40 hours over 12 weeks
No. of Hours: 40 hours over 12 weeks
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Physical Recreation

 

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Preparatory Phase;

  • 2 Months prior of weekly meetings to distribute roles and updates. 1-2 hours of meeting each time.
  • Every Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays are physical training sessions for 2 hours.
  • Once a month, to purchase logistics needed for trek. Takes up about half a day.

Trek Process;

  • 19th September – 23rd September
  • 3 Days 2 Nights trek up Mount Stong.
  • 2 Days of travelling 10 hours bus ride to and fro.
  • First day trek up to base camp took 4 hours.
  • Second day trek up to summit took 8 hours back and forth in total.
  • Third day trek was descending Mount Stong, taking up 4 hours.

Post Trek;

  • Cleaning, washing and packing up of logistics took about 2 hours.
  • Debrief and conclusion took 1 hour.

For physical recreation, I trekked up Mount Stong. Mount Stong or Gunong Stong stands at 1.442M above sea level and is located at Dabong, Kelantan, Malaysia. My team and I had meetings and we would discussed and planned months prior to the trek. There were 3 phases to the trek, Preparatory, Trek Process and Post Trek. The preparatory phase, was honestly the most challenging and toughest one among the 3. The whole preparatory phase took about 2 months.

There were many factors to consider if we are going to trek up a mountain as a team. Roles and responsibility were given out to individuals and they are safety, administrative procedures, logistics, meals and trainings. We had logistic days where we searched, researched, bought and packed logistics. Administrative and meals comes hand in hand. We researched on evacuation routes and plans, checked first aid logistics and available first aiders. We also researched on meals, what was appropriate and suitable for a 3 days trek, also it should be sustainable and on how to store or keep it. Trainings was in place as majority of us have not exercised in a long while and getting our body ready for the trek was very crucial to avoid any injuries and also to be able to make the trek process smoother. We have allocated days for trainings and our training consists of circuit training, trekking at various locations with backpack and jogging. It was a very good opportunity to keep fit and train ourselves.

During the trek itself, on the first day, we took a 10 hours ride on a chartered bus to Mount Stong. We did our final packing and soon headed for the mountain. The start of the trek was a little bit scary as there were multiple howlings heard and it was very loud. Our guide, Odie, told us that it was from the gibbons up high on the trees but they rarely come down as they are afraid of humans. Not long, we saw the long awaited waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful. It took us about 3 hours to reach the base camp, also known as Kem Baha. We quickly pitch up our tents and prepared for our dinner as it was getting dark and it would be difficult to get around especially if we had to get water from the water source. We ended the day with a meaningful feedback and debriefing session and soon slept in our A-frame tents.

Day two, we trekked up to the summit, but it was a much better and easier trek up is because we trekked without our big backpack, just only with a daypack. There were much more jokes and laughters throughout. The trek was really awesome, calm and peaceful, away from the buzzing city and advanced technology, really brings one back to basics and just being surrounded by nature itself. We took a group photo at the summit and rested awhile before making our way back down. We played in the waterfall  as well before moving on to prepare our meal. We also had a really good debrief among the team before we slept.

On the last day, we woke up early for breakfast and started packing up all our logistics to get ready to descend the mountain. I was feeling kind of sad yet happy. Sad is because the whole trek is about to be over and in a blink of an eye, we came to Mount Stong, and we are leaving already. Happy because yes, we finally did it, we completed the trek successfully with everyone being safe and inspired. The trip back allowed me to reflect on the trek and I personally felt very enriched and it is as though my mind opened up to new perspectives. I also felt a greater sense of meaning to life. All in all, I am thankful that together with the rest of the NYAA Gold participants, although before and during the trek, many of us were fighting our drained out physical body and mentality, we still decided to pushed on positively and view circumstances in such constructive manner.

Community-based project*Compulsory for all Gold Award participants
No. of Hours:
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Residential Project

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  • Sourcing out for organizations took up 2 months.
  • Set up meeting to discuss about project – 3 weeks.
  • Meeting lasted about 1 hour.
  • Putting up the proposal and finalizing the content and outline of programme. – 2 weeks.
  • Sourcing out for manpower to volunteer in the NYAA residential project – 2 weeks.
  • Programme is 2 days and 1 night.

For my residential project, I volunteered and helped planned out a programme for the Association for Persons with Special Needs.(APSN for short). APSN is an association whereby they aid people with special needs through their various programmes and schools. They help to prepare to equip them with skills for future job employments.

It was a 2 days and 1 night programme, my team and I planned activities such as Low Elements, Indoor activities and Night activities throughout. We had to take special note of the level of understanding the participants had and how to simplify instructions and activities so that they can understand better. We also had to consider how to manage our activities so that the level of risk is reduced as much as possible. It was held over at their school, at Choa Chu Kang. We also liaised with a few ITE students that volunteered for the programme too. It was a very good experience to see the participants participating in the activities and enjoying themselves. They are so easily excited and always ready for a fun time. Through this programme, my team and I not only shared with them a few meaningful learning points, they have also taught us back a few points, like how to be more appreciative and grateful for the simple things in life that we often take for granted. The participants are so filled with positivity that it feels very empowering. I hope that with the time my team and I have spent over there, we have managed to impact and to also teach and share with them a few values. It was an amazing experience there and I am glad to be able to share it as an NYAA gold participant.

18 months (12 months for Silver NYAA holder)
No. of Hours: 18 Months
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Skills

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  • Sports Climb Certification level 1 course – 2 days. 8 hours per day.
  • High Element sessions spread over 18 months.
  • Per session duration is 2.5 hours to 4 hours.
  • Twice per week for high element session for youth programmes.
  • Scuba Diving course duration is 4 days.
  • Per day is about 2 dives which is around 45 minutes per dive.

I am absolutely excited to note down my experience for the skills segment as I have learnt and acquired two skills. One is belaying and another is scuba diving. I took up belaying and is certified sports climb level one, when there are camps going on, I would ensure that I am available so that I am able to come down and practice my belaying for high element sessions. I think it has taught me the importance of safety and why certain practices are in place so as to not compromise safety and why is it important to develop good belaying habits.

My open water scuba diving course took place at Perhentian Island. The place is surreal and truly breath taking! My diving course was 4 days and 3 nights in total. I managed to clocked in 5 dives and I will definitely be going for more. Diving really appeals to me, when you go under the water, it really feels like a whole different, peaceful and beautiful world. Going through the course was definitely not easy, there were a few topics I did not understand for the theory part. Apart from  that, I also struggled with the practical segment, I faced two main challenges in terms of skills. One was to learn how to hover properly and second was to do my CESA (Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent). I kept bobbing up and down and was unable to keep my balance and to stay at one place. I realized my breathing was the problem, I was breathing a little too deeply and I did not pace my breathing in and out. I also adjusted my weights. The next dive, it was much better with the improvements in place. With a little bit more practice dives, I finally got the hang of it and managed to pass my open water scuba diving course. I will certainly continue to pursue and clock in as many dives as I possibly can. It was truly an unforgettable experience and I am so glad that I chose to take up scuba diving as a skill segment despite my doubts and fears beforehand.

4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 4D3N, 32 hours of activity time
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Adventurous Journey

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  • 4 days & 3 nights kayaking expedition.
  • Per day, 8 hours of kayaking, not including meal time.

Under CAMP CHALLENGE, My team and I planned and prepared  for a kayaking expedition from Singapore all the way to Kukup. It is also our very first batch of Adventurous Journey 01 to kick start the segment of fulfilling the requirements for NYAA adventurous journey. Plenty of discussion had to be made to collaborate on the logistics, roles, meals, accommodations, safety,  and administrative procedures as well. It was not easy at all but i am glad we managed to pull through.

Day One, we met up at Raffles Marina, after one final briefing to clarify our roles, routes, communication channel and safety procedures, we began loading our logistics and kayaks onto a 50 footer boat. From Raffles Marina, we headed towards Puteri Habour to get our passports stamped and from Puteri Habour, we started on our expedition towards Danga Bay. Once we had reached, we parked our kayaks on Danga Bay and soon headed for our rest. It was a good day of warming up to kayaking for hours.

Day Two, was kayaking from Danga bay back to Puteri Habour. We woke up at about 6AM and started on our way back. We really kayak non-stop unless is to have a quick short 10-15 minutes break for food and drink. We could not stop for too long as currents and waves would drift us away from our route. It was really a scorching day, and physically and mentally it was indeed getting very exhausting. Despite that, we still pushed on, and at last we reached Puteri Habour and had our dinner. It was a really good day though it was tiring is because, all of us would continuously pushed, cheer and motivate each other through jokes and laughters and also to check up on one another from time to time if we are all doing okay.

Day Three, we woke up at 5AM as we would be kayaking from Puteri Habour to Kukup. It would take us about 12 hours to reach. Indeed it was the most exhausting and yet meaningful one. The currents were against us, weather wise was thundery showers and at one point, it got so bad and terrifying that we had to make a decision to stop and beach up. As I was the expedition leader, I had to make the call of whether to beach up at a really small island filled with plenty of rocky surface that had algae growing or to decide to continue pushing through till we reach Kukup. At that point of time, a few us kept capsizing and the water was really choppy. In the end, I made the call to stop and beach up. When we kayak towards the small island, we realized that there were no proper surface area that we could park our kayaks and on top of that, the water level would continue to rise and may drift our kayaks away if we do not tie and anchor them down properly. We had no rope on hand with us and we improvised by using our dry pack strap to tie all the kayaks together and anchor it to a big sturdy tree, then we headed towards a small shelter to rest. Around 45 minutes later, the bad weather gradually ceased and we continued on our route to Kukup.  We reached at around 5.30PM, it was so satisfying knowing that we have finally arrived safely and overcame the adventurous circumstances together as a team without any safety issues.

Day Four, we kayak all the way from Kukup back to Raffles Marina. It was a relatively smooth day as the weather, currents and wave were all in favor for all of us. It was quicker and smoother than expected. We really enjoyed the journey back. Soon, we arrived back in Raffles Marina, unloaded, washed and packed our logistics. Debrief and feedback session then home sweet home. This expedition was honestly a very memorable experience and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be able to go through this adventurous journey. The bonds that was forged and memories made would always be remembered.

60 hours over 12 months
No. of Hours: 60
Date: 16 November 2017 / Thursday
Category: Service

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  • Pro-bono programmes has usually high elements or low elements, 1 day session.
  • Per session is one full day. From 10AM-5PM. 7 hours.
  • Volunteered for Youth at risk, Deaf association, Special needs, Boys town, Children’s aid society, Melrose Home, Student care services, Minds & many more.
  • Voluntered at Orange Valley nursing home, duration is 7 hours.
  • Volunteered at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve. 10AM-6PM. 8 hours.
  • Once a month I volunteer for a programme, at least 7 hours of duration.

I have volunteered for a few pro-bono programmes under CAMP CHALLENGE. Organizations like Singapore Girl’s Home, Asian Women Welfare Association, Deaf Association, Minds, Beyond Social Services and many more come over to us for a programme. Bedok Youth Soccerites is a soccer club that comes over also for a subsidized programme. Their funding is all solely from the parents and coach of the students. Taking the role of the camp chief, I would plan for these organizations, team bonding activities such as low elements, laser combat, rafting, campfire and many more. Keeping in mind to be able to share and inspire them with meaningful values to take away. Usually they would request for more bonding and more character development objective. I have also volunteered for the Value-In-Action programme to a Batam orphanage named, Alfateha. My team and I brought Dunearn secondary school over, and together with them, we planned our flow of activities and how we can best be of assistance to the orphanage and improve their home. Few things we have built are the sprinkler system for their crops, as well as repainted their walls and gave Alfateha’s home a fresh and vibrant new look. Added on, I have also volunteered for 1 day at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve to aid in mangrove salvation. I cleaned the leaves that were soaked in mud so as to allow better sunlight absorption and for the plants to grow stronger and healthier. I also aid in planting the seedlings of endangered plant species. At the end of the day, everything we have, we owe it back to the earth so I feel passionate about protecting and giving back to the nature. I feel it is fantastic that having service as one of the core pillars of NYAA allows youths to develop a sense of compassion and awareness of the general problems society faces.