Paradox

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As I’m typing this post, I’m filled with gratitude and thankfulness, for YR Adventure Camp 2015 has officially concluded.

For those who don’t know, in 2014, being the secretary of the AC Committee, I kick-started my first official event in YR. In the blink of an eye, it has been a year since my first involvement & joining of the YR family. Looking back, it’s amazing how much we’ve been through in the past year πŸ™‚ Shan’t dwell too much into the past year for now, will definitely do up a review post nearing AGM, when we officially handover to our successors hee. Whatever it is, happy first anniversary to me, as a volunteer in YR πŸ™‚ May there be many more years to come, to let us witness the fruits of our labour prosper into something that will continue to reach out to even more youths, and impact their lives positively.

It hasn’t been easy for the subcommittee to plan the camp. Right from the very beginning, they have met with many obstacles, many issues, many setbacks; but they didn’t give up. Not once did they give up, they persevered, and the end result was nothing but satisfaction & fulfilment – our youths enjoyed themselves tremendously. Sincerely wishing a genuine thank you to everyone who have helped out through the process of planning the camp, be it behind the scenes or as an active participant in the preparations.

A huge thank you to the AC subcomm & volunteers, who have put in so much effort and being really responsible for their own roles in this camp. I’m glad that nothing major happened, albeit certain small hiccups along the way. Bottom line – as long as the youths are happy, I’m contented; and will declare the camp a success. Through this camp, I’ve forged new friendship bonds with my fellow volunteers as well – it’s such a heartwarming feeling to share the same passion, and to spread the spirit of volunteerism to them πŸ™‚ I might still be lacking in one way or another, but I’m learning, and still trying my best πŸ™‚

Caught the magnificent sunrise in the morning of day 2 of YR AC, it was so breathtaking and therapeutic to look at. Sometimes when lift gets tough, such little things in life, like admiring the sunrise, or gazing at the stars at night, really serves as a good times to just clear our minds, and focus on the happy things. It helps to guide us, and to not let our emotions overwhelm us in ways that may be detrimental in making decisions.

As the main facil for my tribe, it’s heartening to see how much they have progressed, how they take the initiative and display their leadership skills/qualities. I’m so, so proud of every single youth, for they have contributed to the camp in different ways. I’ve seen them take care of each other, work together to complete tasks, and simply enjoying each other’s company. People around me would know much precious and important our youths mean to me, and they are always my priority when it comes to YR matters. Words can’t encapsulate my feelings, but all I’ll say is, thank you to our dearest youths, for being so open-minded and trying all the activities.

I didn’t think that they would take the Group Flag MakingΒ seriously – but the flag that they designed really impressed me; it was so beautiful, and my heart swelled in pride, seeing how they were proud of waving the flag and displaying it wherever we went during the camp πŸ™‚ This, taught them ownership.

Amazing Race was incredibly fun, they were (slightly) competitive, and were initially dejected because we were lagging behind as compared to the other tribe. But they motivated each other, and didn’t give up, all the way to the finish line, and eventually emerged as winners πŸ™‚ This, taught them perseverance.

It wasn’t the first time they tried Outdoor Cooking, but they took the initiative to prepare the materials, to wash the mess tins after cooking & eating; and looking out for others to ensure that everyone’s welfare was taken care of πŸ™‚ From coating the base of mess tins with toothpaste, to setting up of the solid fuel on the burning stands, to cooking the food, and cleaning up after themselves, I was so proud that they didn’t need much prompting at all πŸ™‚ This, taught them responsibility.

Night Trail was shortened, and regrettably the other tribe didn’t manage to try one station. However, despite certain issues that happened, they still embraced the remaining games and challenges, and didn’t choose to pull out or play the blame game or whatsoever. It took a lot of guts to even attempt the Trust Fall station, and even though some didn’t manage to complete it, I’m glad they all at least attempted to try πŸ™‚ This, taught them courage.

Testing of limits. Participating in Kayaking + Water RaftingΒ with our youths on the second day was simply amazing, although I’m really sunburnt till it hurts. Playing games while kayaking, really aptly displayed the teamwork within everyone in the camp – I can’t believe we could actually stand up on our kayaks, hand in hand, braving the current, and sing the National Anthem LOL. ‘was literally mad trembling, but holding the hands of my two neighbouring facil/youth really gave me the courage. So proud of everyone for not giving up πŸ™‚ This, taught them teamwork.

Apart from the aforementioned traits, they have also displayed our primary iCARE values of integrity, compassion, authenticity, respect, and excellence. It really pleases me, for one year ago, when you asked them what does iCARE stand for, their answer would have undoubtedly been “I don’t remember”. But now, they can just recite the 5 values so easily at the tip of their tongue πŸ™‚ It took a year, but they finally learned, and I’ve seen the 5 values being displayed through their actions in the camp. Our efforts haven’t been in vain πŸ™‚

Interacting with the youths, talking to each & every one of them, you’d start to realise how unique each of them are. These little things are often overlooked in regular sessions, for they don’t have an opportunity to truly display certain characteristics they have. For that, I’m glad that this camp served as a platform for them to challenge their limits, and develop themselves, while growing and learning to be a better person. I’m so impressed at our youths, and it’s really insightful to hear them talk about their aspirations & dreams πŸ™‚

For what it’s worth, I’ll continue to befriend them, to help them, guide them, and serve as a mentor for them. As much as I’m helping them, I know they are helping me to be a better person as well.

Thank you, to everyone, who made this experience such a good & memorable one x

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