Lama Al Rajhi
So many families especially those with young children, had to struggle for the past two summers due to the Covid situation with so many lockdowns, summer traditions were turned upside down, outings and kids' summer programs were cancelled, and sun-filled days were snuffed out.
With everything returning to normal, it was time for families to let their kids experience the joy of the lost time in summer and challenge them to explore something new in the charming nature of Oman. These activities not only help the child physically but also allow them to discharge pent-up energy.
Omar bin Ahmed Al Busaidi is an Omani photographer and the author of Adventure Tourism in Oman. He and his team in “Wadi Adventure“organize a range of trips around mountains and wadis, including camping, hiking, exploring wadis, and distinctive tourist attractions in the Sultanate.
Omar being also a father has inspired his team to include special trips with exploratory adventures for children aged between 6 and 13; to promote outdoor activities for kids in Oman.
"Being an adventure lover and a father of a child who is passionate about exploring and experiencing new things has inspired me to join my child Hafs and kids his age with Wadi Adventures, especially during summertime creating a different experience for them,” Al Busaidi says.
The trips focus on shaping children's personalities, helping them define who they are, providing them with exploratory skills and more physical and health abilities, and introducing and exposing them to the wide range of geological and environmental terrain in Oman.
For the past year, Omar and his team have made several adventure trips for kids to wadi Mibam, Wadi Shab in wilayat Sur, Wadi Al Arabeieen in Quriyat, and blue pools of Al Hoqain, Snake canyon in Al Rastaq, and other places.
He shares with us some skills wadi adventure activities have passed on to his kid Hafs and other children that they will rely on throughout their lives.
Independence and self-reliance
During outdoor trips, children are not only away from their parents, but also from their friends, the laziness of using electronic devices and video games, away from their comfortable homes. “This can allow them to learn the most profound personal skills that make them able to discover anything on their own and find their self-identity,” Omar says.
According to Omar, the adventure site is the place where children learn to engage in new activities they’ve never done before in a different environment. He says, “The adventure site aura can boost the kid's confidence to get out of their comfort zone”.
“The child gains confidence in their physical abilities through hiking, swimming, and during climbing rope activities” he added.
Recalling one of the kid's adventures in Wadi Mibam in Tiwi, which is famous for its beautiful waterfalls and cold water, Omar says, “ It was necessary to swim to cross to the other side of the wadi, the kids really enjoyed swimming in the first lake, but one of the kids got cold and when he saw the other long lake, he refused to continue and asked to be taken back to the car.”
He adds, “In order to teach the child to take responsibility in hardships in the adventure, I convinced him to carry him on my back to the other side of the lake”.
Improve communications skills and create friendships
Trips can be the best way for a child to learn how to make friends. They get to learn how to solve problems without the interference of their parents, and after spending a full day with the same children and they help and encouraging each other to continue the adventure, each one of them will recognize the true bond of friendship.
Develop a relationship between the child and his surrounding environment
Children’s attitude toward protecting nature is built at an early age, thus it's important for a child to learn about the environmental diversity during trips.
Omar says “after staying in nature observing it beaches, mountains, sand, wadis, deserts, hills, caves, and other terrains kids creates a bond between them and nature where they develop a sense of responsibility to preserve and protect it”