group name & slogan. After doing so, he asked us to shout our slogan aloud. I felt an instant rush of adrenaline through my veins which warmed me up enough for the upcoming activities. 

That day we played “Passing the Ring” and a few more team building activities, which helped us as a group to establish trust amongst ourselves and made our bonds even stronger. 

That night, the DJ played some lovely songs, and even though everyone was exhausted by the long day of physical activities, we danced our hearts out. That night is something I’ll never forget. 

The next day, everyone assembled in an open area, and after a warm-up session, we were ready for another challenging and exciting day. 

The name of the first activity was Mini Prahaar, which sounded scary and exciting at the same time. Other activities were Trust Track, Fast Track, Burma Bridge, Commando Crossing, Shooting the Target, Fireman Lift, Mountain Climbing and many more. 

The activities made us realize that we can learn some essential life lessons through these fun activities. I personally discovered some hidden talents and strengths of mine. 

After the distribution of certificates, it was time for us to return. We got into our buses, and the exciting and adventurous journey came to an end. 

While the bus was running down the hills, my heart was heavy that the two beautiful days had come to an end, but at the same time, I realised that an end is only a new beginning in disguise. 

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  

– Abraham Lincoln 

Sobhalisha Panda

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