“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.”

Each travel, trek or trip needs an anchor and there are always a few, ethereal personalities around us that seem to catch our attention. Age has no bar in these circumstances. A viewpoint of a young girl who treads the path of glory in her own right. With her, we have our exemplary outdoor leader Lavanya who took up the challenge of passing on the baton of the trekking tradition to our future. Let us know what happened!

In the excerpt below you will be reading about a young damsel of 10, called Sanvi Charan from National Hill View School, Bangalore. Sanvi is an amateur trekker and loves badminton and drawing.

Let us hear what our very own Outdoor Leader Lavanya has to say about her trekking experience and the wonder girl Sanvi.

Rucha: What does Nature Walkers mean to you Lavanya?
Lavanya: Nature Walkers is my family. I was not aware of myself Nature Walkers recognized my strength, leadership qualities, and friendly nature and gave me an opportunity to lead trekking expeditions. Thanks to Manoj, Pavan, Amrita,  Hemant for giving me a good platform. I will always do my and best-representing Nature walkers.

Rucha: Does being an Outdoor Leader give you a high Lavanya? If yes, why?
LavanyaYes, of course, being an Outdoor Leader I have improved my communication skills, knowledge, independent decision-making, body fitness and also health.

Rucha: Tell us about the challenges that you have faced as an Outdoor Leader and a Trekker.
LavanyaI am prone to whizzing problem from my childhood days. Depending on the climate and the surroundings it varies and shows up in limited form. Daily exercises help me in trekking, so irrespective of the distance I am confident of completing my treks.
Also, I have seen a tremendous rise in my communication skills, the hesitation to interact and converse has reduced a lot. I communicate with everyone and also manage the group efficiently. It is a task to answer queries and motivate our trekkers at the same time. I have been doing that job very well now and can encourage people to complete the treks.
As a Nature Walkers outdoor leaders, we are already given good supplies of energy bars and juices to keep up our trekker’s energy. At times it gets difficult to implement the No Trace Policy or not to leave any waste behind on the mountains but we are also taking care of it with our very own Eco-Bags to discard waste, keeping our environment clean.

Rucha: Recently you took a little girl with you for a trek (alone), without her parents. Please narrate in brief how did you manage her and clear her doubts about trekking.
LavanyaAs Sanvi Charan was only 10 and we were all above 25, I thought that she won’t mingle with anyone. Surprisingly, on the 2nd day, she was talking to everyone and enjoying with them. Her parents believed in me & Nature Walkers and gave us her responsibility. Initially, I was a bit worried as this was her first trek and journey without her parents, but she coped up eventually.

While trekking she was enjoying the nature and was asking questions regarding Nature and Kudremukh trek. I was briefing her. After every 4-5 km, she was not willing to climb further, at that time I motivated her to climb, by sharing my trekking experiences with her. She used to tell “Aunty you keep on telling that only 20 min or 1 km to the peak but we are still not getting to the end point”. This is how we keep motivating everyone. At the same time, I was talking and handling all the people and making them enjoy the trek. At last, after reaching the peak she was incredibly happy by seeing the view from the peak, she took pictures and also shared the same with her parents as soon she reached the peak.

RuchaWhat was her parents’ idea to send her for the Kudremukh trek of about 22km that is challenging even for the adults?
LavanyaThe main idea of her parents was to see how independent, strong and social their daughter could be. Of course, it was a challenging 22 km trek, but they were confident that she could do that trek. 2 weeks prior to the trek they had trained her and took her to exercise daily.

RuchaHow did this little girl behave and take the challenge of the trek?
LavanyaShe was matured, whatever we told her she grasped quickly and implemented the same. As it was her first long-distance trek her legs were paining and she was getting tired. Therefore I made it a point to teach her climbing skills in steep places. I provided her ORS and fruits to have so that she’ll get energy for trekking. I kept on motivating her, that she can do it. She was asking about the mist timing, waterfalls origin, variety of plants, animals what time they come in trekking path, do animals attack us while we trek, about the trekking distance and how the peak Kudremukh got its name. In the end, she came out fearless.

RuchaWhat learning did Sanvi carry with her after the trek and why does she think it helped her?
LavanyaNothing is impossible in life, everything is possible when we take it as a challenge. She was extremely positive about pursuing trekking further, especially in her vacations and seemed very happy and motivated with the overall experience. Being strong, mentally than physically can help us achieve everything, right?

Stay Tuned to hear what Sanvi has to share!

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Rucha Khot

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