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AVG Camp 2017-Reflections

Walking into a week long of work, I never expected to grow so much, laugh so much, and quite frankly, care so much, about the work that surrounded me. For the past year, Games for Seva projects have always been kicked to the sideline, due to other priorities I had as a high school junior. I guess you could say that this week at AVG was a way to make a significant amount of progress, and “make up” for the delayed work. It is true, that during the camp, I was able to tie the ends on work that was ongoing throughout the past few months; however, we certainly made new progress as well. Besides doing the actual work to deal with a brand new game, brand new concept, new setbacks and solutions, this week was quite a start to the summer.

Going into this camp, I was already designated my group: Abhi, Vijay, and Aadya, the other rising seniors of the program. I knew them fairly well, since we had spent the months prior at each others’ houses, working on other games. However, I must admit, this week had a strong effect on all of our friendships, as I now consider them some of my best friends. In addition to the fact that our parents weren’t around and we had nearly total control of our actions, it was the independence we had to deal with, of waking up every day around seven in the morning (which was especially hard for Vijay, since he was used to his midnight to noon cycle of sleep), or meeting a deadline that Rathi Aunty had set for us, which allowed us to work together, complain together, and ultimately, achieve together.

This sense of collective progress we gained after the first few days brought us closer together, as well as rooming with one another (Haarika and I enjoyed many episodes of Netflix and constant joke time, while Aadya and I had some truly deep talks that allowed us to get to know each other better). Moreover, I instantly clicked with the bromance duo of Abhi and Vijay through our tastes in music, Binding of Isaac, and stargazing along the gazebo path. Moments like those are ones I’ll remember forever, and ones that will keep us all close.

Not only did I get closer to the people my own age, but with the younglings as well. Solving their prank war issues, watching movies until 3 a.m., or understanding the guy vs. girl drama was pure fun. It brought me back to the times, back in the day, when I was a young tween. Anyways, from this experience, one thing I have taken away is that laughter is one of the best ways to bring people closer together… and also complaining.

If you read this, I apologize, but Rathi Aunty, many of us were not a fan of your tree meditation at the thought of it, especially with mosquitoes swarming the AVG forests. However, after completing it, I had tons to write about, and noticed that the simple activity helped me realize a way in which I think. But back on the topic of laughter, another favorite moment of mine was the debriefing session at the very end of the camp, because of Abhi’s 10-minute laughing phenomena. That was a moment that should be recorded in every history book of all time, because who would’ve thought that a comment about temperature could make the day for a group of 20?

Now, every time I hear an opportunity to see the fellow members of my SwachGang, I become adrenalized, to reunite with my fellow companions, and make some more memories. It truly amazed me how much we were able to accomplish in just one week, but it couldn’t have been done without our fellow gang leaders, Madhu Aunty, Sudha Aunty, and of course, Rathi Aunty. Their continual efforts helped keep us on track in times of goofiness, yet be the coolest people ever and understand every joke we made. I honestly had one of the best times at this camp and am so thankful for this group. #SwachGang2k17 #PhatallionForever

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