“I don’t know why I’m doing this. I must be crazy.”
This was what I muttered to myself when I was getting ready to traverse across the North Canteen pond on nothing more than a single hanging rope held taut by my fellow Adventure Club mates.
After putting on my gloves and helmet, I grabbed the rope tightly with my arms and legs and attempted to cross the pond like a monkey. It was inevitable that I fell into the pond and came out smelling like fish and pond gunk.
But, it was probably the best part of D’Camp 2013, a 3D2N camp for CCA leaders.
I decided to go for this camp because I was intrigued by the various CCAs in NYP. Here’s one thing about me: I walk around the school a lot. I don’t know about you, but for me, whenever I walk pass a CCA activity going on, I always wish I could try it out.
My wish came true when we had a CCA exchange session during D’Camp and I realised I did quite well in Silat, a Malay martial art. I also excelled at Archery, Frisbee and had great fun with the Dikir Barat (Malay Cultural Group).
During the beginning of D’Camp, I was placed in group “Wilma”. All the other groups also had “Flintstone” theme names. It was a little awkward to work together with strangers at first, but after a couple of ice breakers, we soon warmed up to each other. During the next few days, I tried my hand at a couple of activities, including dragon boating and tug-o-war.
The dragon boat opportunity came early in the morning in the form of a competition. My team Wilma was up against other teams at Lower Seletar Reservoir. When the air horn sounded, we started paddling hard, and counting “One two! One two!” It wasn’t easy and after two rounds of paddling, I understood why dragon boaters are so muscular, and tanned.
After lunch, we had a tug-o-war challenge and we were the top team! Most of the tug of war matches we had finished rather quickly with our team winning easily with the EXCEPTION of one match. The group we nearly lost to had a secret weapon in the form of a guy named Joey. Joey is taller than 180cm, and he has plenty of muscles so let’s call him “Hulk” for the moment. On top of that, Hulk is from the NYP Dragon Boat team and his determination was as strong as his muscles. But we eventually managed to overcome Joey and his team-mates. We may not be the strongest but we too had our secret weapon - good teamwork and technique.
When our tug-o-war began, we were being pulled forward really fast. We were trying to pull back or at least, stop ourselves from moving forward. Shouting seems to work for me, so I shouted like a really angry beast, “COME ON!!! PULL AH!!! DON’T GIVE UP AARRGGHH!!!”
Thanks to our effort, the pull from the other group stopped. The sun was scorching hot and our muscles started to ache but we pressed on. The crowd was looking on anxiously as if it was a match of gladiators. Slowly, we started pulling back, after stalling for a while. When it came to our turn to pull again, we managed to floor them quickly. It was the greatest victory for us. I was so tired and my legs felt like jelly.
There was only one more game left. It was river traversing (or more like pond traversing). The organiser showed a demonstration and asked who wanted to do it.
As you would have guessed by now, I volunteered, and fell miserably into the pond. It was a great experience getting acquainted with the koi fishes.
Would I do it if I knew what would happen? Definitely. My taste for adventure is insatiable. So trust me, this is not the end to my adventure in NYP.
Bring on more, please!
By Shahril Khairi, Diploma in Business Management, Year 2
Shahril Khairi loves music, history, other cultures, writing and travelling. Some say “Active” is his middle name because he enjoys adventures and keeping fit. He loves eating and judging food and has a strong interest in The Art of War and strategy games even though he enjoys peace. He is a guy who enjoys the bright side of life.