Service Learning (Pertapis Camp)

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Client: PERTAPIS Centre for Women and Girls (100% subsidized)

Date: 27-30 November 2018, Tuesday – Friday (3 days 2 nights camp)

Time of activity: 28 November, 9.30 AM – 30 November,  11 AM

Check-In: 27 November, 10 PM – 12 PM, 2 Hours

Check Out: 30 November,  11 AM – 1 PM, 2 Hours

No. of Hours of Activities: 35.5 Hours

Total Hours including Check-In & Out: 39.5 Hours

Camp Chief: Zul Fadhli

Project Manager: Yu Ling

What is the programme about?

  • Their camp objectives are resilience, leadership, teamwork and bonding.
  • Background: They are centres that their students have family problems, personal issues, depression etc. The person who works there to take care of them is known as staff.
  • They are of 12 to 17 years old. There are also 54 pax along with 5 staff that are coming for the programme.

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At 10 pm, I had checked in the CAMP Challenge at OPS Room. What does check-in mean? Check-in means that we have to meet up for a briefing about how does the programme carry out. What do we need to prepare for logistics and who take on which roles. So with that, we discussed how will Day 1 goes and what’re our roles. Hence I’m the Station Instructor. In this programme, It’s not me, Camp chief and Project Manager alone, there are still other associates. Their names are Nisa, Winnie, Nadirah, Qhalis, Marcus, Rafiqi, Yaya, Sahri, Maisurah.

  • Activities for Day 1
    • Low Elements
    • Lunch
    • Race Against Time
    • Wash Up / Check-In
    • Debrief
    • Dinner
    • The night Incredible Race
    • Next day briefing & Supper

There is 1 short break in between the check-in, the main purpose is for each and every one of us to plan out and also understand the flows of the activities that will be carried out on that day.

Hence, after we come back after the short break, we have a better clearer of understandings, at the same time Team Instruction can let everyone know what’s their plans, likewise for the station side. It’s similar like cross sharing. If there is anything needed to be changed by hearing others pieces of advice, this is where it will be useful at the same using this time to understand how the flow going to go, it is really important. So that we can get everyone to be on the same page.

DAY 1

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At 9.30 am, they arrived CAMP Challenge and proceed up to the Legacy Hall 2 and 3. Our Camp Chief, Zul come upfront to give the opening speech.

At 10 am, Low Elements will be conducted by the Team Instructors which is Nisa, Winnie and Nadirah. The participants are all split into 3 teams. Team 1 is Nisa, followed by Team 2 is Winnie and last but not least Team 3 is Nadirah. For the Low Elements, they did Thrust Fall, Mohawk Walk, Whale watch and Vertical Spiderweb. I’m a Station Instructor. Hence, during the activities, all station side were task to look over the safety, during that period of time, I saw frustration, laughter and happiness.

Why do they feel that way?

Frustration is because some does not want to lose because there is timing to hit. However, when they over hit the time, some teammates were frustrated. At the period, at some point, their teammates were either daydreaming or not contributing in this activities, hence frustrated. During the activities, the sun was scorching hot, they were frustrated and irritated.

Laughter is because they are enjoying the activities, and whatever they do, they feel like everything is going smoothly. At the same time, they must have also seen their friends doing something funny.

Happiness is because they accomplish their mission of finishing the activities, followed by the whole Low Elements. After Low Elements is also lunch, they are hungry, hence they are happy and excited too.

At 1 pm is their lunch. Meal briefing is conducted by Nadirah.

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At 2 pm, Race Against Time is then conducted by Rafiqi who is the Station Master of the activities. There are 7 different activities in Race Against Time which are Lucky 5, Ping The pong, Marble Box, Turning Point, Chopminoes, Charades and Giant Skip. The above 2 photos are the formation of how are the activities been placed. During this activities, each team are split into 2 sub-teams, Hence, from 3 teams it will become 6 teams. In each sub-team, there will be team A and B respectively. Which is 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B. Each sub-team there are instructors tagging along with the team. I’m tagged along with Team 2B, from there, when the activities start, we ran, time, shout a lot. During that period, I noticed that there’s 1 girl who named Zana. I saw that she’s always left out, but in my eyes, why she want to leave herself out is because she feels that she’s a big size and others will do better than her, she wants to be in one corner and let others try out the activities.

At 5.30 pm is their debrief. During their debrief session with the Team Instructors of how the day went. At that point in time, I got this mindset of stepping in Team 2 conversation, mainly is because of Zana. I do not wish to see Zana keep staying in her own world and not interacting with their friends at the same time helping out with their team. At the very moment, Winnie gave a question asking, “How many percent do you think you guys commit in this team?” Most of the people gave 70% to 80%. However, Zana gave 30%. The next question that Winnie ask is, “What is the reason behind it?” When it comes to Zana, she does not know what reason to give, as though her mind is blank out. Hence I gave her time to think. At this moment I step in and strongly point out Team 2B, while Team 2A listen. I asked, “During the race against time, who was fed up? Raise up your hands if you’re fed up.” Majority people from Team 2B raise up their hands. After that question, I asked the reason behind it. Most of the people say that some people do not cooperate, does not help, does not want to listen. Hence, I go back to Zana again, what’s her reason behind it, why did she say 30%? She still does not want to answer. next, Winnie said, if Zana does not want to answer, nobody from Team 2 will collect their food. At that moment. I told them this, “What is a team to them? Why do they still call themselves a team when their friends are lacking behind, why none of them steps in and gives a helping hand to them? Those that are always upfront, have you ever try to give others a chance? Has everyone of you ask each and everyone of your team if they are alright? Because in my point of view, Zana is not alright, in her mind, she looks down on herself that because of her size, she feels that she could not do it. Hence, she let you guys just try those activities instead of her. Have you guys actually encourage her? Because during the activities, you guys not only didn’t encourage her, but you guys scold her. So is this a team? Now, Zana, I need you to say your reason why do you say 30% instead of having a high percentage.” Afterwards, I walk away. During dinner, I went to ask Winnie what is her answer. Winnie said, because all the while she was in her own world, that is why she did not really commit in the activities at the same time interact with their friends. But afterwards, after she told us, during dinner, she made an improvement that she actually starts to open up and talk to her friends. I was pleased because at least I made an improvement and let her open up, which is an achievement for both Zana and me.

At 6 pm it’s dinner. Meal briefing is conducted by Winnie.

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At 7 pm is The Incredible Race that will be held at Sembawang Park at night.  What do they have to do is to go to 4 different Zone which is zone A, B, C and D. Each zone there are 4 different pictures. In each picture, they have to go there retrieve question and they will have to say the answer to the respective instructors that is tagged along with the team. After each zone, they have to complete the Challenge Station. While walking to the Sembawang Park, out of a sudden a girl went to cling her hands over me, I was shocked. I asked her what happen, she said that she was afraid of the dark. At that period, my heart was happy because these little things show that my team is trusting me. In other words, it’s similar like how they are entrusting me their life to me. During the walking process, she shared to me her stories that she will be going back to court next week. I was shocked, I asked her what happen at the same time thinking if I can make things better, at the same time, seeing if I can make her life better and improve character. She shared to me that she hates insects like lizard, cockroaches, grasshopper. However, most of their friends turn out to know about her weakness. Hence, her enemies, or what I could say that the bullies came to find her, trigger her with cockroaches and lizard. At the point of time, she was afraid. However, a few moments later, her fear turns to be in an angry mood whereby she would not be able to control her body and tried to fight back by fighting. At last, she really fights. While I heard the stories, I advise her to try to not fight, that’s once. The second is that, if your enemies were to use this method to trigger you again, do note that tries to be brave and strong, prove to them you are not scared of insects which slowly, make them think that you are not scared the insects. From there, they will think that they are just wasting time as their motive wasn’t achieved. Hence, this will make them think that you are not easily bullied. Stand strong and firm with your base. And promise me not to fight? Because if you were to heed my advice, you would not think about using your fist at the same time you can see the change that you would not be dropped out of school too. This is the time, the time you had in camp to improve yourself. During the activities, the same thing, I’m tag with Team 2B, during running and walking to respective zone, I saw improvement in Zana where she actually starts to contribute in the activities at the same time talking with her friends. Although at some point of time she wants to rest, I allow her, but most of the time, despite her size, she actually didn’t give up and consistently following us, which includes running. Which I was pleased and thankful for Winnie for allowing me to talk to the Team 2 about what I said. Other than Zana, I see that everyone is also on the same page, instead of being lazy, they actually run and find questions which I’m pleased and happy. Because I didn’t waste my time talking to them.

At 9.30 pm will then be next day briefing and supper. From then on Team Instructors will take over in bringing back to dorms. For the Station Instructors side, we will walk around to make sure they are alright as 10 pm is their lights out. So by then, we need to rush them to sleep, after they settle down, all the instructors will head to the office for debriefing and briefing for the next day flow.

DAY 2

At 7.30 am is their rise and shine. However, they were told to wake up at 6 am in the morning is because they are Malay, hence their religion is that they have to wake up early to pray. During Day 1, I forgot to mention that before lunch and dinner, they got to pray too.

What obstacles did I face during the period where they have to pray?

It’s time management. Although we know that they need to pray, however, we did not really count the amount of time where they have to wash their face, hands, arms, legs and feet and also wearing shoe and slipper. All those details inside can make a major difference in the flow. All though it feels like we are on the ball, however, base on the time, we snowball but still on the ball. But through this programme, I learn new things about their religion and some of the participant’s experience, at the same time I’m sure that I gave impact to them.

At 8 am is their breakfast. Meal briefing is conducted by Nisa.

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At 9 am is their High Elements, their high elements stations are Balancing Beam, Burma Bridge, Rock Wall, Postman Walk and Parallel Wire. During the High elements, same as yesterday, I took Team 2B. At the start of preparing to wear a harness and helmet. Remember Zana? The one that I talk about yesterday. Because after the Personal Protection Device (PPE) by Rafiqi as his the Station Master for High Elements, I saw Zana was standing at one corner with her helmets on while staring her friends wearing their harness and helmets excitedly. I went over to her side and question her, “Why didn’t you wear your harness too?” At first, she did not one to response me back. One of her friends went over and question her the same question I asked her, her friend told me that she’s scared. Hence, I persuade her that, “Most of them are scared too, you’re not alone. Everyone is also wearing their harnesses, they are trying to feel how it’s like to be up there, at the same time, those who are having fear, they are also trying. So if they can so can you. When you are scared, everyone of your friends including your friends will cheer for you. When you reach the maximum height where it’s your limit, instructors will bring you down. Since I’m in your team, So I will bring you down personally.” After she hears my talk, at first she wasn’t confident enough and hence, she still did not dare to try. After wearing, we head out to try out the elements. My team first element is rock climbing. So Zana was the last. Around 30 minutes later, the second last went up and climb. While the second last person from my team was climbing, Zana came over and asked me this, “Are you will bring me down later when I reach my limit?” I replied, “Yes.” She asked me again, “But I got no confidence in you because later on, you will fly.” Hence, I told her this, “Do you trust me? Do you trust your friends? If you do, listen to me, if I were to fly, do not worry, besides both of us, there are your friends and my instructors who will help to bring me down, at the same time make sure you land safely. Do not feel the burden and look around, there are 2 or 3 people who have a similar size to you, they willing to try at the same time trust their friends and instructors. Listen to this, I do not need you to climb up all the way, all I need is you to try instead of giving up. Because if you give up, you will never experience how it’s like to climb up. Yes, it’s tough, but with us backing you, I believe you can at least overcome the fear and try to climb, climb up 1 or 2 step is also fine. At least you tried, and I’m proud of you.” After she hears, she asked me this last question, “Okay if I climb the rock wall, promise me that you would not let me climb the high element as it’s much higher compared to the rock wall.” And I agreed. At last, she went to wear a harness and helmets. While she was wearing, I was glad and proud of myself that I’m able to persuade her and it feels like a big accomplishment for me as a station instructor. Because I’m able to gain trust from my team which is what I’m happy about.

At 12 pm is lunch. Meal briefing is conducted by Winnie.

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At 1 pm is Archery Combat which is conducted by Sahri as he is the Station Master for the Activity. During Archery Combat, they had lots of fun. Despite having them to shout at their opponent’s team, “CHEAT!” They still have lots of fun because they do not wish to leave the arena, hence at some point in time, it’s just stubborn.

At 4 pm is debrief. This is where Team Instructors take over in debrief, wash up and campfire preparation.

At 7 pm its dinner. Meal briefing is conducted by Nadirah.

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At 8 pm where everyone had been waiting and practising for, which is campfire! It was lit! The Emcee’s of the campfire are Nisa, Nadirah and Winnie which is also the Team Instructors. Although during the campfire, we did stutter at some point in time, because of the team we have here, luckily we are able to overcome it. In the very end, because it was also Nadirah’s last day of an intern, Nadirah was told to sing up front as she has a nice voice at the same time, she knows how to play the guitar too.

At 9.30 pm will then be next day briefing and supper. From then on Team Instructors will take over in bringing back to dorms. For the Station Instructors side, we will walk around to make sure they are alright as 10 pm is their lights out. So by then, we need to rush them to sleep, after they settle down, all the instructors will head to the office for debriefing and briefing for the next day flow.

DAY 3

At 6 am in the morning is their rise and shine. The same thing, they will go and pray like how they did in Day 2. The only difference is that after they pray, they will need to pack their bags, bring all of their stuff from the dorms back to the function hall.

At 9 am it will be breakfast. Meal briefing is conducted by Tricia which is me.

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At 9.40 am it will be a mass photo taking session.

At 10 am will be the 3 UPS which is Wash Up, Pack Up and Clean Up. There are 3 different venues to clean. The 3 different venues are Dorms, Legacy Hall – Legacy Hal toilet (Function hall that they have been using the past 3 days 2 nights) and Low Element Ground – Hardcourt. After their cleaning, Team Instructors used the remaining to do debrief and talk to them.

At 11 am is closing where certificates will be given out. Afterwards, they start heading to their bus, watching them go is something that it’s a little unbearable because at first, our project manager, Yu Ling, she told us that we have to beware because they will hug us. After I heard that, throughout the 2 days I was worried. But when it’s on the third day, seeing them start leaving makes it feel weird at the same time when having to get a hug by them it feels as though it’s a comfort.

During our check out, Yu Ling told us this after hiding us for 3 days is that they will only hug you when you shower them lots of love and care. When I heard that, at first was a shock at the same time it made me reflect that actually they weren’t that bad, it’s just the experience made others doesn’t dare to talk and hang out with them. However, in the Pertapis Centre, it feels like whatever it is, they can handle and learn how to bond and make friends. Which is what I was happy.

What do I feel?

I feel that regardless whether am I visiting them the first time, although it was my first time experiencing and handling these people, I get to learn a lot and really put all out till my throat soars. I feel that I’m benefitting the community because having to be able to persuade Zana 2 times and also persuading the girl who will be having court next week.