Piyush Khandelwal – Great Rocksport – Adventure Activity
A research organization based on adventures, Rocksport is working on identifying the novel uses of adventure activities and to help people find something new each time they go for such sports. Mr. Piyush Khandelwal is the co-founder of Rocksport and has a master’s degree in tourism. His love for adventure and nature helps people develop leadership skills and get rich experience going out on camps.
Mr. Piyush says that as a 16 year old young boy, he did not have a clear scene in mind and as “young boys wanted to do some fun work and hence started Rocksport.” Initially they “started with a lot of new uses of adventure sports.” In 2003-04 when S3 watches were launched, “we had the models ramp down a building in Connaught Place.” Similarly in 2007 when Vento car was launched, it was in Park Hotel and opposite it was the DLF Hotel. The car came down from the buildings of DLF hotel. “We experimented a lot and uses of adventure sports and games and what can be done.”They were also doing lot of corporate programs.
It was in 2007-08, they realized that they wanted to focus on kids. Now they work with only schools and have programs designed so that children not only get fun but also learn to a great extent. Rocksport has a few camp sites with a clear cut program of learning attached to it. A child when he learns mountain climbing, survival skills, skiing, rafting, and other activities. Rockfort has camp sites in and around Delhi for kids from KG to class 12. Rocksport also helps students undergo adventure sports inside the school premises. “Such schools invite us in their school campus and we set up the whole adventure camp in the ground for them. The kids go through the activities and get the feel of it.”
For outside school also Mr.Piyush says they are coming up with a camp site called Camp Comrade in Punjab and another in Haryana in partnership with Lovely Professional University. He says “this is going to be our first camp site in a college to develop leadership and management skills of students and outdoor learning centre for Lovely Professional University.”
Talking about camps overnight, Mr. Piyush says:
· can be a 4,8,12 or 24 hours program.
· If the camp site is near the city and one opts for 12 or 24 hour program, the kid can come at 7 am and return by 7 pm.
· The next option is if the camp site is not close to the city then they have 3 and 5 days program. They have such camp sites in Missouri or Nainital.
· So a grade one child can go for adventure activity for 4 hours and a grade 12 student goes to Nainital for 5 days program. Even nursery kids come for program with Rocksport.
· Schools divide the students class-wise and fix different programs with Rockfort.
· For a 3 night program the minimum number of students is 40 and maximum is 160 which depends on the campsite.
· Each camp site has different set of activities such as rock climbing, raffling, caving apart from raffling, mountain biking, survival skills and what to do during emergency.
Mr. Piyush talks about the safety and hygiene during camps and says safety-wise Rockfort is the premier in India and Asia. “We don’t just focus on catering to schools in India but also international schools like British Schools…we follow similar pattern which are otherwise followed internationally,” -right from using the right kind of equipment and instructors who are activity trained and through with their basic and advanced mountaineering courses. Refreshing courses are conducted twice in a year for all instructors, one in April and one in August. First aid course for instructors is done once in a year apart from communication skills. Safety norms are followed strictly. First aid kit is available at all times. All the camp sites have nurse and pack-up kit for evacuating in case of emergency. In case of emergency the child can be evacuated in 10 minutes to the nearest primary health centre. Doctors also would come to the camp. If children are coming from elsewhere, “doctors enroute are informed about the travel of kids…and they become active in case of bad situation on road.” Health and hygiene are strictly followed in menus designed by nutritionists in coordination with teachers as they know what kids love to eat. Sometimes it is tough to force kids to eat the food provided by Rocksport but they are taken to places where they can have their own menu. Each accommodation is washed once a day, washrooms twice in a day and campus are fumigated to clear all insects. The ratio of instructors to students is 1:8.
Rocksport gets calls from schools and they also contact them. They have done lot of workshops to teach parents on why outdoor education is important. When a child grows up in comfort, he will never have the opportunity to live in nature, wilderness, make their own meal or drink water from brooks. “We teach the parents about adventurous camps, how rock climbing will help children to be confident and how they will become emotionally strong.”Mr.Piyush says that many schools have made this a part of the curriculum.
Mr.Piyush is happy that last year 1.2 lakh students from 420 schools from North India participated in their program. The camps are very popular and many schools are coming forward. There are students who spend Rs. 25 thousand on air fare for the program. The instructors are trained to motivate the child and how to get them into action based on their nature. When a session of rock climbing is done for the kids and when they come back and give a hifi, it really motivates.
Rocksport conducts camps all through the year except July and August because they are rainy season. Each campsite has its own charge. In school camps can cost about Rs. 290 per child for 4 hours and overnight camp would cost Rs. 850. Meals and accommodation are taken care of. For a basic program of going out to campsites near the school in the morning and coming back by night, it would cost Rs. 300 and overnight camp will cost Rs. 1500. The camps at Nainital for 4 nights and 3 days will cost Rs. 7550. If students are coming from abroad, it will be about Rs. 14-15 thousand as it is a longer program and it does not include airfare.
Mr.Piyush says they “need support from people who are writing about education and incorporate the importance of outbound education in a child’s life and how it is going to change the outlook.”
He points out “most of the CEOs are adventurous or have detailed history of adventure sports as the adventure sports help achieve emotional quotient.” If directors of educational board or principals want to understand more, Rocksport is ready to give interviews.
He concludes that many prestigious schools in Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana are regularly dong programs with Rockfort and claims “the curriculum calendar is designed in helping adventurous sports year after year.”
For more information, please visit:
Great Rocksport Private Limited Head Office:
21, Level 2, Shivaji Marg,
Facing Rama Road,
New Delhi, 110015
Tel:+91 11 450 985 37/450 418 10
Helpline: +91 9311 398 050