When we arrived at the ferry terminal, there were quite a few seasick cadets on the boat. Just about 4 hours after the “start” of the camp, we came across our first casualty, who jumped off the bus and hit his head on the top of the door. (Children do not try this at home =P)
There was light rain when we arrived at Batam’s Palm Springs Resort at around 12pm which got a lot of people SUPER wet =( But the cool thing was that even though our international friends there didn’t know as at all, they were very friendly, screaming out hi to us in unison as we squished ourselves into the sheltered area. Although many of us did not understand what they were talking about, (other than the loud “HI” >.<) we just smiled and did a small introduction of ourselves. We then found out that that was simply just the way to introduce yourselves to people, smile, handshake, say name. Because of the crowded conditions, we shifted ourselves to the sheltered area outside the ballroom and left our things outside. After which we had a small briefing on what we were going to do next.
Soon after we were briefed, we received the absolutely fabulous BFYC BAG! Looks can be deceiving, and this bag, although seemingly small in size, sure can be handy when walking around the campsite or going out, with its ability to store just about everything we need per activity. Inside it we also found the nice cap and camp tee! (FREE!!! I think…)
Directly after our briefing, we had to wait for the rain to stop before we could pitch our tents, but wasting no time, we had our lunch instead of wasting time waiting for the rain to stop. (Let’s all thank the rain for our lunch! 3 cheers and 3 cheers and… Wait how do you even do this in a blog… o.o)
For lunch, we had rice and spicy beans, because of this, some people had to drink lots and lots of water, or else they’d be breathing fire! (Don’t stand close to those people or you’d be fried!) Overall, the food was nice, and for some, this would be the first time eating a dish like this, a very interesting new experience!
Not long after finish our lunch and cleaning up our plates and utensils, the rain finally stopped. (Yay!) So we finally can get a closer look at all the non-sheltered area of the camping ground. We saw the big green space where we were to pitch our tents, and the large body of water nearby which we were to bathe, as well as the outdoor bathing area, which just about shocked everyone on how “Open” Mr Andrew Ong actually meant when he said “Outdoor Showering Points”. (Less yay… More OMG!) But before anyone could imagine how we would be bathing, we were hurried to pitch our tents, just in case the rain came back.
So we started the pitching of our tents. To just about everyone, it was our first time to pitch the huge 10-man tent. We also found out that these tents were the type that refugees slept in, which really led us to understand how refugees lived when their homes were destroyed. We had to dig out all the stones, grass, weeds, etc from under the tent. Armed with only a rudimentary knowledge of tent pitching, we set off with pitching the tent. Without help from the instructors, some of the PMI cadets and instructors, we would have never finished the tents EVER... So many thanks the PMI cadets! All of us were tired from the 3 to 5 hours of hard work we put into the tents, but we still had to shift our bags over from the ballroom. It was only after we transported our bags to the tent could we relax properly. Taking off our shoes and exploring the insides of the tent that we pitched. (Forever remember the wonderful AROMA of socks, shoes and mud…)
Our rest time wasn’t long; it was about dinner time already! Dinner was much the same as lunch, having spicy food again, and the usual rice. After our delicious dinner, OTOT time [own time own target] with only the Lights Out time to care about, which was set at 11.00 pm. We gathered together and played many classic but extremely fun games such as chop chilli chop, concentration, truth and dare, some random floor hitting game, etc. (Playground YAY!)
Time seemed to fly extremely fast, and before long, it was time for us to bathe and go to sleep. But for a tiring day, some of us were pretty awake from the excitement of what was to happen tomorrow!
***Note: DO NOT EVER EVER EVER TRY TO JUMP OFF A BUS.
After an extremely short but pleasant good night’s sleep, we all woke up at around 4 o’clock from the wonderful music such as Justin Bieber’s Baby, (AND the morning PT) played from the Indonesians’ speakers. Although a little early, we were surprised at how loud they were able to sing and shout. Lying awake in our tents, we made use of the extra hour before the actual wake up time to pack our toiletries, plates and utensils into our bags, and get ready to rush to the toilets, wash up and have our breakfast. Then, we started changing into our SRCY uniforms and prepared for the Opening Ceremony. We felt very proud wearing our nicely ironed uniforms and well polished, shiny boots in front of hundreds of people.
By 7:30 am, we were all gathered and ready for the ceremony. Our friends from other countries seemed to find our uniforms interesting and “cool”, I assume, since they started taking photos with us. And the Opening Ceremony finally started. We couldn’t actually understand what was actually happening, as the emcee and parade commander were speaking in Bahasa Indonesia, but thanks to some of our Malay speaking cadets, we had a rough idea of what was happening and what we were supposed to do. The weather had good news and bad news for us. The good news: Clear skies. The bad news: Big sun. It is a fact that we could fry an egg on someone, but we all somehow endured it through the whole parade. To some of our fellow friends who actually fell sick during the parade but still managed to hang in there, really good job! This showed that SRCY’s discipline standard is really high. After enduring the hot weather, we all get to enjoy the performances put up by the locals. Their energy level was superb and they have certainly put in lots of effort in their performances. After the performances, it was lunch. Awesome food! Maybe because we were all tired from the opening ceremony, but all of us seemed to have enjoyed the food.
In the afternoon, some of our groups went on a city tour (Ice cream!) while some stayed at the campsite for some workshops and activities such as batik making, souvenir making and bonding games. For those at the workshops, we had difficulties understanding the instructors due to the different language, but our international friends were there to help us. All our efforts and patience paid off in the form of souvenirs, new friends or new learning points. The most fun part of the day was in the evening, where we gathered at the beach, together with the delegates from other countries, to play volleyball. Despite the language barrier, we managed to communicate with the others and made new friends. We also shared some beach games with one another. We certainly had fun playing the games, and also knew more friends from other countries and bonded together.
Before we knew it, it was already dinner time. We all felt that we hadn’t even had enough fun! So we ate our dinner, and waited for the cultural performances to start. Of course, we made use of our free time to the fullest, by playing more games. Our Indonesian friends also shared some traditional games with us. Although we had to wait for quite a while, we get to have fun playing games and not to mention watching some of our friends doing forfeits. (lol.)
And finally we settled down at the stage for the cultural performances. Each province from Indonesia put up at least one performance each. We could see that the performances were well planned and rehearsed. We really enjoyed the performances put up by our international friends and also learnt a lot about their culture. And of course, the representatives from Singapore also put up some great performances. They had put in a lot of efforts in choreographing and rehearsing the Malay and Indian dance. Everyone seemed to enjoy their performances and the Singapore contingent was giving them full support with the cheering led by our VIs. And the night ended with a wonderful drama performance from the Indonesian delegates. After washing up, we were all tired from screaming our lungs out, and fell asleep immediately when we got back to the tents.
Woke up, shower, changed and we all had our breakfast as usual. Lontong was today’s breakfast. Delicious! So we sat, ate and played games at the dining hall area before proceeding to the field to have some bonding games with other countries.
Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Germany formed a big circle around the field. Then, we started our games. The following countries have to create a group of 5 from different countries. So, some went to Thailand, some went to Indonesia, but the Singaporeans were pretty well spread out in the end.
After forming a group of 5, we’re expected to bond which each other, and ask for each and one of our names. After that, we’re formed into group of 20. So, 15 more people from other countries have to join. The same thing, we’re expected to know each names from the team. What a great opportunity to know them more! :D
After that activity ended, we are left to choose which workshops we want to join. There was the “Batik-Making”, “Souvenirs-Making” and Bonding games again, thus giving us a chance to try out the ones we didn’t do yesterday. Some of the other groups had their city tour. It was a rotation sort of thing, where everyone got to do just about everything. A thoroughly enriching experience!
After a delicious lunch, we went straight on to continue our workshops again, but for some groups (again), they had their city tour instead!
For the City Tour, we went to Batam’s famous bridge, full of food, not to mention the ICE CREAM! (YAY!) Besides the bridge, we went to another place to get ice cream and visited many other places before we reached back to campsite at around 6.00 pm. Practically everyone had a nice rest on the bus after the touring finished and we were going back to the campsite, as seen from the wonderful video posted by Chye Keong Sir!
Reached base camp, then many of us went to join the volleyball games and beach games before we went to have Dinner. After dinner, we had the night concert thingy again, displaying each different countries’ talents and culture. It was a rocking night, isn’t it Hadi Sir? Be it dancing, singing, acting or cheering, everyone had lots and lots of fun!
The usual debrief and briefing, before washing up and sleeping! Everyone by now was dead tired and… zZzZzZzZ…
Wha… HUH!? Oh right! Don’t forget to stay tuned for the rest of the days!