Camping is a compulsory co-curriculum agenda in the Malaysian education calendar. Each school is bound to organize one camping programme and it should be in line with the circular proposed by Malaysian Ministry Of Education. For this year, Malaysian schools are asked to only organize the camping programme after UPSR; with the idea of that the programme is to focus on the Year 6 pupils, regardless whether or not the schedule is cramped as normally 2 months before the school closes for End-Of-Year holiday, the school atmosphere is hectic with the exams, filing-and-documentation shenanigans and etc.
The kids assembled.
Once again, I’ve been enlisted as one of the teachers to partake the Camping programme. I have no qualm whatsoever. It feels good to be able to mingle and bond with pupils and colleagues and getting physical to break sweat once a while; out from the soporific dormant cocoon. Anyway, pupils were asked to assemble at the Hall circa 3.00 o’clock on Friday 12th October and they were segregated into several groups; already set by Teacher Azlin, our Co-Curriculum Moderator. I was given Group 1 to facilitate and I thought that this kinda event is good to strengthen my interpersonal skills. Therefore during the ice-breaking session, it became at ease for me (I guess practices make perfect) to cox the pupils to speak up and brave their opinions. I can see the walls shattered gradually and the shyness evolved into openness. Everyday I am learning new things about the art of people via teaching.
Pupils camping on the badminton courts beside the Hall.
Group 1 I was entrusted to facilitate – “Oppa Chaiyok Style”.
After opinionated discussions, we opted for the group’s name as “Oppa Chaiyok Style”. Personally, I ain’t a K-Pop fan but since the kids like K-Pop and as it has become all K-Pop frenzies in Malaysia, I guess it suits the trend, no? But during the chanting exhibition, the kids were mortified and stupefied! Arghhhh!!! Scare and all….. Kinda frustrated because they were like stone-cold. But hey, kids. Especially when you got the passive ones…. it was quite disappointing as I am a “kiasu” person (hate losing). Hahhaha, still it was fun.
The meals prepared by my pupils! Well done!
The “roti lilit” (twirled bread) made by pupils on their own!
Eggs cooked inside bamboo. Shown by our consultants.
The kids were asked to set up their tents while being assisted and monitored by us, the facilitators. Rest until twilight for Maghrib Prayers and then prayers together in the hall. After “Tazkirah” (small sermon/preach), the kids were whisked to the canteen for “Ikhtiar Hidup” (Survival Efforts) session. Under the wings of consultants from “Kem Lembah Genting”, the kids were taught on how to make decent meals out of simple ingredients. They were also shown how to cook eggs inside bamboos. Apparently, bamboos are very useful plants in the woods. The results were satisfying! The kids were enjoying themselves on handling fire, knives and cooking. Cooperation and opinionated-yet-respecting others were infused whilst executing the tasks.
My male colleagues and I at canteen before jungle-trekking.
The event took around 3 hours and we called it off around 1.00 a.m. in the morning. As facilitator, I had to sleep at the school. After several attempts of my colleagues to go back have been spoiled by my vehement verbal objections, they had to resort to sleep there as well! Hahaha! Yeah, I can be very vocal when it comes to dissatisfaction. The male teachers slept in the hall while the female teachers were to sleep in SPBT Room.
The small hill behind the school and around housing estate.
Me and Cikgu Zulfadzli.
It was until around 4.10 a.m. when I suddenly woke up due to hectic commotion happening at the girls’ tents which is beside the hall; the pupils (boys and girls) woke up and already making noise. I was wondering why on earth the pupils woke up SO EARLY???? I went outside while my male colleagues were still sleeping. One of the girls told me that a girl told them that Cikgu Mazalina woke her up. I was bewildered. There wasn’t any roll call exercised! I telephoned Kak Maza who happened to be the joint Camp Commander with Cikgu Fridaus. She went out and was bewildered with me as well. We tried to find the girl in question but proved to no avail. Just when we were at the pitch-black Block D (the farthest building in the school, located at the brink of a ringlet forest), suddenly Kak Maza looked up at the highest floors of the block. I asked her :
“Akak tengok apa tu? (what are you looking at)”
She didn’t answered me. 15 minutes later when we already at the corridor, she blurted out. She told me that she saw two white-veiled girls walking from 5E to 5A along the highest floor of the block D!!! I was quite stupefied! And then she claimed that she also saw something at the staircase. The hair behind my back stood up. Kak Maza said she could actually see “things’ and historically, our school is known for its ‘mystical’ inhabitants. As much as it was eerie to hear, I was even furious with my male colleagues for having courtesy of sleeping while the kids were wandering though I’ve woken them up for several times! Finally for last call, I stormed off in the hall, ranting words and made some ruckus. Argh! So angry and disappointed that I became blunt. I drove home (but came back later for aerobic session) because I was so frustrated! Imagine only two of you invigilating the pupils while your colleagues were lazily sleeping?? UNFAIR!
Anyway, after sleeping and Subuh prayer at home, I came back to school for aerobic session; with my angst recedes and faded (Hahaha!). We had breakfast and then getting ready for jungle trekking at a small jungle/ringlet behind our school (as Hulu Selangor has a lot of jungles and au naturel flora). Prior to jungle trekking, we put some tobacco to protect ourselves from leeches! Eeeek! Hahaha…and off we went up the small hill. It was raining when we reached the small apex. The view was quite nice, seeing Serendah from a bird’s view. Subhanallah. By that time, it was already raining. So we went to small roofed-corridor at SMK Serendah for shelter.
We rested for almost an hour waiting for the rain to recede but unfortunately it poured down harder! So, we make way through the rain back to SK Serendah. After lunch & Zuhur prayer, the pupils were facilitated into games coordinated by the Kem Lembah Genting consultants until evening.
We called off the activity around 6.10 pm. with me as the spontaneous MC for the closing ceremony. It was simple, brisk yet meaningful. Although this year, we had to do it in school compound due to the instructions by Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Selagor due to leptospirosis, but I have to say it cemented a great deal of physical, emotional and mystical experiences.On whole, it was another successful programme of the school.
Gesturing “Kamehameha” while doing aerobic.