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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 23 March 2014 00:00

Orientation Camp for Kluang Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group

Written by  BY KEE YIN SI, KLUANG / TRANSLATED BY GOH HWE YONG

The camp started with a finger-guessing game to break the ice. [Photograph by Chia Chee Yong]

The classes for the 12th Batch of Kluang Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group (Tzu Shao) have commenced on March 22, 2014. As an opening activity, a two-day camp was held for all the 56 members of the Group, with 35 Tzu Chi volunteers taking part to play their roles.


The camp started with a game designed to break the ice. It was greatly enjoyed by the teens as well as the team guides. After the ice-breaking game, the teens were first briefed by the MCs on things to take note. Then, the camp facilitators briefed them on camp rules, while reminding them also to be cooperative and accommodating in order to make the camp a success.

Following the briefing, the Tzu Chi Youth Song was sung. It was short but meaningful, expressing hope in the young members to fulfil their parts in humanity, as the lyrics run: ‘Respect life, and be soft and gentle in manners’.

Next, a game of origami (paper folding) designed for the teaching of the Jing-Si Aphorisms was conducted. It was a competition in folding an origami tower which could stand the weight of an egg, a rather difficult game, yet they all succeeded. This real situation of overcoming difficulties through ways and means was a self-explanation of the content of specific Jing-Si aphorisms.

Be trusting, and problems could be solved

In recent months, there has been no rain in Kluang, and water levels in the reservoirs have fallen alarmingly. In conjunction with the current drought and water rationing, senior Tzu Shao member He Jia Yuan talked on the need to conserve water. Huang Zi Qi and Chen Guan Huang, two of the teens, shared the view that water rationing caused inconvenience in daily life. With a better understanding about water supply, they would be more mindful in using water in the future.

Two other senior members of the Group continued with the teaching of the theme song of the camp, ‘Live the Moment Now’. It was a delightful song which was easy to pick up. The message of the song being ‘Go into actions, all ideas about the world could be realized; without actions, all thoughts would be nothing but empty talks and wishful thinking’.

After dinner, programme committee member Liu Shu Ting invited all to play a ‘Minefield’ game. Each team was made up of two partners, one was blindfolded, and the other was to give instructions for the first one to overcome obstacles to arrive at the destination safely. Coordination between the two partners was rather difficult in the beginning as both were new to each other. But with further trials, the game got smoother. Through playing the game, He Yan Ying learnt that it was important to face problems squarely; it took effective communication, the will to try, and mindfulness to solve problems.

A positive change took place

The next day, the camp participants were divided in teams to take part in recycling activity at some recycling stations. Most of them were shocked to see so many usable goods among a huge mountain of recyclables collected. After two hours working their way through in sorting the recyclable items, they realized that as a result of insatiable desires, human wants far exceeded human needs, which in turn caused huge wastage of precious resources.

In conjunction with the missing Flight MH370 event, the person-in-charge of Tzu Chi Kluang Liaison Office, Ong Seng Yeow, took time off to show pictures and footages of Tzu Chi volunteers giving humanitarian support to the families of passengers on the lost flight. Obviously, their tender care helped to calm the mind of the affected family members who were in desperate agony.

The final event of the day was a short play presented by the participants themselves. What had they learnt in these two days? Their play told it all – to conserve resources, and to reduce material wants and cherish what they have.

Some of the participants expressed that from being reluctant, even scornful at first, they had later become actively engaged, thanks to the team guides who guided them patiently. The drastic change was a positive outcome obvious to all. Li Shu Hua, who took part for the fourth time but became a group leader for the first time, vowed to show by example. Another group leader Chen Shu Xuan, felt the pressure of being a group leader, fearing she would not live up to expectation. But facts told her that mindfulness was the key to success. She promised to lead the teens to a great leap forward.

The camp ended after a plentiful harvest of two days. However tiring it might be, all felt that they have learnt a lot from the camp. It helped to strengthen their beliefs, and would become an unforgettable memory.

 

56 participants joined the Kluang Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group Camp that took place on March 22-23, 2014. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   Situational learning of mindfulness required participants to make a paper tower strong enough to hold an egg. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]

56 participants joined the Kluang Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group Camp that took place on March 22-23, 2014. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
Situational learning of mindfulness required participants to make a paper tower strong enough to hold an egg. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
A ‘Minefield’ game was played. It took mindfulness and trust in a partner to complete the game. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   The participants having hands-on experience at a recycling point. [Photograph by Chia Chee Yong]

A ‘Minefield’ game was played. It took mindfulness and trust in a partner to complete the game. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
 
The participants having hands-on experience at a recycling point. [Photograph by Chia Chee Yong]