13 - 16 October 2019, Venue - Maldevta Farms
“A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
- John C. Maxwell
The Doon School Round Square Leadership Training Program was an unforgettable and enriching experience for the DAIS delegates. During the four days of the conference, the delegates interacted with a large group of 85 delegates representing 14 different schools all over India. All activities, speeches, and sessions conducted over the four days were aligned to the theme of the programme - ‘Leadership’.
On day one the delegates took an early morning flight from Mumbai and reached Dehradun by afternoon. They then headed to the hotel Boulevard and after having a quick lunch they proceeded to The Doon School. A renowned boarding school for boys, the campus is spread over an area of 73 acres. After a tour of the vast school campus, all the delegates assembled in the multi-purpose hall. Miss Anez Katre (ANK) spoke to all the delegates about the six IDEALS of Round Square (Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership, and Service) and highlighted the significance of Leadership. This was followed by an interactive ice-breaking session in which the delegates got introduced to other delegates from various schools.
The group-based activities helped the delegates make new friends and understand the importance of teamwork. After another short briefing by Miss Anez, all the schools left for their hotels, where they all got ready for the Head Master’s dinner which was hosted at The Doon School. They returned to the hotel after an exhausting day and rested well for the upcoming day.
On day 2, the delegates woke up early, had breakfast and then left with their bags for The Doon School. From there all the schools left for Maldevta farms, the venue for the Leadership Programme, situated on the outskirts of Dehradun.
Surrounded by mountains on all sides with birds chirping to the gushing sounds from the river Saung - The Maldevta Farms was a perfect venue the delegates would cherish for a lifetime. Tents were allotted with each tent comprising of three student delegates each from a different school.
The delegates were divided into 4 groups namely - The Black Panthers, The Wolf Pack, The Vikings, and AIMS. Each team was then assigned two activities for the day. The outdoor activities included - Rock Climbing, Exploring Sulphur Caves, Slithering, and a Leadership Session. Each of these Outdoor activities helped enrich them in several ways. Rock climbing - it taught them that a good leader must be able to motivate and inspire his group, encourage a never give up attitude and work along with his team mates to achieve their goal together. Exploring the sulphur caves that were bat and frog infested, helped the delegates explore the Round Square IDEAL - Adventure enables the delegates overcome their phobias. Slithering activity helped delegates overcome acrophobia - a fear of heights
The Leadership session conducted by Ms. Anez Khatri emphasized the importance of teamwork. The delegates played games in which each team had to build a perfect square using rope, but the whole team was blind folded. After these activities they assembled in the main field where Mr. Ramesh Prasad Badoni, the Keynote Speaker of that day spoke to them about climate change and ways to prevent it. After that, the delegates witnessed two different plays - ‘Lachma’ (लछमा) and ‘Ek Hai Pruthvi, Ek Thi Gaura’ (एक है पृथ्वी, एक थी गौरा), which highlighted current affairs in the country. After dinner, the delegates went for an adventurous Night Trek on a nearby hill.
Day 3 - The next day the delegates woke up early in the morning, for a group photograph wearing T- shirts given by the host school. After a quick photography session, the outdoor activities and leadership discussions continued. This was followed by an address by Mr. Supritam Basu, a faculty member of the English Department at The Doon School. His speech highlighted the criteria for one to become a successful leader. He also shared information on the different types of leadership prevalent around us. Next was the session where every participating school presented their cultural performance that evening. There were a great variety of performances, from Punjabi Bhangra dance to skits that were enjoyed by the group. Post dinner, there was an enthusiastic JAM Dance session enhanced with multi-colored disco lights and loud party music which kept everyone dancing for a couple of hours.
Immediately after waking up the next morning, the delegates were briefed about the treasure hunt being conducted. The treasure hunt was hosted outside the property of the Maldevta Farms. The delegates were divided into 3 groups and each group was given a list of places located in the city of Dehradun which they needed to visit - The Police Chowki, the Mangrove Temple, and The Shopping Arena - with the help of a compass and some directions. The treasure hunt also required river crossing which was a new experience for many delegates. Surprisingly, the Black Panthers placed first even after they lost their compass into the river. The main reason for their victory was that they didn’t give up and continued the trail to accomplish their goals. The Leadership Programme was concluded with a Closing. Ceremony and certificate distribution. Delegates then said good-bye to one another and left for their journey back home.
This was an experience that none of the delegates would ever forget.