Sunday, June 2, 2013

RR National Training Camp: My Experience (Sort of)

Hey there!

So..you're looking at a full-fledged NTC graduate! :D Well, not really "looking" per say. HAHA.

Well it's good to be home again! Sitting here in my pajamas, eating KitKat bars and watching some cats vandalize my house :P 

First off, I'm not allowed to talk about certain things that's happened because you know the saying "What Happens In NTC, stays in NTC " . But I will write about some of the best (and worse! jeng jeng jeng jeng) parts of NTC. I guess Commander Kwang Yew has the right to tell me "I told you so!" now. HAHA. Although I only enjoyed 80% of the camp. You'll see why later. 

NTC wasn't as horrid as I expected it to be. (I can't believe I just said that but okay) We learned almost the same stuff we learned in JTC, with an addition of water safety and leadership skills training. Had 6 patrols (and 42 trainees): Fire Fox (my patrol), Swagalicious Owls, Roaring Tigers, Teddy Bears, Brosome Bobcats (nothing really gay about it...Brroooommannncceee <- First thought when I heard their name), and Lightning Eagles. My patrol adviser was Commander Jim :)

The walking wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be either. I only got sore feet when I came back home, haha. Could be because of the removable insoles I asked Dad to buy the night before I left :P So comfy and cushion-y. Did walk a lot though. I think I've lost a lot of weight, but I'll be sure to gain them back with all the chocolate in the fridge. HAHA. 

A lot of familiar faces at camp O_o.  Had severely mixed feelings during the first two days. Teddy Bears has a song, a part of it says "Teddy's here and we don't wanna go home" (They sang it really nice btw, really cute and fluffy like.) and I couldn't help thinking "I REALLY wanna go home." I'm the kind of person who can't stay far from home very long. I'd usually get really grumpy and easily irritated (even if I don't show it) because I miss home. Not the precious washing machine, shower, bed, computer, piano and fridge (although I did miss those a bit), but the LIVING things. My cats, kittens, family and that feeling of knowing that's where I belong. That's what I miss the most. I also tend to get sarcastic at times but thankfully, this time I managed to hold my tongue. 

On the other hand, starting fires (not the forest kind la), eating yummilicious food, laughter, and having fun classes wasn't all too bad either.Oh yeah, and the council fires were pretty awesome too. It shames me to admit this, but I fell asleep in Pastor Mike's first aid class. HAHA. With my eyes OPEN. In fact, my brain fell asleep a lot during the day, but I didn't get caught because my body was awake. Pastor Mike has this joke " My name is Mike Kuna, so mai kun ah" Really need to learn how to spell Chinese words -_- The bold words means "don't sleep" So, he's saying "Don't sleep in my class" technically. I remember a time when I fell asleep when looking off in the distance, (eyes open remember) and didn't realize I was staring at someone till I woke up. I'm still in that dream-like state at the moment, just like when I came back from Camporama. Waiting till I crash back to reality, hehe.

I guess one thing I didn't really like about camp was all the rushing. Had to change into our uniforms about three times a day. I made things easier by wearing shorter pants and a t-shirt, so I didn't have to worry about wasting time cause I could hide the fact I'm wearing clothes inside my uniform. Time management is very important apparently. Wasn't so fond of carrying pails of water either (which I did a lot). Carried other stuff too, like a pail of sand, firewood (with flipping NAILS on it, yikes), bakau wood (which was extremely heavy), food stuff and goodness knows what else. It wasn't as as carrying water though. The water splashed at me like crazy, till my shirt were soaked.

The songs and yells from every patrol was one of the best parts. Some patrols' songs and yells were cute and adorable (aww) and others were pretty hilarious. Every single patrol was full of energy and spirit too. The part I looked most forward to was the council fires. The first one was more towards a friendly and funny theme and it was enjoyable :) The second one was a very spiritual one. It was raining then, so we sang songs and had devotion and alter call while getting soaked :D I'll talk about the last later. 

Some things I have to mention are: 
  • Attitude problems: You find out a lot of stuff about people that you don't know about when you're in training camps. I got pretty pissed off (excuse the language) several times because of someone who was absolutely incapable of being polite. Let's just say, when someone calls your name (in a nice manner nonetheless), you aren't supposed to give them exasperated expressions and say "What?!" as though that person has been asking you illogical questions for hours. It makes me want to soccer-punch you in the face, and I would have if I hadn't had a good hold of my temper. I'm sorry, but you made me feel that way. 
  •           When did it start being okay to be rude just because you can? Also, some people think that sarcasm is okay, just because everyone does it. But it's not if you go too far. Remember to always be courteous and mind your manners, please. If someone asks you a logical question, don't say "ABUDEN." or "Of course la! What do you think?" like you're annoyed at the person for merely speaking to you. Whenever people do that to me, I go on silent strikes. Meaning I don't talk to them for hours, days, months or years (depending on how annoyed I am) unless I have to. Even then, I'd limit my sentences so that we don't have conversations. 
  • Take Things Easy.  I get that things don't go according to schedule at times, but you gotta learn to be patient and endure whatever comes your way. Don't flip out every time something goes wrong out, of panic and complain whenever it happens. I'm known for being too calm and having a it's-alright-I-don't-really-care attitude when I'm supposed to be freaking out and saying " WHY GOD? WHY ME? DIE DIE DIE." I don't panic much over little things. When people get too worried about things that don't really matter (at least to me), I sigh and say "Be patient, little one!" <- know that quote? ;) ;) I recall a time when I got caned for not doing something (probably homework) in school, and just before that, all I was hoping for was that it'd be over fast. I didn't worry about the pain, cause that would have gone away. The dread was much more worse than the caning itself. I did complain a little when the lorry was late and we (Selangor 1# trainees) had to wait for almost two hours till we could finally go home. But mostly I was okay with it because we were going home anyway, even if it was a little later than we expected. 
During the first council fire, we sang the "I wish I was an apple, hanging on a tree" song. Cmdr KY asked to recommend some names and the guys at the back yelled "Kwang Yew-na!" Oh fluffy cats, that was so funny! HAHA.

 It rained on the second night, and our tent got pretty wet here and there. After getting back from the council fire, I was so tired, I slipped off my uniform and buried myself in my sleeping bag. We couldn't stay up to finish spare time projects or anything because the rain was too heavy. Carol and Joanna didn't want to sleep in a wet tent, so they went to find Commander Kwang Yew. I was too tired to care, so I took a short snooze while they were gone and ended up falling asleep. Some of my stuff got pretty wet though :( But it's okay.


The THIRD day was the best, for sure. (We got to do things our own way, yay!) Took all our extra baggage and tossed it in the van. We left on our backpacking trip around 3.30 pm (I think) and used a compass to find our way to the new campsite. Some commanders lied to us, saying it'd take us HOURS to reach the place but it really only took less than 30 minutes (or so it seems). We went up a very narrow path (could fall down if you weren't careful enough) with terribly uneven ground, plants poking at us, some fallen trees blocking our way. Went downwards again and saw the river we had to cross. Before crossing it, I prayed and asked God to make sure I don't get bitten by leeches. I hate getting bitten by creepy crawlies. Had to walk in the water (with sports shoes on) at one point because I was afraid that I'd fall backwards if I tried walking on the smaller rocks with all the stuff I was carrying. Went up another narrow path again, and finally reached the campsite. Lots of people were saying "What la, commander?!" and grumbling about the commanders making us take a longer and harder path when there was a way we could have used without crossing the river. HAHA. I took off my socks and pulled off my shoes on a whim. Found a LEECH stuck in one of my insoles and had to throw it off. Thank God I checked my shoes before I wore them. *wipes brow*

 Set up our tents first, then we (Carol, Joanna and I) went to help prepare the food for dinner. Tinfoil cooking :) Cinnamon apples and burgers. Yummy yummy. We used the hand sanitizer before touching the food. I helped with cutting up the apples with Michelle. I don't know whose penknife I used, but it was super sharp and really nice to use :3 Lovely blue color too. There was extra burger buns, so we ate some of them. Some of the guys were doing the push up square like this:

 

 To entertain the girls? HAHA. Idk, but it was really cool.

We wanted to start dinner/campfire early but Don kept saying "Wait, it's not dark yet!" So the girls practiced their skit for the council fire and learned a new song from the girls from Indonesia called "Ku Daki-Daki Daki-Daki Gunung Yang Tinggi" The title in English would be something like "I climbed a high mountain" (?) It was a really cute and catchy song :3 The guys practiced their own skit and prepped the fire. Ate one plain burger, but it still tasted great. The gave us about a 100 burger buns but only 42 patties. What? O_o.


The council fire was amazing <3. Sang about 5 songs, had about 3 skits and there was a lot of laughter and fun. Jon Chin (I think) shared devotion and he mimicked Pastor Mike's introduction in a really funny way. He talked about eyesight and seeing things in a spiritual manner. I'm pretty bad at explaining this part. HAHA. A lot of people there wore glasses though. And it wasn't just for trend:P The skits were hilarious and crazy. Almost choked to death laughing because everyone was insanely funny. We sang the "Daki Daki " (some people thought it was Ducky-Ducky, lols) song and everyone was really into it, because the actions was fun.

The rest of the night went on the same way. We managed to finish before 10, which was a miracle because usually we don't sleep until after 12 am in camp, so we turned in early. Since none of us were tired, we stayed up for a while, talking about dimples, boyfriends, school experiences, family love and all the stuff girls talked about before we fell asleep one by one. It was nice for a change :) That day was probably the only day we didn't have to rush and got to take our own sweet time doing what we wanna do.

Woke up early the next day. And for the first time, I didn't feel half-asleep. HAHA. Took down our tent and went to brush our teeth before walking back to the open-air hall (also known as the Asoka). We changed into our uniforms before the continental breakfast. The breakfast was wonderful, incredible, amazing and I can't think of anything else to describe it but it was just FANTASTIC. Ate bread and butter, mushrooms, bacon, sausages, eggs and I forgot what else. We even got some bah kut teh :D And drank orange not-really-juice-but-I-forgot-what-it's-called. Ate till I was full and gave the leftover bacon to Stephen.

The NTC presentation was interesting to say the least. The last time we did our song and yell :D Tigers, Bobcats and Eagles did all their songs and yells together so they sounded louder. *Facepalm* Genius! Everyone graduated :) Yay! Got the gold medal too.

 After that, it was just taking photos and saying goodbye to everyone. Pastor Mike asked me to take photos for him but I kept forgetting and putting down the camera without thinking. LOL. We went back later than the others because we had to wait for Commander William and he had to wait for the van, so we were stuck there for a while :( It wasn't all too bad though. Finally came home and hugged every cat in the house :D Meow.

A-nee-ways, I'm glad I went :) There were far more pros than cons. I'm still relieved it wasn't any longer than four days though. HAHA. 

I'm still glad to be home :) 

Advanced National Training Camp? Might be going, might not be. HAHA. We shall see :D

Till next time!


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