Wednesday, 27 February 2013


15th to 19th January 2013: A report by Anuj Saraf, Award Participant

Kudremukh is located in Karnataka and it is approximately 10 hours by road from our school, Sarala Birla Academy. The trip lasted for four days from 15th to 19th January. Our journey began early morning on the 15th of January via bus.  We reached our destination by late evening and we were then briefed about our itinerary for the next 4 days. Our stay was planned in a guesthouse of a person living in that locality. The land was around 60 acres in size and had various facilities like a number of rooms, a volleyball court and a huge area where tents could be pitched. There were two Swiss tents also, to accommodate seven people each. The main attraction was a small river-cum-lake, which acted as an amazing rejuvenating place for the students after the tiring treks. The 1st night in Kudremukh was full of jokes and discussions - and our adrenal rush began with the lighting of the campfire.

The second day had a lot in store for us. Our day began with a 6 o'clock rouse, followed by breakfast at 7 am. The treks began at 8 am and this was indeed a lifetime experience. We were told that water would be our best friend during the treks and this suggestion was true. People with extra water shared their asset with the rest of the grade mates - and we learnt the importance of resource management! At around 5:30 pm we returned to our base, quite tired. Then we freshened up, had our evening tea and played some volleyball matches till dinner. After we were briefed about the next day's programme, we ate a hearty dinner and then called it a day.

On the third day, the 60 students were divided into two groups of 30 students each. One group headed for the waterfalls while the other group had various team building activities. The group that went to the Soothanabbi waterfalls had an amazing time in the chilled water for two hours. Then they had their lunch by the waterfalls and finally went to a sunset point to click photographs. The second group participated in a number of activities like river crossing, high rope activities, team building activities like magic turtle, filling the bottle with a sponge, ball between two people and volleyball.

On the fourth day, the two groups switched their activities and thus all the students got to enjoy both the waterfalls and the team building activities. We also spoke to the elders of the host family that night, as it was our last night with them. We were given a warm invitation to visit again whenever we wanted.

Next morning, after thanking the host family, we boarded the buses back to school at 9 am. We reached school with loads of stories and fun-filled memories.  To sum it up, the trip was full of adventure, thrill and excitement. United we stay and divided we fall - that is how this trek had functioned throughout. My ability to meet challenges was tested and I progressed in various new roles. I would like to thank Mr. K.S. Biradar, Mr. John Das, Mr. Rajat Sabarwal, Mr. Jagdish Joshi, Mr. Upadhaya and Mr. Subrojeet and last but not the least Mr. Karthik and Mr. Sudip Mukherjee for organizing this trip. Click for more photos


21st - 22nd February 2013 at Award Training Centre, New Delhi

A two day YES Training Workshop was organized at NAA office, New Delhi on 21st and 22nd of February 2013. The workshop was attended by Award leaders of Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad (UP); Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, (Punjab); The Indian Public School, Dehra Dun (Uttarakhand); Amity International School, Gurgaon (Haryana); JMK International School, Pathankot (Punjab); Guru Nanak Public School, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi (Delhi); and Pathways World School, Gurgaon (Haryana).

Bivujit Mukhoty, Programme Manager along with Mr.Vivek Gaur, Ms.Jaya Tiwari, Ms. Surabhi Vaidya and Ms. Manya Gugnani facilitated the training to the delegates.

The workshop spread over two days was organized for training and developing mentors and volunteers to augment their potential as Award Leaders with enhanced skills and to help in exponential growth of the Award Programme in India. The workshop was an opportunity for the Award Leaders and Managers to engage and network in further social commitments.

The workshop comprised various theoretical and practical sessions for the participants. It unfolded challenges and opportunities, lessons and interesting activities for the participants, mentors, volunteers and leaders. The participants were introduced to the philosophy and the framework of the Award. The four sections of the Award - Skill, Physical, Recreation and Adventurous Journey, were effectively demonstrated through activities. This also provided a hands-on learning experience for all the participants.  Ankit Durga, a Gold Award Holder discussed the benefits of the Award and shared his experience through a presentation.

What is a YES model? How to effectively run the Award? What is the Brand Pack? What is the role of a volunteer and an Award Leader? All these questions were very effectively answered at the end of the workshop.  Click for workshop photos

Thursday, 14 February 2013


The National Award Authority is keen to involve Gold Award Holders and Participants in reaching out to schools and institutions across the country. Award alumni all over the world are involved in strategic planning and development of the Award in their own communities. 

Important events like the International Gold Event take place once every three years to bring international alumni together and share best practices. The next IGE is in South Korea in 2014. 

Additionally, all participants and Award Holders should approach the NAA for Volunteering and Internship opportunities. Schools may send across articles and write-ups by their students for publishing in The Award Weekly and Award India magazine. For more details please get in touch with us at .


As a space and science education center, Space Camp Turkey Offers:
  1. Customized Space Camp: 9 to 15 Years
  2. Space Camp + Robotics: 12 to 15 Years.

Programs at Space Camp Turkey focus on simulators to give participants the sensations of working and living in space. It takes 8 1/2 minutes to reach space, but years to prepare for a real mission. At Space Camp Turkey, we pack years of mission training into a 6-day programme. Through interactive, space-related simulations, youth learn about communication, teamwork and leadership in a dynamic, fun-filled environment.

Students’ Registrations are invited for Programs.

For Registration Contact: 0731-3919111/2222 or Mail to:, Visit:


1st to 5th April 2013

Training for Trainers (T4T) workshop for Asia Pacific Region has been announced from 1st to 5th April 2013 at Jain International Residential School, Bangalore. Asia Pacific Regional Programme Manager Mr. Rob Oliphant will moderate the workshop. The workshop will primarily focus on promoting and spreading the Award in the region and building up the relationships with the other like-minded organisations who are performing similar activities. The workshop aims at enhancing information about the role and responsibilities of trainers. Trainers will explore new training and learning skills, to equip young people with life skills and help in positive youth empowerment of the region. The workshop is for the trained Award Leaders from different Operating Units and the participation is through invitation only. Please get in touch with  Programme Team for more details.


To provide the various opportunities for Award Units, YES Centers and Award Holders, the NAA is working towards building an Alumni database. This will help us get in touch with potential candidates for international events and reach out to young people regarding the volunteering and internship opportunities available at the NAA from time to time. A Gold Award Completion Form has been developed that needs to be filled in by Award participants before submitting their Diaries and Record Books to their Award Leaders. A copy of the form is available online. All Award Units and Leaders are encouraged to make Gold Award participants fill in the form so as to become a part of the database and avail various opportunities. Please get in touch with the National Team for more details.  

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


"Rishikesh? Are you crazy? I've been there, like, a gazillion times and I'd rather stay home to chill out with friends!" was my friend's first reaction when I asked her if she'd go. Nevertheless, I was determined to grab the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

On the pleasant morning of 25th March 2012, an excited group of Vivekites departed for Rishikesh. There had been double the strength for the previous trip to Nahan but that didn't affect our high spirits - what could be better than four days on a school trip with so many friends and pure, unadulterated fun! When we reached our destination, we were thrilled to see our tents. As we explored the site, we were awed by the breath-taking landscape that surrounded us.

In the days that followed, we had loads of fun doing various activities like artificial rock climbing, learning to tie various kinds of safety knots, trekking, tent pitching, an exhilarating bike hike and the much awaited river rafting. We were surprised to see how we excelled in all the physical activities we'd never done before. Hooting and cheering for everyone even gave some people bad throats, but their enthusiasm made them continue nonetheless. River rafting was, by far, the best part of our adventure. What's more... a handful of us even dared to jump off a 25 feet high cliff during river rafting, and the experience is incomparable to any other.
The bike hike was indeed a lot of fun, despite the fact that most of us hadn't so much as touched a bicycle for the past couple of years! We were relieved to spend some time at the Gurudwara at Paonta Sahib; the surroundings were very calm and serene. There, we called home from the PCOs. I'd never been happier to hear my Dad's voice and got nearly choked up with tears!

We had a bonfire every night -something to look forward to after the physical challenge. On our last night, we sang to our hearts' content and the dinner was also exceptional. The best part - the lights out time was pushed from 10 pm to 11 pm!

So, all in all, this Adventours Journey was by far the best experience of our lives. Our last school trip couldn't have been any better; so much so that we'd all be ready to return there in a heartbeat. Going to Rishikesh had been the adventure of our lifetime - it was such a unique and fun-filled experience that it'll be a cherished memory forever.

But, as Henry Van Dyke says,

"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest, 
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."

click for more pictures


The National Award Authority organised an Award Training Camp at Tikkling Campsite of Rocksport at Aravali Hills, Haryana from 25th to 28th January 2012. The activities were supported by the Australian Sports Outreach Programme and the International Award for Young People. Sixty-five participants attended the camp for the first batch through ASOP partners NAZ Foundation and Magic Bus.

On 29th and 30th January 2013 a Special Project camp was also organised by NAA for Government Senior Secondary School, Jharsaintly Village, Haryana and Vivek Bharti School, Gurgaon at the Tikkling Campsite of Rocksport. Both the camps were for the Bronze and Silver level, with 67 participants.

Facilitated by Award Leaders and Trainers from the Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers and Rocksports, participants engaged in a range of adventure activities from Rock Climbing and Rappelling to Survival Course and River Crossing. Under the leadership of Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty, Programme Manager, Award Programme Foundation, 3 instructors from ICNL and 1 from Rock Sports conducted the training. This training programme helped participants to explore themselves through Camping, Trekking with Nature Study, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, River Crossing, Rope Obstacles, Self-cooking, Fair making, Tent pitching, Orienteering etc. The participants are introduced to the activities through theoretical classes followed by practical training and experience. This camp experience proved to be a great opportunity for the participants to learn from the nature. 

Click to view photographs of ASOP Partners Camp           

Click to view photographs of Special Project Camp


G D Goenka World School, Gurgaon, organized an Award Presentation Ceremony on 24th January 2013. The presentation took place at a special morning assembly in the school ceremonial courtyard. Certificates were awarded by Mrs. Neeta Bali, Head of the school. Thirty-one Award participants received the Silver Award, and five received the Bronze Award.

The Principal gave emphasis on taking part in programmes like the International Award for Young People to bring out the hidden talents of the students. Congratulating the Award achievers, she expressed the hope that the Award participants would continue to transform themselves positively towards being well rounded human beings. She also congratulated Vijayashree Pahal, the Award Leader for guiding and supporting the participants. Click to see the Award Ceremony photographs

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Students of Jodhamal Public School, organized MISSION-TAWI on the banks of the River Tawi. The entire exercise was to highlight the significance of rivers as our support system and nurtures of civilization. The river Tawi is dying due to the pollution on its bank. At Jodhamal Public School the youth brigade has taken on the onus to spread awareness for this noble cause of 'saving Tawi' and to make a difference.

The Award participants of Jodhamal Public School, Jammu took this opportunity to clean up Tawi river as a part of the community service of the IAYP (International Award for Young People). Jodhamal pioneered this award in J&K, being the first YES (Youth Engaging Society) Centre in the entire J&K. Under this programme the youth are encouraged to gain and give to the best of their abilities towards the society as a positive contributor.

Using gloves for self protection and a heart filled with service as their weapons the crusaders began their Endeavour of cleanliness under the guidance and supervision of the Award Leaders Ms. Shallu Rani and Ms. Simran Singh. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s why some people talk  about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner. To learn about Lisa’s book, “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” click here. This appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips
1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.
2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.
3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.
4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.
5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.
6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.
7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.
8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.
9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.
10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.