Monday, May 4, 2015

Nainital- YRS Conference

Young Round Square (YRS) Conference India and Gulf Regional Conference was held in Nainital this spring.  Woodstock had 6, 11 and 12 year old students represent them.  Mark Windsor and myself were the chaperones.  Nainital is a hill station similar to Mussoorie, the difference is their lake.  

Opening night, students were required to wear their school uniforms.  Woodstock students came up with their uniform.

The conference was held at All Saints College, an Indian girls school for grades 1 through 12.  Part of my education at the conference was to see an Indian school.  At the opening ceremony, our group walked in at the back of the auditorium down the main isle to our assigned seats.  If I had had my eyes closed, I would not have know that the auditorium was filled with 500 All Saints students, it was so quiet.  The All Saints students were all in uniform, sat respectfully, and even their applause was in unison.  When they left, they walked in straight lines, 2 by 2.  As I passed students, I was greated with a, "Good morning, ma'am " or "Good afternoon, ma'am"  "How are you, ma'am."  The students are held to high academic standards.

 Botanical gardens.

 High tech lock at botanical gardens.

Displays in need of help at botanical gardens.

 At the conference, there were 2 environmental speakers.  We heard about musk dear, and the Himalayan environment.  The first speaker spoke about poaching of musk dear, and the need to have musk dear farms to increase the population.  She also included an anecdote about how a musk dear died because it was so sad.  The second speaker was a bit better with science, but included photos of poached animals (headless elephants), and people who had died in a factory fire.  He also was a bit bigoted toward Americans as he spoke of our consumerism as an indication that we are not good environmental stewards.

Students met in small groups after listening to each speaker.
Activism march through Nainital.

The students had some activities around Nainital.  We walked through the botanical gardens, explored some caves, participated in a activism march, tried to see the white capped mountains, ate lunch at the old boat club, and played basketball (the rain kept us off the lake).

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