(Heads-up: wordy post!)
As most of you might already know, I am no longer an SMU student and I will be starting my freshman year at NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication Studies this August. That means that I have to go through the whirlwind of orientation activities all over again to familiarise myself with my new school and university, such as going for camps, forming new friendships, going for introductory talks, learning not to get lost in the school compound, etc — not that I’m complaining, though. It’s been fun going for the various camps (3, to be exact) and I’m glad that I approached them with just as much, if not more, enthusiasm as I did with my SMU freshmen camps last year. (Here’s the blog entry on the 3 SMU camps I attended.)
My trio of Freshmen Orientation Camps (FOCs) kicked off with the 5D4N Wee Kim Wee (WKW) camp titled The Last Totem, closely followed by the 6D5N Outdoor Adventure Club (ODAC) overseas camp, and lastly the 5D4N Soul Funky dance camp! It’s hard to imagine how I managed to survive all 3 camps since they were consecutive and so friggin’ long, omg. But fortunately I completed them relatively unscathed, save for a couple of crazy bruises, grazed skin, heavier eyebags, and a skintone several shades darker.
Tbh, all 3 camps were pretty awesome in their own ways, and it’s hard to make a judgment as to which camp was the “best” since they were sooo different, but I can safely say that I enjoyed them immensely for different reasons.
Before I delve into my reflections on each of the camps, I would like to say that I’m also super thankful to J for coming down all the way to the Wild Wild West *ahem* to drive me and my heavy bags home after my camps. :)
1. WKWSCIFOC’12: The Last Totem
Right. So this FOC was tribal-themed, and I was in Apache, aka the green tribe (OG) or the wolf tribe (which explains the pose; it’s supposed to look like wolf ears haha).
I loved how we Apache cubs had such a laidback spirit (we were given the title of the Most Chill Tribe, and even nicknamed ourselves “Apa-chill”. Hahaha). We were far from being overly aggressive and hyper-competitive during inter-OG games, and instead raked in much of our points from cheering enthusiastically. :) Oh yeah and the fact that we were such an ~awkward~ tribe also made the memories from camp all the more endearing and funny. :)
The flash mob at Ngee Ann City was a first for me, and the fact that everyone sang along when the music got crackly made the experience all the more memorable. Despite the hiccups, I could see that everyone had a great time throughout the camps!
The ‘best’ part about this camp is probably the fact that the freshies’ welfare was especially well taken care of, what with the super caring GLs (Joel, Hanle, Huda, and Ben) and friendly seniors who also helped us bond and warm up to each other. The activities were typical camp/icebreaker games (e.g. beach games, pool games, Amazing Race) — pretty nondescript stuff, I would say — so what set the camp aside from the others was the extra attention and care given by all the seniors to infuse as much of a familial (family) feel to it as possible.
The impression I got of WKWSCI after the camp was that it is a friendly, snuggly even, ‘family’-centric community that made me feel comfortable and welcome. :) It definitely feels good to know that these are the people I’ll be studying with for the coming 4 years!
Special shout-out to: Wei Liang for being so understanding during ‘SODA’ *ahem* and for smelling damn good hahaha; Isadora for being so nice during ‘SODA’ as well, and for being my singing buddy; Rebecca for your warm and funny personality; Jessica for your occasional auntie-ness and the irrational paranoia we share; Kai Wei and Joanne for being so approachable and easy to talk to; Shahrin and Landdis for being clubbing music nuts; Amirah for being so friggin’ retarded and funny hahahahahaha; and Bernice for the ride back home. :)
It’s a pity I wasn’t able to turn up for our first OG outing at Reverb — I felt quite out-of-the-loop as a result!! :/ But hehe I guess there will always be future Apache meet-ups! I’m also looking forward to seeing you guys in school and working together on projects! :)
P.S.: Amirah and I really missed our dear ‘Apa-chill’ A LOT during our ODAC camp!!! ._.
2. ODAC FOOT’12
The biggest reason I signed up for this camp was my interest in joining NTU Outdoor Adventure Club (ODAC) — I wanted to get a better understanding and ~feel~ of the club as well as the people inside, to ascertain if it would be suitable for me. And I’m glad that I went for the camp because I had a lot of fun! :)
The camp is titled FOOT’12, which stands for Freshmen Overseas Orientation Trip, and it’s the only camp that brings the freshies overseas!! :P We spent 3D2N trekking at Taka Melor, Malaysia (waterfalls! yay!), while the rest of the camp was held in Singapore.
FOOT’12 was pretty jam-packed with outdoor activities, especially in the first few days, which was something I like about the camp. We got to try rock-climbing, bouldering, night-cycling, trekking, and dragon-boating, instead of the usual camp activities (lol I would like to once again rehash my dislike for activities such as icebreaker games and Amazing Race!!!! arghhh). Pretty damn fun, huh? :)
That said, having so many physically draining activities in a few short days also meant that we were exhausted. We didn’t get much sleep, which might be common in many freshmen camps, but note that our activities were quite strenuous — e.g. we only had 3 precious hours of shut-eye after being superrrr shagged as hell from night-cycling! So for a good part of the camp I was grumbling a lot about how the freshies’ welfare wasn’t paid much attention, particularly since I was comparing it to WKWSCI’s FOC which had very good welfare. But on retrospect, it really wasn’t that bad after I got used to it, and I appreciate the immense hard work that the GLs and seniors put in despite their own severe lack of sleep!
Ok that aside, the bulk of the camp was super fun! I enjoyed myself even though this camp was damn rah-rah, which was a stark contrast to the damn chill WKW camp I just went to. Hahaha. The size of the OG was also smaller than in WKW FOC, which made it easier to talk to and bond with everyone. I also found myself getting to know a lot more seniors this time round. :)
Some notable moments during FOOT’12 include:
- Store-Washing: We tried to dry the tent’s flysheet by sprinting barefoot on the scalding hot running track under the burning sun, omg. My poor feet almost got blisters after that one run.
- SP Proposal: Thank you all for helping with the positioning of the canoe and making everything go so smoothly! It was also my first time singing along to a guitar in front of so many people!!! Oh yes, seeing everyone do their own proposals was great fun as well. ^_^
- Trekking: Overall, the trek was damn slack since we didn’t have to carry our heavy trekking bags up the trek trail, but the leeches and thorns were annoying as usual. I also badly bruised both my toes while trekking down, AS USUAL. -_- Bleagh. Anyway, this overseas trek made me realise that I still miss trekking a lot, and I seriously can’t wait to join future expeditions with ODAC.
- Cooking Competition: We had an inter-OG cooking contest in the ~wilderness~ before our trek, and it was so awesome!! Kudos to the hidden chefs who whipped up chilli crab, chocolate fondue, pineapple rice, eggs, and the fake shark’s fin / chicken broth! :) So proud of you guys for cooking the best-tasting food among all the OGs up on the ~mountains~! Also, good job everyone on the skit.
This was the first time I cried after a camp ended because, omg, asdfghjkl, overwhelming emotions, CAN’T DEAL. T_T We might not have been the strongest or the most enthusiastic OG, but I feel that Cerro (my OG) was the most bonded, and the seniors are the most friendly bunch I’ve met thus far.
Special shout-out to: Leekiang for your superb acting skills and for being such a great HTHT partner; Jane for all that cuteness and your determination in getting a tan; Pearlyn for being so friendly and sizzzling hot hahaha; Chong Yee for the constant harmless jibes and for being lame; and Carl aka Carlsberg for accompanying me on the guitar and all the “Ok. Can.”s! :)
3. Soul Funky FOC 2012
Surprise! I attended a dance camp! Hahaha. :3 *cringe*
Soul Funky is the funk dance club in NTU, focusing on popping and locking, among other funk styles! I.e. it’s not the same as contemporary dance or hip-hop dance clubs. I went for the camp without a clue of what to expect, and it turned out to be the FOC that I enjoyed the most.
I’ve never been much of a dancer so even signing up for the Soul Funky FOC was intimidating in itself, so try to imagine how eye-popping it was for me to see the standards of the dance seniors during the camp. O_O
My OG was Boogaloo (named after one of the dance moves in popping), and it was the smallest group by far with only 12 freshies. I figured that was a main reason our OG got along so well; we weren’t too big a group and hence it was easy to talk to everyone without having distinct cliques forming. Also we were lucky to have our dearest GLs Ying Hao and Jayne (who are also awesome dancers jsyk) take such good care of us freshies throughout the whole camp! :)
This camp was pretty dance-centric, and even the Amazing Race segment was very chill and fun haha (therefore making it the only nice Amazing Race out of all the camps I’ve ever been to. Lol). The camp choreo (aka mass dance) was complicated and we couldn’t catch all the steps but we had SO MUCH FUN with it, just as we enjoyed ourselves tremendously with the other dances (especially our OG performance) and workshops!!! :) And that’s the most important thing about dance, as the seniors reminded us several times.
We had a variety of dance classes, during which we learned styles such as popping, locking, house, and waacking, and at the end of the camp each OG had to present a performance item using some of the steps we’d picked up. And guess what? Boogaloo won Best OG Performance!! Yay!!! (We also won the Amazing Race, surprisingly!) The reason it’s sooo awesome that we won? We were the only OG in the camp that had zero dancers! That is, every freshie in Boogaloo were starting off with a blank slate, with no dance experience, and we still managed to come up with a good performance regardless. :) Of course, much of it is also thanks to all the seniors who helped us with our item, so thank you seniors! :)
The camp gave me the chance to properly perform a dance item in front of an audience, which really did make me more confident and less shy, as hackneyed as that may sound. I also was exposed to the different funk dance styles and discovered that I like waacking! :) To be able to try out various styles and go for workshops is truly an opportunity that is hard to come by, and I’m happy that I took the first step by joining the FOC by myself. ^_^ The passion for dance among the seniors was also infectious and has inspired me to work hard to pick dance up! Hehe. And so I will most probably be joining Soul Funky even though I’m still considered a weak dancer. :)
On a separate note, the SP (Secret Partner/Pal) segment of the game was good fun. :D The SP tekan sessions were damn entertaining and cracked me up a lot of times hahaha. Kinda makes me feel relieved that I’m not a guy! Haha.
Everyone in Boogaloo was honestly daaamn awesome, and you are really a great bunch of people. :) Someone (Eunice? haha) mentioned that she had always wished she were part of “that damn fun / damn cool OG” during camps, and now that she’s in Boogaloo it has finally come true for her, and I truly couldn’t agree more.
Special shout-out to: Eunice and Qiuyan for being such entertaining and lovely new friends hahaha; Sarah for fangirling ~someone~ with me; Colborn (and Sarah too) for playing all the retarded games with me -_-; Rei for being a real freshie after all LOL; and Lucas for being a good SP despite the deception *ahem*!
Thank you Boogaloo for making my FOC experience such an unforgettable one. :)