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SUKA Society Resilience Camp 2016 – Outbac Broga, Negeri Sembilan

We organized our SUKA Society Youth Camp from the 14th to 17th September in Outbac Broga Campsite, Semenyih. A total of 25 children and 7 volunteers participated in the camp. This year, we focused on developing the children’s confidence and resilience by giving them the platform and tools to express their feelings, discover their aspirations ad identify their support systems. The children also enjoyed the various workshop, team building and outdoor activities. On the last day, we hiked up Broga hill together to catch the sun rise! We hope that the workshop will help them in the future in overcoming obstacles and being more resilient in life!

Read below to know more about what we did throughout the camp!

Day 1

We kicked off the camp with some ice breakers. The kids played games like ‘Drop the curtain’ and ‘Introduction Ball’. During ‘Introduction Ball’, the kids passed around a volleyball. Whoever received the ball had to introduce themselves by announcing their name to the group. This led up to the next game: ‘Drop the Curtain’ where the kids were divided into two groups and separated by a blanket being held up by two facilitators. Each group would send forth a representative to sit at the front of the group. The aim of the game was to call out the name of your opponent faster than he or she could call out yours. This taught the kids the importance of listening and remembering names.

After the icebreakers, the kids were officially divided into their camp groups. Two facilitators were assigned to each group to help assist the children with the various activities. The next activity was the getting to know you sessions. Each person was given a piece of paper and was assigned to find someone who had something in common with them. From this activity, they learnt that no matter where we come from, we all share something similar with one another.

After the activity, the children were led in a taster session on identity. One of our staff led a discussion on identity cards with the kids giving suggestions on what things would be inside a typical card. After that, the kids each received a piece of paper and were told to create their own identity cards, containing details that they wanted to put in. Many of our kids turned into artists in that moment, decorating and creating leisurely with the stationery provided.

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During the flying fox activity, it was fun to see the kids cheering each other on or making that decision to actually try it out. Each person who did it came back saying that they had no regrets trying it. Some even wanted to go for a second round. After that, during wall climbing, it was again awe-inspiring to see the kids taking hold of their fears and resolving to try the activity out. The kids also cheered their friends on when they noticed anyone freezing up or slowing down.

Continuing with the theme of ‘Identity’, it was time for our first two sessions: ‘The Self-Discovery Journey’ and ‘My Support Circles’.
During ‘The Self-Discovery Journey’, the kids were each given a copy of our ‘Self-Discovery’ Sheet. In the sheet there are five segments which the kids are supposed to fill out: ‘My Strengths’, ‘My Weaknesses’… The kids were to fill at least one space in each segment. The aim of this activity was to enable the kids to identify those certain segments about themselves. After everyone was finished, our Session leader, Chen Li read out some of the participants’ responses. This is in the hopes that they will feel more confident about themselves and their skills and abilities.

During ‘My Support Circles’, the kids were shown an example which comprised of a diagram on which there were 3 concentric circles. Each ring then represented a certain level of trust, with the inner circles being higher than the outer ones. Chen Li then explained the level of trust signified by each ring and gave explained the reasons why a certain name was written in a certain ring. Paper plates were then distributed and the kids replicated the original diagram. The kids were then asked to fill their own diagrams out and decorate them according to their liking. After that, all their diagrams were collected and pasted on the whiteboard in front for Chen Li to present. She showed them that not everyone has the same amount of people in the same circles and explained the importance of having at least one person in each circle.

Day 2

On the second day, we had 3 sessions, all of which were very interesting. They were ‘The Mysterious Box’, ‘The Emotions Chart’ and ‘The Feelings Guy’. In ‘The Mysterious Box’, participants are shown a wrapped box containing a mirror and told that there is a picture of a person inside. Each participant is given a number drawn by lottery and called out to see who is in the box. After seeing the person’s picture, they are supposed to announce one good thing about this person to everyone else. Once they have returned to their seats they may not tell their friends who is in the picture or describe the person. More and more kids started to giggle as time went on, with each participant finding out about the mirror in the box, showing themselves as the person. This activity taught them that each of them has a strength or are good at something.

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After that, we proceeded with the workshop touching on ‘Emotion’. As an introductory session, we had a drama session. During the lesson, participants were called up and were told to walk while performing a certain emotion. We discovered that we had a few good actors and actresses hiding in our midst just then! After that, because the small performance was so much fun, we had a mini drama competition between groups where the performing group would act out 3 emotions and the audience would guess. The group which were the most obvious would win.

The next workshop activity was called ‘The Feelings Guy’. But first, we had a few introductory activities! Participants were shown a slideshow of pictures screenshot from a video and asked to, as a group, tell the story of what they think happened, in their own words. We had a number of hilarious results. After that, we were shown the whole video to see who had the closest answer. Each group was given 2 pieces of paper and told to replicate the shown diagram to create a ‘Feelings Guy’ for 2 characters from the video. There were 4 segments to fill up: ‘What am I feeling?’, ‘Why do I feel like this?’, ‘Is there anyone I can express my emotions to?’, and ‘What is my reaction?’ Within their groups, members discussed the emotions that went on in the video and the reasons and reactions of the characters in it.  There was also a short discussion on what went on in the video and how emotions can be handled.

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Then, it was time for our Outbac Race, organized by Broga facilitators! Participants got ready to get down and dirty as this treasure hunt would take them through numerous obstacles and challenges. Once they were ready, they were briefed on the rules of the hunt and given a key phrase to say when they thought they had reached their destination station. Needless to say, the kids were excited.
Amongst the challenges presented was the Wild Woosey, the Trust Fall, carrying a huge read ball to the field and back, a few components of the obstacle course as well some scavenging in various bodies of murky water amongst others.

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After all that and a good shower and dinner, we were back in the hall for a continuation of ‘The Feelings Guy’ and to complete our ‘Emotions Chart’. Each participant was given their own set of ‘Feelings Guy’s and told to fill them up in relation to the emotions ‘Sad’, ‘Happy’ , ‘Angry’ and ‘Disappointed’. Their papers were collected and a select few were picked out by our workshop leader Chen Li to show them that each person had different reasons for feeling the same things and different ways of coping with emotions. The kids were also told that coping strategies were important and that one should never hold on to a negative emotion for too long.

This session led up to the next one, which was the ‘Emotions Chart’. The kids were shown an example of Chen Li’s own emotions chart which she had plotted based on the emotions she had felt during certain life events. They learnt that in life one has ups and downs and downs will always eventually become ups. After the briefing, the kids were given their own piece of art block each and told to replicate the chart’s outline and plot their own chart of emotions. To assist them, a book containing examples of different emotions was given to each group for the kids to look through and maybe use in their charts. Everyone quieted down during this time as participants took time to reflect back on their lives and the up and down moments they’ve had. Some finished faster than others. Eventually, everyone’s chart was done and up for display. Chen Li pointed out some of them to the children, showing that each person has ups and downs in life and that no matter the down, there is always an up.

Day 3

On the third day, the workshops we had in store were ‘The Goal Maze’, ‘What’s in My Control?’ and ‘My Family Tree’. The kids were also told that there would be kayaking later, which many of them were excited about. We began the morning with ‘The Goal Maze’. Before getting down to the nitty gritty however, we first had a mini-competition. Participants were given mazes that gradually increased with difficulty. The competition commenced in the third and fourth levels. The kids had fun trying to find the fastest way in and out. After all that, we commenced with the ‘Goal Maze’. The kids were given a piece of paper that expanded to show an extremely complicated maze. At the start of the maze was a segment titled ‘The Person I am Now’. Within the maze, amongst the lines, were three spaces titled ‘Obstacles’. At the end of the maze was a segment titled ‘My Goals and Dreams’. The kids were led through the filling out of each segment. This activity helped them to reflect on the person that they were now as well as recognize their goals and dreams as well as the obstacles ahead in achieving them. Following that, their mazes were collected and a select few were presented to everyone gathered. The kids learnt that different goals make for different obstacles and that some do share the same obstacles while others have a totally different path.

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After P9160061 which, we commenced with ‘What’s in my control?’ The kids were shown a bigger model created by Chen Li, assessing her own obstacles. There were five segments to fill in: ‘The Goal’ ,’I can do something about this obstacle’ ,’I cannot do something about this obstacle’ ,’What can I do to make things better’, and ‘My alternatives and options for things out of my control’. The aim of the activity was to help the kids realistically assess their obstacles by recognizing the things that were in their power and acknowledging those that weren’t. It also helped them to think of solutions for some and to let go of others. Their diagrams were collected and a select few were presented to the rest to show them that not everyone has the same number of things in their control and that not all obstacles have solutions.
The kids then broke up for lunch and returned for a time of art. We began the session ‘My Family Tree’. They were handed diagrams with spaces to fill in which went back to the time of their great-grandparents. This prompted questions amongst siblings regarding names of certain family members and so on. Following that, the kids were debriefed with an explanation of how important it is to remember family. After that they were each given a piece of art block and shown pictures of trees that previous participants of the workshop had drawn to represent their families. They were then asked to draw their own trees representing their own families. The hall grew quiet again as each participant took time out to plan, draw out and colour in their respective trees. After about an hour or so, participants were told to finish up as it was now time to present their art to the rest. The session taught participants that everyone imagined ‘family’ differently, some used leaves to represent family members while others used roots or birds. Some drew in their family’s favourite pastime or favourite fruits.
After three sessions, it was time for some outdoor activities.

Today’s one was kayaking, which the kids had been excited for the whole time. Gathering at the basketball court, participants met with our facilitator who briefed us on a few safety issues. Soon, it was time to get into the kayaks and start paddling. The kids had a lot of fun racing with each other and splashing each other on the lake. After the activity, it was time for a shower and dinner. Then, it was time for Drama Night. Each group assigned a set of 5 emotions which they had to include in their drama. The results were hilarious and we just couldn’t stop laughing. With that, the third day of camp ended on a high note.

On our fourth and final day, we got up at 5 in the morning for our Broga hill sunrise hike. The kids had been looking forward to this activity too as it was a chance to explore the surrounding forest area. They enjoyed it very much although there were moments where some slowed down or tired. But eventually, with each other’s encouragement, we reached the top and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the Semenyih town.

After descending Broga hill, the kids went off to shower and pack and gather in the hall for one last session titled: ‘Me, Myself and I’. During this session, each participant was given a piece of paper and told to express what they had learnt in camp or their favourite memories. Many of them drew things like the flying fox or kayaking around the lake. After that it was time to go home.

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Back at Selayang, we handed out the certificates before departing for our own homes. It had been a good camp with strong bonds being forged. We only hope that the camp has in some ways contributed to the resilience of participants and that this will help them to navigate life in the future.

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