More than 300 students are attending the third annual Camp RAVEN, an educational winter camp, for school going children of the armed forces in Thimphu. Camp RAVEN is a noble project envisioned by His Majesty the King.
The acronym RAVEN stands for Responsibility, Adaptability, Valor, Educational, and Never Give Up Attitude. It aims to impart values and responsibilities to the students, through a fun based personal development, character building and life skills experiential learning activities and programs.
During the 12-day camp, the children of the armed forces are introduced to arts and crafts, painting, western dance, martial arts, like Judo, music sessions, soap and candle making classes, rock climbing, mass dancing, etc., taught by volunteers from Bhutan and Thailand.
According to the camp coordinator, Sonam Wangdi, the school going children of the armed forces are learning many new skills with the help of volunteers. The participants are taught the basics and sporting values of three sports, like badminton, football and basketball by the coaches from the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC).
One of the participants, 11-year-old Phuntsho Choden, a student in Chhoden Lower Secndary School, said that Camp RAVEN is helping her to identify some talents in her and grooming her skills.
In addition, she said that taking part in such a camp during the winter vacation helps her to utilize the holidays in a constructive way, and to further promote and enhance her abilities.
“I am attending this unique camp for the first time and it is very advantageous,” Phuntsho Choden said.
Another participant in the Camp RAVEN is 10-year-old Choki Dorji, studying in Taba Primary School, who is also taking part in the camp for the first time.
He said that he has the opportunity to experience and learn new things which are not taught in the schools. He said that he hopes to participate in Camp RAVEN every year and learn the skills that are taught by the resource persons during the camp.
Meanwhile, Tshering Yangchen, 19, studying in one of the Rigzhung institute in Thimphu said that Camp RAVEN is very educational and informative. She said that students can spend their vacation in garnering new skills.
“The camp not only helps us learn new things, but also helps us in building positive attitudes,” she said.
Many students say Camp RAVEN helps to showcase their talents and to groom them further. Camp RAVEN was first launched on January 9, 2012 with 200 school-going children of the armed forces. The second camp saw 338 students. The third Camp RAVEN started on December 18 and is scheduled to end on December 29.