CampVision is a volunteer driven movement that aims to empower youths to live their dreams. Working with youth-at-risks in general, this movement have been around for more than 10 years and have touched more than 1,000 lives. Raffles Hall has partnered CampVision, through Project CampVision, in 2016 to assist in key programs such as Ministry of Vision (MOV) and the flagship “Soaring to Grater Heights” camp as part of the hall’s on-going belief in giving back to the society.
The extract above is from Raffles Hall Official Website HAHAHA. I will write out my experience as a volunteer in this camp, and how it had transformed my life.
I like to try something different like doing community service because this is a good way to contribute back to the society. Before this, I’d tried out different volunteering services such as Relay for Life. But honestly, those activities are not really being meaningful as a volunteer, because I think I just helped out for selling food and drinks, and I learnt basically nothing except for how to cut watermelons LOL. And I really wanted to have a taste of what real volunteering looks like.
Initially, I had heard about this from my senior during RHOC. He had used this to clear his CIP hours. He told me boldly that ‘This camp will change your life’s perspective and trust me, you will grow from it.‘
Out of curiousity, I signed up for this CCA. I wanted to know how it works, and how can a 3D2N camp changed a lot of youth’s life. During the welcome tea, one of the main committees, demonstrated us on the common behaviours of youths and actually how we, as volunteers to tackle this problem,to listen to their stories behind their behaviour (yes it’s the iceberg’s theory). There are a few people who really shone a light on me on how good this CCAs is, and ways to clear CIP hours and many more.
Training sessions were given to us before the camp. Besides normal briefing, volunteers were exposed to certain mind-blown activities such as trust fall, perseverance push etc. The activities are really mental-challenging, because every activity will push you to the limits and some puts you at a life’s risk, hence trusting your friends/partners is very important in order to survive.
My experience begins here.
Day 0: 1/12/2016
We were informed of the camp location and some briefing on the activities and our job scopes. I heard a lot of unknown names, probably they are from UBS, the famous bank from Switzerland. I was in the same group with the president, Alyssa, and two more unknown person, and a youth. Then, on the first day, I was assigned to be the game master of the game “Monster Walk” with another unknown person. We were told to have mental preparation because the three days will be very tough and challenging. The president also told us to have a very precise and clear goal in mind, which I didn’t have at that moment. I mean, I have a goal, but it’s vague, not measurable, no time limit. I have a lot of things wanted to be accomplished during university life, but I don’t know where to start with.
Day 1: 2/12/2016
Well, when I reached the campsite at Sarimbun, the first impression of that place is like the campsite at Tropical Fruit Farm Melaka. OMG. Luckily I’d got used to this kind of place during secondary school times.
Some youths will arrive late, therefore the volunteers and youth leaders played a few icebreaker games. There were 4 volunteers, including me and 1 youth leader in the group. However, there were only 1 youth in our group for the whole morning. Then the programme started with thinking of the group name, designing group flag and group cheer. I sucked at cheers so I focused on designing the flag instead. But the problem came when the youth is not willing to participate at all. Aly convinced him by helping out in doing the small flag.
During lunch time, the youth told us harshly that he was forced to take part in this camp, and he wouldn’t want to participate in any activities. Well, this is a very common behaviour of youths. I tried to talk to him with a common topic which is anime. He watched a lot of shonen type anime like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece etc. We shared the same opinion on how Bleach ending sucks, why Naruto shouldn’t end up with Hinata and so on.
After lunch, we were given affirmation envelopes to be decorated on it. The other youths came in during this session, and again, I tried to talk to the newcomers to get to know them more.
For the whole afternoon I was on duty which is becoming a game master for a game “Monster Walk”. It’s actually a simple game which requires cooperation from every members. Since this is the first time I need to explain game instructions loud and clear, I was really nervous. But after a few times, I can do it better. The partner for this game is Barnabas, an officer in UBS. He is very good in conveying ideas to the others. He told me his story which made me admire him so much. He came to work in Singapore 15 years ago, where he had zero knowledge in English. Despite the difficulties, he worked hard and finally earn an income sufficient for his family.
After dinner, here comes the first main activity which challenged our willpower: Perseverance Push. This is not a simple activity, because one must have a goal in his/her mind, then two people were selected to become the ‘blockers’ which someone needs to push through. One more person is selected to become a supporter which his/her role is to give the pusher mental support. Every youths and volunteers need to participate in this event. The real meaning behind the event is: We will meet obstacles along the way, no matter what our goal is. Once we went through an obstacle, another new one will follow along. We then need perseverance and enough mental strength to overcome them one by one.
The camp president, Kayden (a counselor) demonstrated how it works by becoming the first pusher. She told us her goal is to give a speech on concerning mental illness to a large audience. It’s really hard, because even though she put in 100% effort, the blockers put in strength too to prevent her from pushing through. It’s just like a tug war. In the end, she cried. Because this activity will really wear off your every tiny bit of energy.
Then one by one, we did the push. It’s really hard for me to push through, because I don’t have enough energy to do so, plus the goal is just part of my big goals. It’s just like I was using my sheer strength to push off big rocks.
Almost everyone broke down and cried after the event. I wanted to cry, but endured it in the end, because there’s a part in my will told me not to be a crybaby, as my teacher told me before that crying is just an action to expose your own weaknesses. Then we were given a board to paint our dreams, and some stick no. I used this time to talk to another two more youths. That makes me talking to 75% of members in my team which I did it 😀
I slept at 12 am, exhausted. Aly told me to keep it up and talk more to the youths tomorrow. The mattress and pillow was not clean enough, hence I used a sleeping bag to cover on top instead.
To be continued…