Seven Roads Junction, PO Box 25, Kodaikanal 624 101, Tamil Nadu, India tel: (91) 4542 247 500 fax: (91) 4542 241 109 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
KIS Hiking & Camping Program
The KIS Hiking & Camping program at Kodaikanal International School gives students and staff a chance to:
- see the surrounding countryside
- get away from school on the weekends
- learn to live in the out-doors
- get to know each other better in a relaxed setting
The "Hiking Season" begins in the first semester when staff and students participate in pre-arranged hikes set up and organized by the Hiking Coordinator with the goal of earning the coveted hiking award the "Tahr Pin". Those who earn a Tahr Pin are also eligible to go on the Tahr Camp – a special weekend camp during the second semester. All students are required to do some hiking while at KIS and to attend their class camps.
The best of Kodai and the Palani Hills, the views, waterfalls, wildlife and jungles are all beyond the confines of the school campus and town. Few schools offer such a spectacular opportunity. Hiking also provides a break from the community, good exercise and a change of pace. Students are encouraged to sign up for shorter hikes at the start of the semester to familiarise with the area around Kodai and get a taste of the vistas and countryside that longer hikes offer. The longer hikes are the most spectacular to experience the wilderness environment of the Palani Hills region of South India.
In 1994, KIS acquired 92 acres of wilderness campus at a rural location called Poondi. Poondi is in the nearby Palani Hills, 42 kms from Kodaikanal. Its purpose is to support an already well-established outdoor program known as the KIS Camping program.
Today, Poondi is surrounded by national reserve forest and remains in pristine environmental condition. It is currently used to provide:
- KIS Middle and High Schools field trips and practical experience relating to environmental concerns and student leadership training
- KIS Middle and High School outdoor experience programs as well as camps and hiking expeditions.
- KIS Alumni annual 'reunions'
- KIS staff and community families are often found quietly 'camping out'
In the future, KIS is aiming to take 'Camp Poondi' development into a new and exciting phase as an IB Middle Years and Diploma Program experiential learning campus and tertiary linked environmental research and outdoor education campus. It is anticipated that this will provide for a full one semester residential program for grade 9 students.