Modern Camping 2010

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I find it sad to know that camping isn’t like what it used to be.  Who should be blamed? Teachers for not being willing to spend the night? Students for being spoil brats? Parents for being to protective? The Education ministry for being errr…. I don’t want to say it…

Well, my school had their camping last weekend in school, beside the football field, in a safe guarded area where practically nothing can harm you, except spirits and mosquitoes. Ahhh.. the difference is so obvious, and that’s why I feel sad over camping these days.

I think the students had fun though, but I kind of miss the days when there was less restrictions, and less interference from the parents.  I can remember clearly how us campers were asked to travel at night, moving through swamps, ponds and being shouted over being late or loosing our ‘responsibilities’ which used t come in the form of mosquito coils and an egg.

Thinking back of those moments makes me smile.  Those were the days when parents didn’t bother to place so much restrictions on the movement of their children when it came to school activities, and those were the days that parents will not put so much blame on the teacher shall something bad happen.  Teachers themselves get to enjoy the camp as they do not have to do any sort of documentation for the camp. Due to this loose ends, and more emphasis on the camp and its activities, students and teachers tend to get better organized camps and hence enjoy the whole camps entirely.

Now, camps are restricted.  Students are to avoid sea and rivers at all cost.  In most cases, pack food is prepared for the campers, and activities are restricted in super safe areas, such as school compounds, properly designated camping areas and also football fields.  Better ‘survival like’ camps require students to cook for themselves, with gas stoves.  You also have the occasional visits from concern parents which tend to pop up wondering how their children are doing, and when it comes to activities, no one should get hurt as accidents and incidents should be kept to the minimum to avoid parents making any kind of law suit towards the teachers, school and ministry.  I think that’s why activities during camps are held indoors nowadays, while outdoor activities are restricted to sleeping in tents and easy jungle tracking.  Urghhh.. I know, camps are held for the purpose to foster unity etc etc… but I miss the ‘fun part’ which came with it.

Well, it’s not that extra caution should be not enforced during camps, but with so many restrictions, what fun can be done?

I remember how I was allowed to bath in the sea during a primary school trip to Pasir Pandak, and how I was allowed to swim in the nearby stream when I was in primary school.  Drinking water was obtained from the stream.  I also remembered how I had to build my camp from scratch using bamboo and finish it by dark with a few pieces of canvas being the roof to protect us campers from rain and shine.  I also remembered how we had to go hungry if our food for that evening wasn’t cook yet by or fellow members whom were suppose to cook, and yet, we couldn’t blame them because they had to cook it using firewood.  I also could recall how we sat by the camp fire at night having our activities, and how we performed the weirdest drama during the last night.  Yeap, those where the days, but the funny thing is…

the most memorable ones are the part where you are asked to do stupid acts like giving a kiss to the tree trunk because you were late, or asked to yell for water supposedly for cleansing at 4am in the morning after being asked to purposely soak yourself in the nearby pond untill you’re dripping wet.  Ahh… Those were the days…I think camping in rural schools are still very much like the olden days, but I won’t be surprise there is a small bit changes here and there.

hmmm… I used to love camping, but not anymore…

1 COMMENT

  1. I guess this is the trend now, camping in the school. But at least the students had fun. 🙂 Miss my days in the school scout.

    [Cyril]
    Ya. camp in schools are a lot safer, but i find it sad 🙁 Camping last time was much better, with the real jungle, but yeah.. the jungle must have phone signal if I have to go 😛

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