Saturday, 23 February 2013



Feb 18-22, 2013: Thanks to the initiative of their College Principal, Dr. Perpetua Machado, a hundred and twenty Final Year Students were able to have a 'M.A.D' venture at Don Bosco, Karjat. The program was coordinated by Fr. Glenford Lowe, Director DBYS together with a high powered team of Salesians - Fr. Xavier Devdas, Fr. Cleophas Braganza, Fr. Anthony Charles and Bro. Renold Lemos. Fr. Xavier, Director of DB Karjat welcomed the first batch of sixty students and promised them a 'Camp with a Difference'. He introduced all the guest speakers and animators of the various sessions.
Fr. Glenford Lowe began the first session with an invitation to 'set one's perceptions' on what is important rather than what is superficial. "What you see, if what you get", he kept repeating. "Once we adopt a 'perceptive change', only then will we embark on a 'procedural change' too", he added. Through a variety of introspective moments, life changing testimonies and group sharing, the young students were able to see the 'M.A.D' program in a better light and readily launched into it from the very start. 
In the afternoon, the students were taken on an 'Eco tour' by Fr. Xavier. "No one is useless and there is wealth in trash", he insisted. The students got a first hand knowledge on the importance of a sustainable and Eco friendly enterprise and environment in all that we undertake. "The passion of Fr. Xavier, his creativity and his strength of focus is really inspiring", commented a young student who learnt a lot from this two hour session.
The students were in for a total surprise when they were invited to the playground for a round of Baseball and Square ball. The screams and ripples of laughter were clear signs of an enjoyable and relaxed moment together. Thanks to Fr. Charles and Bro. Lemos for initiating this in the program. The setting sun generated a fitting landscape to the close of a wonderful day.
The session that followed 'Living Your Life by a Value Compass' was animated by Fr. Glenford Lowe. Through the use of a PowerPoint program, powerful video clips, inspiring songs and  fascinating role models, he challenged the students to live a meaningful and purposeful life that was directed by a Value compass. Get MAD about your life and time and Make A Difference in all that you do and are. Using his own personal testimony of 'Kidney donation' he inspired the students to make a worthy contribution to society and to leave a lasting legacy.
The 'journey' metaphor was the theme for the entire day. The students were invited to make journeys  into the various landscapes of self, others, the world and God. The 'M.A.D' program brought the spirit of adventure in all....leaving behind their inhibitions of being a 'Quitter' or a 'Camper', the young students ventured to scale the Karjat peak in the early hours of the morning. Breathing in the fresh morning air and accompanied by the chirping of the birds they marched up the peak. "Never had I undertaken anything like this since my school days", exclaimed an excited climber. 
The second part of the day's journey was into the landscape of one's own life - in relation to self, others  the world and God. "The Labyrinth Garden experience was an opportunity of a life time. Thank God I did it well", said an emotional student. Going through the inner journey and the outer journey enabled most of the students to calm down, to take a look at the bustling nature around, to let go of unwanted worries, to forgive the difficult people and experiences of the past, to dwell in the presence of the divine, to look at oneself in a new perspective, to promote life and to leave a prayer of blessing and lasting legacy for all to see. The inner change experienced was worth the silence.
In the afternoon, they took time to do some team building exercises through the sessions conducted by Fr. Cleophas and Bro. Lemos. The students were able to analyse, discuss and work in teams to bring home the values of team building and understanding one another through the daily choices they make. After tea, the students were in for a bigger surprise, they began to pitch tents the scout style!!! In a few minutes, an entire camp site was set up and then... 'too many cooks didn't spoil the broth' was interesting to see the campers get the act together, with limited resources and facilities, they prepared a delicious meal for all.
The day ended with a lively camp fire organized by Bro. Charles and Bro. Lemos. Fr. Glenn took the time to enlighten the students on some 'star gazing' too. Disco time wrapped up the day on a happy note. Thanks to all the facilitators and the staff and students of Don Bosco - Karjat for going out of their way to make this program a truly 'M.A.D' venture for all. Thanks also to the teachers of Nirmala Niketan who accompanied the students all through these refreshing camp days.
 Given below are a few comments by the students about the 'M.A.D' Venture:
"Mad Adventure - a thoughtful presentation" -  Sadaf
"Superb, great experience and the sessions too" -  Kanika
 "We feel great...connecting with all these settings and ourselves think about our past, our present and our future... had a great time" - Laveena S

"The sessions were beautiful and touching and close to the heart and soul. The Value session was amazing! thank you so much for all the sessions" -  Tanvi Jain
 "All the sessions were really nice and adventurous. The labyrinth garden was an excellent one." Nidhi TY HD
"Amazing experience...I got a lot more than my initial expectations...the time given for self reflection and God brought me out of darkness..." - Larrisa DMello
 "MAD experience was really awesome...and the labyrinth experience was just marvellous" - Unnati G. Maru

" MAD was an opportunity to forgive and forget the past in which we suffer... the best of moving forward in life..thank you for all this" -  Sonali R
 "I thought it would be really difficult to see myself in reality..I am glad I found time for my self during the labyrinth garden experience. Thank God I took it seriously or I would have missed out on a great opportunity" - Zoya

Congratulations to all the students of Nirmala Niketan for participating in this M.A.D Venture, a camp with a difference. I pray God's blessings on your studies and on your future endeavors too.
May your experience at Don Bosco Karjat be the start of a new journey toward wholeness and a meaningful life for all. Fr. Glenford lowe

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