January 1, 2013

Youth Dhamma Camp 21

I've just returned from the most unforgettable camp ever, YDC 21. Organised by Subang Jaya Buddhist Association, this camp was held for 5 days; 1 day at SJBA before heading to Dusun Eco Resort Pahang. Not only was this my first ever SJBA camp, it also was my first camp already as a committee member. The executive committee/EXCOs who supervised the planning of the camp somehow saw the potential in me to be a committee and thus approached me to ask if I was interested to join. 

After 3 days of thought, I signed up to be in charge of security, which mainly meant taking care of the campers, standing by for first aid service, laying down the rules of the camp, crowd control and keeping track of time so that programs dont run late. I had an assistant by the name of Wei Wen. who handled security duties for the girls.

So what was my 5 days of security duty like?

Day 0

Named as such because it wasnt in Dusun Eco yet. We started with the registration, which was unusually non-Malaysia as campers started arriving half an hour early. o_o After that was the introduction of members and the committee, ice breaking, and other stuffs which I'm not really bothered to write because I'm a tad lazy. On my part, I assigned the boys' accommodation. At 12.45, it was lights out... for the campers. Committee members had to stay up for a day-by-day post mortem. 

Today's verdict was: Bad and messy.  We got a hammering from the Excos, and from there we knew we had to buck up big time if we wanted the camp to succeed. Even I made an error of  wrongly interrupting the Mahapuja session.  If it was any help, there was praise for the unusually fast assigning of the dorms. Lights out for us at 2am.

Day 1

With less than 4 hours of half-sleep, it was time for the camp proper. Boys being boys, some were slow in waking up and washing up. In the end we were 15 minutes late for morning puja. Luckily it didnt take long to complete the session. Breakfast, a personality workshop, and then off we went to Dusun Eco. I rode in my chairman's car so we reached there an hour before the campers.

Once they arrived it was dorms assigning, rules briefing and lunch. On our way to our dorms we found that there were a bunch of rowdy, rough and cari pasal men who stayed in another dorm block nearby to us.  On top of that one of the campers had a mental breakdown and couldnt go to lunch at first. Not wanting to leave her behind and vulnerable to the men, I stayed back with another Exco. There went half an hour of lunch time.

After she was okay, we went to the cafeteria. Upon reaching, I was greeted with more news. I was in charge of organising a station game (which we had settled before camp). The game is about collecting random materials to build a voodoo doll mascot thing.

 I was told the Dusun Eco staff warned of evening rains. Concerned, the vice chairman told me to push my game one hour in advance. What this meant was I now only had 30 minutes to prepare my station game. In addition to bringing it forward, I had to find extra committee members to be station masters due to the  cari pasal men in the area. This took 15 minutes. And I still havent eaten. 3 times I was reminded to eat but I didnt.

Rushing with my logistics man Her Jun we managed to set up everything before the game started. *phew*
THEN, one of the station masters told me she doesnt have her voodoo doll materials to give out. Oh my tua pek kong. So there went more rushing and digging around looking for her items (drinks cans). In the end, she found out THEY WERE WITH HER THE WHOLE TIME. I collapsed onto the bench.

Then another station master told me he forgot to give the stack of newspapers for another station. What made it worse was this station was at the faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr end of the resort which was a bloody long and steep uphill walk. Nonetheless I delivered them. Before I knew it, the time for the  game had finished. Later, a debrief of the game was due. My assistant for the game initially said to do the debrief together. Then all a sudden the whole thing was pushed to me. Apparently my heavy breathing and dripping sweat was not made clear to her how I was. Whichever way I was too tired to be pissed off so I just did it.

After the game I treated one guy with a sudden rash from an unknown source and another who had  his ankle cut by a rusted piece of metal. Thankfully they're both okay.

Later at night, we were supposed to have a night walk in the jungle. However it got cancelled due to the rain.
So then we did a brief indoor game to pass some time before supper and sleep.

Day 1 post mortem, my chairman was overall satisfied with how my voodoo doll game went, despite the sudden change in plans. Did I mention I skipped lunch? Overall, the Excos were happy with our improvement compared to Day 0. Off to bed at sometime-after-1am.

Day 2

A mostly indoors day. We had a huge game about money, bribes, taxes, the government, and all sorts of real-world aspects. Aptly, this game was called Game of  Life. After that was a workshop on changing negative feelings into positive feelings. Lunch, hymn singing then water captainball. Captainball is a sport with a combination of basketball and netball. Get the ball from your half to the opponents' half of the play area, then throw the ball to your catcher. One catch earns one point. Team with most points win. Ours then was held in the water. At the end there was an all-stars campers team Vs  committees match.
Tragically, the committees lost 7-1. 

During the game, one girl cut her foot on a metal ladder and another had an insect bite. Meanwhile, one of the boys suffered food poisoning and vomited +  lau saied a total of 3 times.

At night, they watched a movie called Shutter which was chosen by yours truly. It was a Thai horror film which scared  even some of the boys. 

Finally was a horror-themed station game. I was a station master which involved holding an Ipad for participants to watch a video and count the number of times people walk past the camera. Sitting there for 2 hours alone was a bit creepy. Night meeting without a post mortem, but only focusing on the next day's main event; Project W. 

Day 3

The night was so cold I wrapped up in my blanket like a popiah. But still, I had the most sleep of the whole camp. Starting with exercise, our vice chairman Ching gave us a little dance routine to follow (she's a hip hop dancer mind you). I struggled to keep up with the coordination of some moves. xD

After the last workshop on overcoming fears with confidence, we moved on to Project W. Campers went around doing another station game, collecting clues. That was Phase 1.

Phase 2's secret plan accidentally flew out of our programmer's mouth. The plan was for the participants to plan, coordinate and direct an entire talent night. Committees can help in the planning or contribute as a performer, but main control was all done by the campers. In the end, the result was absolutely magical. Entertaining, smooth flow. Except for when some of the boys had a bit too much fun and broke a window pane. =/

But despite that, the show was an overwhelming success.

After a failed campfire because the wood was wet from rain, we had our final committee meeting to prepare Cryana Mitra. Off to bed at almost 3am.

Day 4

Not even 1.5 hours had passed before having to wake up again. During Cryana Mitra, campers were woken up at 5, walked all the way to the canteen. There, they wrote on a paper what their fear was. Walk back up again, put the paper in a balloon and blow it up. Blindfolded they were, and walked along the corridor into the hall. Here, Exco Yvonne and Adrean did a fantastic job evoking the sadness  of the participants. A lump in my throat formed too. Then we watched a montage of photos and videos throughout the camp.

After that, it was bonding time among campers and committees. Everyone gave hugs and spoke out whatever they wanted to. I've never hugged so many girls in one morning. It was also here where the Excos sang their praises for the job well done I did throughout camp, describing me as a "one hit wonder", among others (alamak bangganya aku). So then we finished up our other activities, had lunch (the worst meal throughout camp), and at 1.30pm, we bade farewell to Dusun Eco.

After first reaching SJBA, I then went back to my apartment. Half an hour later dad was back from work and we both left at 6  to come back home. 

Looking back on the 5 days, despite the difficulties I went through especially on the first 2 days, I can only say this has been the best camp ever. Probably because its the first camp outside school. And maybe because of all the new people I got to meet. No, wait. Those ARE the reasons why. People who are all really, truly great.

With that, I bow down to 2012. Except for being an absolute basturd in the 2-3 months leading up to camp, you've been awesome. No ups without the downs I guess. Deric Chan signing off for the last time in 2012.

In your face Doomsday believers.


  1. Hi Deric ! Thx for posting it! I still have the awesome memories of the 5 days! Kesian u like crazy the first few days haha!
    I had so much fun and so glad I met so many great people!
    And u comitees did such an amazing job! The games to me were so well organized and unique. Im being honest,k?:D
    did we meet during camp?o.O Im not very sure if I remember but your the one that helped my insect bite right? Well if you are thank you do.much for rushing to help! It was very sweet of u! :D
    I hope this camp has a reunion! Im definitely considering going for another! Hbu ?:D
    bye!!! ~Melissa

  2. Oh hi Melissa! Of course I remember the insect bite girl. :) thanks for your kind comments (aww). how did you find my blog? I dont think you added me on Facebook right? I dont see you in our YDC21 facebook group either.

    Anyway I'm glad you appreciate everything we've done for the camp. :) Will I go for another? Remains to be seen. hehe.