Real lessons in management and team-work are not to be taught in a classroom – they are to be experienced, explored and then executed after integrating those lessons with one’s character. To provide a real-time opportunity for the same has been the motive of Symbiosis International University when they included an Out-Bound Learning programme as a mandatory event in the Academic Plan for the budding managers.
The students of the 2017-19 batch of SIOM started off with full vigour and energy on the morning of 17th June, 2019 to the picturesque Amboli village, approximately 25km off Nasik city. As music and dance erupted out in the buses carrying the students, Nature gifted them with an overcast day without letting the Sun power his might on them. As they walked on towards the spot arranged for them by Mr Sagar, a farmer by profession, pleasant silence and fresh air greeted them. After a small warm-up and breakfast, the students split themselves into batches of four, to the games organized by the faculties.
The Star Wars game hosted by Dr.Aditi Mishal taught the students the flexibility of targets and team building. The obstacle race under the supervision of Dr.Shilpa Parkhi taught them how the strongest and weakest links of a chain come into play in a team event, and how the stronger ones should support the weaker ones. The blindfolded Football provided a real time example of how important it is to trust your teammates, and why it is important not to be misguided by others’ instructions. The trust fall game conducted by Ms. Aasha Sharma taught them how important it is to trust one’s team mates. The next activity was; the sheep and shepherd hosted by Ms. Yashomandira Kharde taught them the importance of heeding to the right decisions alone, and the bonshui water relay race game taught them the importance of patience, and how to compensate for the mistakes of others in your team.
The ‘Protect your balloon’ challenge in the end proved to be the best lesson of all. Each person was given an inflated balloon and a toothpick to ‘protect the balloon’. As everyone went around bursting each other’s’ balloon, the teachers reminded them “you were not told to attack, just defend”. Thus the final lesson of the day – to listen to the right instruction in the right manner – was imparted.
The day also provided a platform for the fresher batch to make new acquaintances and to upgrade a few acquaintances to friends. Selfies, dance and DJ took the centre stage, and it took quite a long whistling session for the faculties to shepherd the students back to their buses around 7pm.