The Nature Club of Wilson College - affiliated to the nature club movement of World Wide Fund for Nature - India (WWF), is one of the most active college based nature clubs in India. It has an annual membership of 500 members and reaches out to over 10,000 people a year through its activities. The Nature Club while having strongly committed to conservation believes that the fun element is necessary to have meaningful and sustained contribution by the young to the conservation efforts.
Nature Club - a co-curricular activity with a mission. As a co-curricular activity it offers opportunities to learn, to develop skills, use talents and have fun. As a mission it attempts to get the uninitiated to enjoy and care for nature, it attempts to spread awareness about the environment and undertake activities to nurture and help the environment regenerate.
The activities of the nature club include:
• Nature Trails:
A nature trail group has a maximum of 15 members with an instructor. A trail has parts where participants walk soaking in nature, parts where wonders are pointed out, parts where they discover sights and insights for themselves. The most active phase for nature trails is July to January, where one enjoys the best of monsoon as well as the pleasant onset of winter. The total group size varies from 45 to 70.
• Overnight Trails:
These are weekend outings which attempt to incorporate nature orientation inputs, including astronomy as well as the ability to visit wilderness areas a distance over 100 km from Mumbai. These trails include sessions, slide shows, nature conservation music and nature games along with forest walks in the night and nature trails during the day.
• Nature Camps:
Nature Camps - the wilderness activity most looked forward at - Twice a year in the vacations - a week, two-week long camp. These camps are organized for fifty students at highly subsidized rates at significant National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India. These camps are intensive education camps with inputs in Natural History through interactive and creative exercises, slide shows, panel discussion of issues, astronomy, conservation, lifestyles, action plan, nature music, nature trails and sometimes adventure activities.
• Conservation Activities:
Include tree planting, developing education material, snake shows amongst many others.
The annual exhibition involving the work of more than hundred volunteers (in 1997 it was over 175 volunteers) is nature club's most ambitious outreach programme. Every year for the past ten years the nature club exhibitions have reached out to over 7000 visitors annually. The exhibition simulate real life nature conditions. Every year the exhibition takes up a theme.
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