I finally got chosen to lead the group and it is then when I finally realized what leadership truly meant.
Bhavna in 2010
Having seen my cousins make their annual trips to one of the adventurous expeditions of NWE, it had always been one of my most sought after things that I wanted to do when I grew up. Since I couldn’t attend them due to my age, the trip had always held my envy, for my cousins used to come back from those with countless stories, inside jokes and pictures, and I had none. So when I reached the ripe old age of 8 years old, you could understand my excitement. I could finally be part of the gang, be part of the yearly adventure that my cousins could just not stop talking about and have my own set of escapades to cherish and remember.
For me the trip had always been about its tangibles, the going out without having my parents keeping an eye out on me, the adventure sports that I would be part of and the new friends that I would make. However, when I look back on my time spent, having been part of 4 such expeditions, the camps hold so much more on a personal level. Apart from giving me the experiences of a lifetime, they have given me so much. NWE and the people it constitutes of and the people I’ve met along the way, form such a big part of who I am today. They have given me the confidence to believe in myself, trust my instincts and the ability to hold my own against different people I encounter along the way.
Other pictures from 2010
One instance that would always stay in my memory is my quest to become a leader at one of the camp activities ever since I first was part of it. Even during my first trip, when I was the youngest of the lot and the camp instructors were picking out teams and assigning leaders, I remember I could just not understand why I couldn’t be one. I felt I was capable enough and I could handle all these people, but alas they did not feel the same and hence I wasn’t chosen. Even during my second and third stints, I felt experience and familiarity would play a part and I would be the chosen one then. As luck would have it, I wasn’t leading even then. It is in my 4th and final time, I finally got chosen to lead the group and it is then when I finally realized what leadership truly meant. First, I believed it is something that involves having control over others, directing and leading from the front. But with the experiences I had at camp and seeing the people there conduct themselves, I realized it is so much more. Leadership begins with yourself. It is more about having control over yourself before controlling others and leading by example. The true gift of leadership is when others elect you and I was pleased to experience that at my final year at NWE. When I look back now, it is something that I could only have learned at NWE. If I would have become the leader at the first go, I would never have understood what leadership stood for. It is thanks to Sir and his team, and the atmosphere the whole event creates that I was able to fathom that it doesn’t matter if we identify ourselves as a leader or not, it is only when others see you as one is when it truly matters.
Other pictures from 2010
Come to think of it I still fall back upon my learning’s and experiences from those days till now. Whenever I’m in a situation that is difficult or when I’ve to encounter my fears, my experiences from those days always help me move forward. The camp involvement has made me more self-sufficient. Moving to a big city like Mumbai and being in an extremely competitive college like Narsee Monjee, life sometimes gets difficult and the situation a bit too cut throat for my liking. It is during times like these when my past comes to play and the things that I learned at camp, being asked to do everything on your own, taking care of everything around you and being responsible for your own well-being, come to my advantage and I am able to deal with my life in a much better manner.
Even though the camps were a predominantly outdoor experience, I could always find myself using the same learning’s indoor as well. At the camp, we had to make good of what we were given with, and utilize the limited resources available to the maximum. We were often in situations that required us to think on our feet, and all those experiences constantly help me when I’ve to manage my life away from home or deal with the complexities of college life. My past experience has helped me manage my finances better, appreciate my surroundings more and made me more thankful of the relationships that I’ve made, all of which has contributed towards my self-development and personality enhancement.
So, if anyone ever asks me what I took back from the entire process, I will only tell one thing. The journey of self-discovery and fulfillment that you attain through the whole practice, the learning’s that stay with you for a lifetime and the experiences that make you what you are today, make it an experience of a lifetime. And for that, I’ll forever be thankful to Sir and his team.
A note to the alumni: If you would like to get in touch with your batch mate Bhavna Johar or would like to acquire more information on Narsee Monjee, do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org