Summer at Doon Leadership Programme 2015 Feedback
Parents of Vandita who wrote to the school said:
‘Vandita enjoyed every moment of her stay in The Doon School campus. She was overwhelmed by the concern, care & attention you & the staff of your school showered upon her, it helped her feel secure & at ease to take on the mental & physical challenges involved in successfully completing the program. Observing you and your colleagues performing your assigned roles has in itself been a learning experience for Vandita and redefined her concepts and perceptions about warmth & hospitality.
Thank you very much for all the attention & care you and your team have showered on Vandita and made this a memorable summer for her, the reminiscences of which will last her a lifetime. Please accept our gratitude and convey the same to your team at the Doon School for creating a home away from home for Vandita’.
Parents of Arnav who wrote to the school from Mumbai about their son Arnav said:
‘Arnav has had the time of his life at Summer at Doon.
In the initial days he was all complaining about the accommodation, hours of the course, food and everything.
But by day three he had completely turned around and he loved the food, the course, the people and towards the end he was hoping it could be extended.
He was very happy with his experience on the farming and social services. He had never had a chance to do something like that. The course was very engrossing and I hope to see a change soon.
Thanking you for the lovely experience and we are looking forward to more’.
Parents of Aryan who wrote to the school said:
‘A small thank you note for all the efforts taken by the school and the Aspire group to help my son Aryan. As a parent I have been observing some notable changes in him which indeed are reasons for my joy and happiness.
His experiences about the leadership programme have helped him in expressing himself with amazing confidence. He seems to have become more responsible and has started taking charge of his actions. The do’s and don’t’s and a list of consequences for him in life seems to be clear. Aryan’s interpersonal skills and communication skills have truly been enhanced .The workshop was indeed very fruitful. Thanks for all your guidance and support.’
In conversation with Doon Fellows 2015
Parental Feedback for Summer@Doon 2015 – Mr. Vikram Bajaj
As the programme draws to a close and the kids are being mentored about soft skills by a team from McKinsey and Company, I just wanted to thank you for the life changing impact your initiative is going to have on 75 kids assembled from all over India.
From attending discussions on decision making, to overcoming obstacles at the IMA, to community work in backward areas and teaching soft skills were all the kinds of opportunities that my daughter has received in fifteen days. It is not something that if left to me I would have been able to give her in over two decades. She is in total awe with every part of the programme and refused to skip even a minute of it!
She was overwhelmed with emotion, when The Doon School faculty took them for a community service project to a village adopted by the school. She participated in building a brick house and toilet for an old widow living alone with her granddaughter in a thatched hut without a toilet.
It is not just about teaching them to fulfill their aspirations, but about them developing a sense of gratitude for what they have. No words can thank you for your initiative and vision! But I would like to express my gratitude to you on behalf my wife and my daughter for having established the Summer at Doon Leadership Programme.
(Mr Vikram Bajaj, a parent of one of the Doon Fellows 2015 who is located in Delhi)
Summer at Doon Leadership Programme 2014 Feedback
I wanted a break from everyday life. I also loved The Doon School. I learnt that I am capable more
I have learnt that I have a lot of will power and strength.
– Khushi Singh, Delhi
I thought it would be a great idea to step out of my comfort zone. I learnt to look at situations from another’s point of view. This experience boosted my confidence and got rid of my self-consciousness.
– Malaika Goswamy,
I wanted to broaden my horizons, meet new people and learn about what leadership actually is.
I was surprised by myself and my abilities. I was surprised by how little I can survive on and learnt how to use my resources properly.
– Prakriti Singh, Jamshedpur
It was a good mix of academics, sport and extracurricular activities. I learnt that a true leader is nurtured only if the qualities are cultivated and developed.
– Devanshi Agarwal,
The Socratic dialogues have been a great influence on my personality.
– Gauri Bora,
I am way more confident and don’t depend on people around me to complete my daily tasks anymore. I have experienced a big change in me and the way I look at the world.
– Vaani Gupta,
There were many new activities such as trekking which I did for the first time. I never knew that I would be able to do army level stunts or walk 16 kilometers.
– Anya Chaudhari,
I wanted to become confident and discover myself. Through this programme I have learnt the concept of leadership and teamwork. It helped me gain confidence in myself.
– Najeeb Sheikh,
I did not have good communication skills; it helped me overcome my shyness. I have learnt that it doesn’t matter who you are, it matters how good you are.
– Shubhendu Singh,
It thrilled me and made me wonder if this could be a programme which could transform me. I have been able to identify parts of my moral compass. It is such a packed course full of information. Also the material given here is condensed wisdom/ gold eggs. Also the great speakers were amazing and the amount I was able to do in 15 days completely amazed me.
– Roshan Raju,
The biggest lesson for me was the hike to ‘Nagtibha’. On the way many of my friends were at the verge of giving up but constant motivation and a little pushing made them believe in themselves and complete the hike.
– Naren Kalra,
I got rid of nervousness. I have gained confidence.
– Vidit Bhandari,
I’ve learnt team work, decision making, listening to people and also got over stage fright.
– Om Sudhir,
I learnt to be a leader who is generous, encouraging and holds the team together. I found answers to my personal queries.
– Shreyansh Jhalani,
I discovered many advantages of team work……… ‘We’ is more powerful than ‘I’. This programme helped me improve my communication skills.
A report by Dehradun based student, Soumya on her first summer school experience at Summer at Doon Leadership Programme 2014:
When I registered for the leadership camp, I honestly didn’t know what I was signing up for. I always knew that it would be fun because of the 57 candidates, but I never knew that the experience would be so exhilarating. If I had to define this summer programme in two words, they would be vividly colourful. Not only was this camp fun but it was also very enriching.
This programme was based on leadership. The members of Aspire India aimed to bring out the leaders in us through sessions and competitions on a daily basis. None of us were prepared for the routine that had been prepared for us. Firstly, all 57 of us were divided into two sections of 27 and 30 respectively. Each section was further divided into two. These four groups were the groups that would compete with one another over a course of 15 days. After each competition the points acquired by the team would be added and the team with the highest points would be presented with a trophy on the closing assembly.
The word competition doesn’t fit well here. I would rather call them challenges. Challenges that we overcame with great difficulty, but at the end of each one, we were proud to have learnt something new. After each challenge I felt like a new leadership quality had been instilled in me.
Our main source of learning was the two hour long sessions held thrice a day. They were held in the form of a Socratic Dialogue. One would expect them to be monotonous but luckily they were not. I learned the art of fast decision making by doing a number of case studies. I got rid of my fear of standing and speaking up.
Amidst our schedule, we managed to indulge in diverse activities ranging from putting up a revised Mahabharata play to something as adventurous as rafting. Besides, showcasing our intellectual abilities we got to show our athletic skills when we were taken to Rashtriya Indian Military College and were expected to do a rigorous military obstacle course. Not only did the obstacle course test our stamina but also a range of swimming based activities held on our day of ‘Water Olympics’ , tested the strength of our agile athletes.
Leaving the luxuries of cement and civilization, we went out and camped on the premises of the ‘snow leopard resorts’. We were staying adjacent to “Sapera Basti” where we were given the privilege of doing social service. Our social service project was a rather rigorous one. We had to construct a house using recycled plastic bottles filled with sand. These bottles would serve as bricks of the house. Doing community service gave me a sense of joy and accomplishment because I feel that contributing to the masses in any way we can is the way to righteous living. We concluded our three night adventure with a grueling trek to ‘Nag Tibba’. We went to ‘Navdhaniya-organic farms’ and got a taste of how difficult it is to be a farmer and feed the teeming millions of our nation. People leaning towards the media got an opportunity to make short films on leadership or social issues.
After gaining intellectual enlightenment, our communication skills and soft skills were developed. I can see an all-round change in my attitude and personality. I am much more comfortable in my speech. Honestly I feel like o came out of my shell and discovered many hidden talents within me.
Who knew that I could become such great friends, almost like family, with a bunch of teenagers over a short period of 15 days. One of our soft skills sessions, I was so touched when I heard my fellow students give their life stories. I found out that each one of them was fighting their own battle and suddenly they all began to inspire me even more than they already did. Everybody in that room had shed tears after patiently listening to others. That one afternoon in June is etched in every fiber of my being.
With a truck load of knowledge and memories it was one of the best journeys I ever embarked upon. A journey to be a Leader.
Summer at Doon: ‘We don’t want to leave’.
‘The Service project started during the Summer at Doon programme of building a house using plastic bottles is complete and is handed over to the family. The joy of the family is worth seeing. The family is very grateful to the school.’
The above quote comes from the Head of Social Service and Social Responsibility, Mrs Amrit Burrett.
The first quote comes from the students on the last night of the programme. Mission accomplished.
Feedback from the 60 students that attended the school’s first Summer at Doon Leadership Programme has been very encouraging to read. Forty schools, from the majority of states many from Chennai and Mumbai were represented and almost exclusively day schools. The most popularly rated activities included the social service project and the trekking and adventure. These were the two elements that almost all students had had no experience of in their current and largely day schools. Here is what some of the students have said:
Khrushi from Delhi: ‘ I decided to apply for this programme because I wanted a break from everyday life. I also loved The Doon School. I have learned how to be patient, how to handle crisis situations. I have learned that I have a lot of will power and strength that I used to do the tasks given to us’
Malaika from Mumbai: ‘ I applied on recommendation from a student from The Doon School. I thought it would be a good idea to step out of my comfort zone. I have learned to be open with people and adapt to uneasy situations.’
Prakriti from Jamshedpur: ‘ I wanted to broaden my horizons, meet new people and learn about what leadership actually is. I have learned that the team is more important than you, always push yourself and give your best. Leadership is not a dinner party or a gala, it’s actually quite tough stuff’.
Devanshi from Chennai: ‘ I have learned that everyone has leadership qualities’.
Shreyansh from Jaipur: ‘ What I have really learned is what it really feels like to be a leader. It’s a person who motivates others. He encourages them and leads them. I found several answers to my personal questions’.
Najeeb from Srinagar: ‘ I wanted to become more confident and know myself.
Vidit from Udaipur: ‘ I wanted to know about leadership, to have fun outdoors and to get rid of nervousness. I have gained confidence and know how a leader should be and that it takes a lot of hard work to be a leader’.
Summer at Doon 2015…
Watch the website and this space for more details which are coming soon…