(長洲) is a small, tranquil island where everywhere is peaceful and quiet. Cheng Chau’s population is far less than Hong Kong island and Kowloon. The main form of transport there is the bicycle, and the other vehicles are slightly primitive, with wagons and small trucks. This is the prime place to relax and get away from civilization, and is also a very historic place, with many temples and old buildings. It takes approximately 20 -40 minutes to get from Hong Kong to Cheng Chau.
OK, right. Let me explain what this camp was all about. This camp relates to our new Central Idea a lot, this camp was to make us fitter, push us to our limits with tons of physical exertion, all the while learning about ourselves. It also made us risk-takers, independent, confident, and able to solve problems, most of these attributes and attitudes relates to what learners should be. This camp was hosted by Dragonfly Outdoors (visit the site!), and lots of people contributed to this camp. The accommodation was far up in the jungle, and was hosted by the YMCA. During the day, we did various activities such as Biking/ Cycling, Raft-building, riding on a Sampan, exploring a pirate cave (The pirate cave was used a long time ago for a pirate called Tseung Po Tsai, Tie-dying, Rock-climbing, Bread-making, The Great Race, night-hiking, having a Barbecue, and finally, because we were in different teams doing different activities (My was called the Red Devils), we each made a chant to see which one was the best, my team got awarded the best Rhyme Scheme, an immense honor. The food I enjoyed the most was the Barbecue, which we had chicken wings, sausages, corn, fishballs, tomato and lettuce. I also enjoyed the breakfast, with eggs, sausages, hot chocolate, and many other great delicacies.
This camp was slightly traumatic, also awesome! But there were 2 most memorable experiences I had. In raft-building, (Click here to know how to build a raft), we were making rafts out of bamboo and tires. It seemed that our team hadn’t tied the knots tight enough, and the whole boat disassembled in a matter of seconds. I found myself gasping for air under the boat. (Please note: Drowning isn’t fun, but drowning and surviving is slightly more fun) The other experience was having a tissue fight with Camper 14, Boss 9, and an alpha-adventurer (sorry, I don’t know his number). It started with Camper 14 sneezing, and just for fun, he threw it to the unknown alpha-adventurer, and so on. These were great experiences.
Alright, the things I really wanted to do if I got another try weren’t exactly a lot, the camp was good. But I do need to tie my knots more carefully, our raft (Please look above) fell apart almost instantly as we dragged it out to see, also our design wasn’t the best, we need to plan more carefully if we want successful raft. The second thing would be to bring my own blankets. The whole bed was brimming with lice, and the air conditioner was on FULL BLAST! Even in my frozen state, my roommates made me go to the air conditioner and turn it off, my legs were freezing! The final thing I regret doing is lathering enough mosquito repellent on my skin, I had so many tiny little bites, and they were SO itchy!
There were numerous things and meaningful lessons that I learned about this camp. The first lesson is to do things precisely, accurately, and taking our time, I feel we were slightly too rushed while building our raft, not making the knots precisely, so that is why our boat fell apart. The second thing I learnt was very intriguing, it was about nature. Who knows what are Banyan trees? I know some of you are thinking “WWHHAAT?” Well, do you know what an epiphyte is? Well, they are practically plants which can grow on man-made objects, Banyan trees can be one of them. (Quick lesson: The Banyan tree is sacred and is used for praying and worshiping.) Right, so the Banyan tree has these roots growing out of their branches, these are called aerial roots, and I found out how they grow.
1. The Banyan tree grows.
2. The Banyan tree sprouts seeds.
3. The birds eat them.
4. The birds excrete (scientific word for doing a number 2, if you are squeamish and sensitive, please just use the word excrete.)
5. The excretion is used as fertilizer to make the aerial roots grow (it only works if the excretion has a banyan tree seed inside).
6. Roots grow from the spot.
What a great lesson, right?
This camp was amazing, I learnt so many survival and independence skills, a lot of knowledge, and this camp has rendered me a much more confident and mature person.
Here is a link to a photo album for camp, they show how our whole grade has evolved as a person: