What you see
– Posters of adventure activities adorn the entrance of the Society for Promotion of Adventure and Nature Awareness (SPAN). Located in a residential area at Kuvempunagar in Mysore, the SPAN office is neatly done up. Several information pamphlets about adventure activity programs are visible on the wall.
What you get
– SPAN primarily works towards educating and involving youth in adventure activities in Mysore. Established in 1993 by Sridhar, an experienced trekker and nature lover, SPAN conducts and organizes interesting adventure sport activities like trekking, rock climbing, mountaineering, nature camps, rafting, weekend outing, cycle-tour, bird watching, zoo education, individual development and leadership workshops. The most intriguing is the rock climbing program, which includes orientation programs on weekends to Chamundi Hills, Kunthi Hills, Melukote Hills, Ramanagaram Hills and Antaragange Hills (all the hills are situated close to Mysore and a three-day package would cost about Rs. 4,000 per participant) and to Badami Caves in the Bagalkot district in Karnataka. Amongst other adventure activities, the most popular camps are the Himalayan trekking summer camps (during the months of April and May), which also include a 24-day trekking expedition for 40 participants at an approximate cost of Rs. 34,000 per person. SPAN has, in fact, organized more than 30, high-altitude trekking expeditions to the Himalayas to date. The trekking camps to the Western Ghats and other hill regions (during the months of October, December and April) are equally popular. In all, SPAN has conducted over 25 Himalayan camps and over 40 adventure and nature camps for children. Sridhar even shows us an album of photographs of children, in the age group of ten and 18 years, who are seen to be enjoying various adventure activities.
Although SPAN is based in Mysore, it also caters to youngsters from other cities (but parents are not allowed to accompany their kids to these camps). The duration varies from a day to three-to-five days and 24 days. A professional team of guides (who are also seasoned trekkers), paramedical staff and a manager accompany the children. SPAN caters for boarding and lodging, and provides vegetarian meals at the campsite. However, participants need to carry their own personal adventure activity gear. SPAN also has accident insurance schemes for these camps.
Interestingly, SPAN also has a well-stocked library with over 5,000 books (both in Kannada and in English). These range from fiction to non-fiction on various topics like tourism, adventure, Indian flora and fauna, maps, personality development and self-help, management, travelogues, computer and general reading. There is also a section for kids’ books and magazines.
– SPAN is an ideal place for kids who like adventure activity. MetroMela also thinks that the summer camps conducted by the center are a healthy way for city-kids to spend their vacations because SPAN not only provides an opportunity for adventure activity but also creates awareness about the activity, providing a closer exposure to nature at a young age. The center has an experienced team, which follows a professional approach while conducting an adventure activity. The library too is a storehouse of information and knowledge. SPAN has ample parking space near the office.
– 10 AM – 3 PM
By Sachin Somanna