Form 4 students ablaze with gratitude during their online camp

   From June 30th to July 2nd, the Form 4 “Ablaze” Camp was held online for all Form 4 students in our school. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, no camps for our students were held the previous year and this year’s camp would prove to be a unique experience for teachers and students alike as the camp was held virtually through Zoom.

   Before the camp, the teachers as well as some students were hard at work in order to ensure that the camp would go smoothly, beneficial for the students and fun too. The teachers planned well for the camp and the games that were played throughout the camp were devised by some of the students themselves. All Form 4 students were asked to go to school before the camp started to collect their own special camp kits.

   On the first day of the camp, many students joined the virtual meeting and were excited for what would become a very interesting and nostalgic day. A check in for students was required before the day started at 8:30 AM. Each class was split into 3 groups and each group was accompanied by a facilitator from their respective classes.

   After a short briefing for the camp, the students were shown a very well made nostalgic video. This video which was produced by some of the students showed the Form 4 students their most memorable moments together. I personally felt very happy and a bit embarrassed when I was watching the video.

   Throughout the whole day, the students got to play different games and had many different activities. Many meaningful talks were also given to the students with the main theme of gratitude. In the camp kits that students collected, there was a journal that students had written during Form 2 and would be used to help them fully experience and absorb what the camp had to offer. The Journaling and Examen sessions were conducted before the dismissal of the students. I thought that the session was very meaningful in helping us truly acknowledge and learn from the camp.

   On the second day of the camp, all Form 4 students joined the Zoom meeting at the same time and still were excited for what was to come in the camp. A short recap of the events and lessons from the previous day was what started the day.

   Many more entertaining and captivating games and talks that centered on gratitude of the students and leadership qualities were conducted smoothly. The teachers managed to show the students a few very meaningful and powerful videos during the talks that aided in the understanding of their respective talks. One of the games that I thought to be very fun was the story-telling game, where each student in a group would say a sentence to create a wacky story. The students were sent to breakout rooms throughout the entire day and had made very creative and fascinating slides. At the end of the day, the Synthesis session was also conducted. Then another session for Journaling and Examen was held. Following another meaningful session, the second day concluded with the dismissal of students at around 3:00 PM.

   On the third and final day of the camp, it started almost the same way the first 2 days did. After a short check-in, the short recap of Day 2 was next. Afterwards, the final game was to be played and it also involved some of the teachers joining in the fun. The whole experience was very fun and everyone had an enjoyable time. Many of the different teachers who had taught this batch of students before spent some time to just see everyone once again after what was a challenging time for teachers and students alike. I felt very happy because I managed to speak with some of my previous teachers and properly thank them again for their work in helping me at school.

   One more session with an activity was conducted before a longer session. Each student started doing personal journaling with the guidance of teachers. After another breakout group session, each class came together to give their own unique summary of what they were grateful for, their highlights from the camp and their resolutions from the camp. Right before the end of the camp, the Principal, Fr Francis gave a short speech to the students and teachers involved. With that, the camp ended at around 1:00 PM when the students were dismissed.

   This camp was a really good and much needed break from ordinary school life for students as well as teachers. Everyone managed to strengthen their bonds, learn to be more grateful and gain many meaningful lessons from this camp. I gained many insightful lessons that helped me realise aspects about myself that I did not know before, and at the same time I had a very fun experience. The camp was very beneficial to everyone who participated and very big thanks must be given to those who helped to organise it and make it happen.

Benjamin Liew