Inventuring Week

When I first set foot in the halls of Inventure Academy, it's safe to say I was a nervous-wreck. Starting 9th grade in an all new school in an all new city can be quite a nerve wracking experience. As I first entered the class that would soon come to be one of my favorite places, I saw hoards of excited students gathering around one another, chattering and yelping like infants on caffeine. For a new student, however, the sight could not have been more intimidating. I was in their territory now and I hadn't the faintest clue about what to do.
Fortunately for me, Inventure is not like most other schools. They do not believe in getting right down to business at the beginning of the year. Instead, they give their students, especially the new ones time to adapt or re-adapt to their school environment rather than plunging them back into the daily grind. Thus, was born the idea of 'Inventuring', a week of school filled students getting to know each other via fun activities, usually involving the undertaking of a large art project. The idea behind a project of this sort is that students can see the progress they are making, plan ahead and be rewarded with the satisfaction they feel at the completion of their given task. Students are provided with a wide variety of possible projects and are given the opportunity to chose the one that most appeals to them. Last year, we had options such as- building a birdhouse, painting a mural, decorating a garden etc. I chose to build a birdhouse and was grouped with 10 other students from different grades, who were to do the same. Though it seemed like the easiest of the projects when I first chose to do it, building a birdhouse proved to be far from simple. It really did involve a lot of
planning, including what materials we needed, possible designs, and expert advice and help required. After we had a rough idea of how to go about our project it was time to get down to actually doing it. At this stage the realisation began to dawn on us that all the planning in the world could not have prepared us for the actual making of the birdhouse. Here is where our problem solving skills kicked in, desperately trying to avoid total failure we also realised the importance of working together and relying on one another to get the job done. By the end of the week, we miraculously found ourselves staring admiringly at our beautiful, completed birdhouse. For me, that wasn't the only task I had accomplished that week. I had inadvertently made some great friends in the process and it felt great not to be the outsider looking in. Inventuring week culminates in a sleepover for students of grades 4-10 on the Friday of the week. The sleepover is always the single greatest part of Inventuring. Even being a new student who had known the people around her for just a week, the sleepover was an amazing experience. It exceeded all my expectations and left me wanting more. Whether it was staying up chatting till the sun came up or dancing in the courtyard till way past midnight, there was something for everyone. I went home the next day feeling for the first time like I belonged at Inventure.
I'm certain that even without Inventuring, I would have made friends in school over time. However that one week of school gave me exactly what I needed at the time. It helped to instil selfconfidence and a take-charge attitude in me as well as helping me figure out how to work in a team. Moreover, encouraged me to be creative and innovative and at the same time challenge myself and use all the skills I had gained over the years. Most of all, however, it ensured I had a great time and made some amazing friends and for that I will be eternally grateful to Inventuring. Now, over a year later, I still look back on my first Inventuring with the fondest of memories. 

Ananya is a student of Grade 10 at Inventure Academy, Bangalore. She can be contacted at
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