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Fun in the sun

Friday, March 26th, 2010
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Initiative Outdoor, an adventure company that specialises in ‘experiential education’ targeted primarily at young Nepalis, led students from Ullens School on a daytrip to Manjushree Park for games and cave exploration.  (PHOTOS: FOO CHEE CHANG)

 The students arrived and were gathered in front of an abandoned cement factory, forced by the locals to shut down in the past due to over-pollution.

The students gather in front of an abandoned cement factory, forced to shut down by the locals due to over-pollution.

 Before any of the activities began, the students were tasked to clear the grounds of litter. This is a reflection of Initiative Outdoor’s adherence to a ‘leave no trace’ policy, in that nature and the environment should be preserved while being enjoyed.

Before the activities began, the students clear the grounds of litter. This is a reflection of Initiative Outdoor’s adherence to a ‘leave no trace’ policy, in that nature and the environment should be preserved while being enjoyed.

Chandra Ale, founder of Initiative Outdoor, and himself an adventure athlete with many years of experience. His work as an instructor with the prestigious National Outdoor Leadership School in the United States keeps him up to date with the latest in the field, including techniques and safety.

Chandra Ale, founder of Initiative Outdoor, has worked as an instructor with the prestigious National Outdoor Leadership School in the United States keeps him up to date with the latest in the field, including techniques and safety.

 These boys attempt to pass looped ropes around a closed circle of their peers. Games such as this require communication and teamwork to complete, values which are reinforced by the instructors at the end of each activity.

These boys attempt to pass looped ropes around a closed circle of their peers. Games like this require communication and teamwork to complete, values which are reinforced by the instructors at the end of each activity.

In ‘Toxic Waste’, a group attempts to carry a bucket filled with water out of a restricted area without spilling any of it or directly using their hands. An elastic ring connected to ropes is what they have to use.

In ‘Toxic Waste’, a group attempts to carry a bucket filled with water out of a restricted area without spilling any of it or directly using their hands. An elastic ring connected to ropes is what they have to use.

Ensuring that everyone’s index fingers are always in contact with the ‘Magic Stick’, the group has to lower it to the ground. Add more to the group and the task gets exponentially harder.

Ensuring that everyone’s index fingers are always in contact with the ‘Magic Stick’, the group has to lower it to the ground. Add more to the group and the task gets exponentially harder.

Studying the ‘Spider Web’ before attempting to cross it. The catch is that each outlet may only be used once and the ‘web’ cannot be touched.

Studying the ‘Spider Web’ before attempting to cross it. The catch is that each outlet may only be used once and the ‘web’ cannot be touched.

A young participant takes a break.

A young participant takes a break.

ll decked out in safety helmets and headlamps and ready to explore the caves. Safety is of paramount importance to Initiative Outdoor and enforced strictly.

All decked out in safety helmets and headlamps and ready to explore the caves. Safety is of paramount importance to Initiative Outdoor and enforced strictly.

Gone caving. A trip through the caves at Manjushree takes about a 45 minute to an hour effort of walking, climbing and crawling. While it can be physically taxing, the feeling upon completion is, as these youngsters will tell you, satisfying.

Gone caving. A trip through the caves at Manjushree takes about a 45 minute to an hour effort of walking, climbing and crawling. While it can be physically taxing, the feeling upon completion is, as these youngsters will tell you, satisfying.

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