In one of the oldest traditions of Edwardes College, the 1st-Year Hostel students were taken on a three-day trip to Bara Gali in the foothills of the Himalayas this year from Friday through Sunday, 21-23 October 2011. About 80 students participated in the community-building trip, and a good time was had by all despite the weather being chilly and rainy.
The annual trip is organized as a way to help students understand one another and the direction of Hostel administration. The bulk of the group’s time was spent at the summer campus of the University of Peshawar at Bara Gali, but visits were also made to Nathia Gali and Ayubia National Park, where students rode the aerial chair lift and walked the pipeline from Donga Gali to Ayubia.
A highlight of the gathering was a student talent show Saturday evening, which featured comic routines and parodies of College staff, including Wardens and Principal, and serious offerings of Pashto and Urdu poetry and popular song. The talent show was coordinated by Hostel Warden Changez Khan, and new Warden Noor Jamal recited poetry. On the lighter side, Principal Titus Presler and his wife Jane performed a whistling duet.
Senior Warden Naveed Ali guided the overall trip effort, which used a College bus and other vehicles, and he was assisted by Warden Taj Masih as well as by Changez and Noor.
The camp ordinarily features activities such as hiking, sack race, three-legged race, and the most important campfire followed by dancing, but some of these activities were curtailed this year by rain. Students and staff stayed in the summer campus dormitories. As in the past, members of a particular cooking family were hired from Murree to provide the group with nan ki roti at all meals!
Students are encouraged to participate in the camp from the start of the academic session. They are cautioned to bring warm clothes, sports shoes and other accessories required for the camp. With this year’s revival of the prefect system, all the Hostel Prefects accompanied the wardens to assist them during the camp.
Bara Gali is located on the Abbottabad-Nathia Gali-Murree Road about 30 kilometres from Abbottabad at an altitude of 7,700 feet above the sea level. Spread over an area of 60 acres, it is a beautiful spot among dense forests and tall mountains, and ordinarily it has a very pleasant climate. It has been the summer campus of Peshawar University since 1965.