Friday, June 09, 2006

The Camp

If my 'other' life keeps me busy, then my 'this' life isn't much better.

Just last Saturday, I went for the CDAC's SHG annual camp. What is CDAC and SHG?
CDAC= Chinese Development Assistance Council
SHG= Supervised Homework Group

For the last 10 years, I have been volunteering at this programme, slowing down only last year. Every Saturday afternoon would find me and other volunteers at the centre, tutoring kids in their Maths and English and then some. A highlight of this programme is the annual camp and when you are 11 or 12 years old, it's defintely something to look forward to. I'm not sure about the volunteers though because they are often stressed out. ^^ But it is a good learning and bonding experience for all involved.

Sleeping arrangement for the children. Now when was the last time you slept in a tent? I've done it a few times, the last time was just a couple of years back when the volunteers had to sleep in tents as well.

Sleeping quarters for the volunteers. No, I didn't stay the night.... hehe! I went home to my own bed.

You paint my face and I'll paint yours. The kids were divided into various groups and this year being the World Cup, they were named after the various countries like England, Brazil etc. I think the kids had alot of fun decorating their faces. : )

Kids, kids everywhere I thought there were only about 100+ children like the previous years but apparently we had the biggest turn out this year- about 200 kids. Can't tell the kids from the volunteers? The young was waering orange t-shirts. The young-at-heart was was wearing re t-shirts. ^^

Flying the flag high! The kids had to decorate their 'own' country's flag, paint their faces and come up with a cheer. Don't play, play ok, got marks one ok.

Hehe, one of the cheering team.

The teams had to go to various stations to win points. It was always a headache to think of games at the various stations but it's worth it when the kids have fun.

First you pour some soapy water down....

Then you make them climb up the slippery sheet barefooted.

Solving boggling mind games. Hot leh!

Many hands make writing hard...hehe!

Water, water everywhere... except where it should belong- in the pail.. Well, filling a pail with leaking plastic bags ain't exactly easy.

Let's try and get our butt act together.

Ahh... to be young and carefree... to play without worries...that is youth!

For the first time, we have a campfire! Is it going to work????

Where are the chicken wings and the marshmellows? ^^ I keep thinking of snoopy and his little birdy friends on their camping trips.

What's a campfire without campfire songs right?Too bad I didn't stay long but they were singing songs like '老鼠爱大米'...very, very different kind of songs from my campfire days. Different gereneration. Definitely.

The kids enjoying themselves.

I didn't stay overnight... but I have in the past quite a few times. When the lights go out.. the volunteers stay on duty... sentry duty. And let me tell you, it's near impossible to get these hyperactive kids to go to sleep. Half the time they would be complaining of the insects or their sleeping partners. The other half would be spent going to the toilets. LOL!

Guess I can't blame them. It is very exciting and adventurous for them. In fact, often, we see a change in their characters after the camp. They grow up a little when they can't choose their food, they have to queue up to shower with lots of other kids, and they have to do what they are told and co-operate with their team members.

But still at the end of the day... this is what it is all about. I think this beautiful photo describes why we volunteer our precious Saturday afternoon. It's something that cannot be measured.

But I got to admit this... I'm really getting too old for such camps. Time for senior citizens like me to retire. : )


bb said...

whoa... what a sweet thing to do.

feeling a wee bit paiseh, i've not volunteered in my entire life lor :p

tiffany said...

You volunteered your time and effort to BYJ. hahaha!