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Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00

A Camp Jointly Organized by Chung Hua's Boarders and Tzu Chi's Teenagers

Written by  By Then Hon Keong & Wong Siew Chin, Seremban/ Translated by Peggy Lee

Performance of “Parable of the Kneeling Lamb” and “Answer” at the closing of the Camp.【Photograph by Cho Tiong Chai】

Chung Hua Middle School’s boarders and Tzu Chi's Teenagers jointly organized a Camp with the theme, “Start with love”. Graduates of Tzu Chi University prepared and conducted the programmes. Parents, School Headmaster and School Director had verified the results of the humanities courses conducted by Tzu Chi volunteers in the past few months.

Since mid-2012, Tzu Chi volunteers have been conducting humanistic cultural classes for boarders of Chung Hua Middle School, Port Dickson. The School’s Hostel Warden, Ke Ai Ji, and Tzu Chi volunteers then decided to organize a Camp in January to kick-start 2013. With the theme, “Start with Love”, this Camp had focused on teaching the youngsters about the virtues of “Gratitude, Respect and Love”.
 
121 school boarders and 42 Tzu Chi Teenagers from Seremban took part in the Camp. The total number of 163 campers was divided into 16 teams, each led by a Tzu Chi volunteer.

The 12 Tzu Qing (Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth) and seniors accompanying the campers were from Beijing, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. A few of them graduated from Taiwan Tzu Chi University. To coordinate the programmes for the Camp, this group of young people communicated through email, Facebook, Skype, and so on.

When Connie Gan, a graduate from Tzu Chi University, gave a talk on environmental protection in this school previously, she was very surprised that the children were undisciplined and showed no interest on the topic at all. But, this time round, there was much improvement. With love and care from Tzu Chi volunteers, they are more disciplined now.
 
A graduate from the Public Health Faculty, Taiwan Tzu Chi University, Connie said, “When volunteer Gan Moo Tan invited me to assist in setting up the programme, I agreed. Through emails, I invited my fellow university partners to join in and I’m so glad that they agreed after learning the background of these students.” Despite being busy with her studies at The Institute of National Taiwan University, Connie would not miss any chance to join Tzu Chi’s activities when she is home in Seremban for holidays.

Reward by doing your best

The welcoming speech by Headmaster, Mr Khoo Chee Keong, officially marked the opening of the January 26 and 27, 2013 Camp.

On the first day, the session on “What is Love?” was organized by Tzu Chi University graduate Yang Wen Teng from Singapore. In the game, all students were blindfolded, and with hands draped over each other's shoulders, they were led by their team leader to the other corner of the room. This game was aimed at encouraging the students to trust their partners.

“Our parents perform their duties well at all times. As children, do we show filial piety to them at all times?” Through this video presentation, the students got to reflect and experience the meticulous care given by parents.

As the first day of the Camp fell on the lunar calendar full-moon day, volunteers had specially arranged for the campers to enjoy the moonlight and to have a heart-to-heart talk in the park. This move was to allow the students to engage in more in-depth understanding among them; and, at the same time, the leaders could learn more about their team members.
 
The very first programme for the next morning was “Mind Yoga” exercises led by volunteer Li Wei Shan, a professional yoga teacher, specially invited by the organizer. After breakfast, they were led by Tzu Qing to a nearby council park to enjoy the morning breeze.

All the four games after lunch break were conducted in different manners but with a common aim to instill teamwork and to be aware of its importance.

Gan Wen Chien, a Teacher and graduate from Tzu Chi University Department of Human Development, shared her feelings from being a Tzu Qing member to a teacher. She told the students that Teacher/Warden Ke Ai Li has helped them to change for the better by bringing in Tzu Chi’s culture into the school. When she asked, “What have you all done for the teacher?”, almost all of them were brought to tears. Wen Chien then advised them to do their best and not to worry about their teacher. This is the best reward for their teacher.

Say I love you

The Boarding Students' Council President, Liew Shun Wei, who is also the emcee for the Camp, was overjoyed with the presence of his parents throughout the 2-day Camp. His father, Liew Wei Liang, took on the role of a team leader, as he wanted to get a thorough understanding of Tzu Chi and of his son through the activity. Shun Wei revealed that he used to be very bad-tempered and felt that parental care had smothered him.

He shared, “It was only when I started boarding that I found that without my parents’ nagging, I would have no one to care for me anymore. Now I realize they are very precious to me.” He then added, “The very first thing I would do when I get home today is to give them a big hug and tell them I love them.”

Father Liew Wei Liang is very grateful for the endless efforts of Tzu Chi volunteers and the School’s Hostel Warden in guiding his son, who has become very disciplined and loveable. Liew is also very pleased that his son has changed from being bad-tempered to being a well-behaved and soft-spoken child.

After the sharing session at the end of the Camp, Boarding student, Li Ding Yi called home immediately to tell his family that he loves them and that he is very grateful for the love given by them.

Tzu Chi Teenager, Chen Hui Jin was so touched after seeing the play, “Mother in Heaven”, that she vowed to be filial to her mother, to help her with the housework and to be good. She was very touched by her mother’s presence that day and felt that the mother-daughter relationship is much closer now.

Another Tzu Chi Teenager, Luo Ai Wei would like to share the happiness and love she received with those people in need of love. She also learnt the importance of teamwork and to trust her partners. This is especially important for one, who lives together with so many companions from different family backgrounds in the boarding school.
 
Endless love

The School’s Director, Headmaster and parents of the boarders were invited to the closing ceremony. To express gratitude to their parents, the students performed the “Parable of the Kneeling Lamb”; and to show their teachers how they felt and understood the love given to them, they performed the sign language for the song: “Answer”. At the finale, the whole floor interpreted the song “Spread out the Love” with sign language. It was then that the children and their parents hugged each other. The campers also expressed their gratitude to their team leaders for their accompaniment throughout the Camp. It was such a heartwarming scene.

“To love and to be loved are both happy experiences.” Initially, Headmaster Khoo Chee Keong only knew Tzu Chi as a non-profitable organization and thought that as long as it could change the attitude of his students, it would be a good organization, regardless of religion. He was very moved to see the great improvement in the boarders after Tzu Chi’s involvement.

Mr Khoo was indeed very impressed and moved by the endless efforts dedicated by the volunteers during the 2-day Camp. They were there to assist the students at all times. He said, “I hope that after the Camp, the students would be disciplined, acquire team spirit, experience love and initiate everything with love.”

 

Learned to trust each other in the game.【Photograph by Then Hon Keong】 A game to build up team spirit.【Photograph by Then Hon Keong】

Learned to trust each other in the game.【Photograph by Then Hon Keong】

A game to build up team spirit.【Photograph by Then Hon Keong】
Chairman of Chung Hua Middle School (from left), Headmaster, Mr Khoo Chee Keong and Tzu Chi volunteer, Huang Qiu Yu enjoying the sign language performance.【Photograph by Cho Tiong Chai】 Outdoor activity for campers to cherish and to be thankful to nature.【Photograph by Siow Yau Chu】

Chairman of Chung Hua Middle School (from left), Headmaster, Mr Khoo Chee Keong and Tzu Chi volunteer, Huang Qiu Yu enjoying the sign language performance.【Photograph by Cho Tiong Chai】

Outdoor activity for campers to cherish and to be thankful to nature.【Photograph by Siow Yau Chu】

 

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