Form 3 students of St Joseph’s Private School had their exciting annual camp from 18 to 20 August 2021 virtually due to the pandemic. Several students wrote about their unique experience here.
On a chilly, rainy Wednesday morning, Form 3 students of St. Joseph’s Private Secondary School attended their Form 3 Camp, Ignite, with the slogan “Ite inflammate omnia”, which means “Go, set the world on fire”. The camp was held online on Zoom, and lasted for three days, from 18 August to 20 August.
After we entered the Zoom meeting, we were greeted by the friendly and cheerful teachers there. Soon, when everyone was present, we were briefed shortly about our groups and breakout rooms. The camp started light and easy with a game of riddles.
After that, we had our first activity with Ms Nancy Ong. We went back in time and reminisced the Form 1 field trip we had two years ago. This activity helped to unlock the very dear memories and fun we had before the pandemic started. After the toilet break, we had a “ZOOMba” session where we danced around and stretched our arms.
The next session with Father Joseph was about FGIAT, which stands for “Finding God In All Things”. For this activity, we were required to bring an object of personal significance to share. I brought my autograph book while some of my friends brought keychains, a polaroid and a bracelet.
After lunch break, there was an energizer session where we danced to “Hello Future” by NCT Dream. It was then time for the next session, “Me & Family” with Mr Ben. He asked us to do something special for our parents, whether it is a handmade card or video recording to express our love to them.
Before calling it a day, we did some journaling and the examen to properly reflect on what we were taught.
We started the day with a morning prayer and greeted each other good morning. After that, we played games in our respective breakout rooms. In this game, someone had to annotate on the Zoom whiteboard, while everyone else had to guess what the student was drawing. Everyone had fun and had no trouble guessing the drawings.
Then, we had a talk with Mr Ben and Ms Sarah, titled “Me & Family”. During this session, they talked about how different their families were and shared with us about them. We were asked to draw our families in our journal, and to type out the lines which our parents frequently say to us. It was a laughing parade, as everyone laughed at the hilarious lines from parents. We were also taught the five types of love languages, which are quality time, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. We even took the “Discover Your Love Language” quiz!
Another fun activity that we had today was the ‘Leadership and Team-building’ session with Father Stanley. In this activity, each group had to complete a puzzle with puzzle pieces that were included in the camp kit. Through this activity, we learnt to find God in chaos and that sometimes, in order to achieve something, it is better to work together with the people around you. Although my group did not manage to complete the puzzle, we learnt to work together and cracked our brains.
After lunch break, we continued the camp with another game hosted by the beadles. This time, we played Kahoot, which was about guessing songs and general knowledge. I had a pretty good laugh when the teachers were clueless and discussing which option to pick while joking around. Next, we had a synthesis session with Father Alvin. He shared his personal story with us, which was very heart-warming and moved a lot of us deeply.
As usual, we did our journaling and the examen. After a peaceful silence full of thoughts, the day ended with a prayer from Ms Nancy and Father Alvin. As usual, we took a group photo, but this time, with our Chips More cookies. After the photo was taken, we could see Ms Nancy happily ripping off the wrapper and enjoying her cookies!
This was the final day of camp. We were welcomed with fun, upbeat songs when we entered the Zoom meeting. Soon after, we danced to the song “Lemon Tree” with hand actions that Mr Ben taught us. It was thrilling as the music got faster and faster. Our first activity for today was “Go Light the World” with Mr Jerome. In this activity, each group decorated a candle and took a selfie with a light source. This activity is quite meaningful as each of us contributed to the candle decoration.
The next activity was “Looking Forward Let It Shine” with Father Alvin. He told us that we don’t need to wait for each other to light up the flame, because we are the light. We also moved to the beat with the song “Set Fire To The Rain” by Adele.
Sadly, the camp was coming to an end. However, before we left, there were a few surprises in store for the students. We were surprised with an award ceremony! Each class got an award while some other students got a shoutout for exceptional behaviour like switching on their cameras during the camp. We were then presented with a camp highlights video. It was fun to look back at the activities done and the camp in a nutshell.
Overall, this has been a very fun experience, which I think would be a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve learnt many things, from FGIAT to loving myself and my family, to taking up the initiative to do certain things. It was great to walk down the memory lane and see how much I’ve changed and grown as a person.
Therefore, I would like to end this with a quote that I picked up from this camp, “Life is short, but family is forever.”
• Adelia Chan
It was a great experience being a beadle
It was really fun being a beadle! This is my first time being a leader or facilitator of a group and it felt really exciting! There were times when being a beadle was frustrating or where the pressure can be felt but overall, it felt really satisfying being able to conduct games as well as to bond with my friends.
The camp itself was enjoyable and packed with fun-filled knowledge from sessions conducted by teachers for students. There were a lot of new things in which students got to experience, something beyond the ordinary classroom setting, activities on love language, team-building games, one’s object of personal significance and some of the activities were required to be carried out in an ad hoc way. Not to mention the songs on the last day of camp which were ethereal and extremely meaningful.
As a beadle, I had to facilitate my group and I had hoped that my group was cooperative enough to respond and participate in the games. With God’s grace, everything turned out as planned and I was jubilant with the outcome! I also had to do things like giving instructions, making slides, and discussing with the other beadles on camp related matters. I thank the teachers and everybody involved in Form 3 for their earnest effort in organising this unique online camp. Overall, it was awesome, and I look forward to seeing you guys in the next camp!
• Mark Chong
Wow! What a camp!
I hate being one of those people who mention COVID in almost everything they write or say but here I am being one of those people. This pandemic has forced us (students) to believe that we’re all defined by our academic excellence because that’s the only area that we could prove ourselves capable of (not our social life, ECAs, sports talent and end of thinking capacity).
However, this camp has reminded me of what school is all about – anything beyond our ability to absorb information and get good grades. It was refreshing for my eyes and ears to see and hear different people talking – because we’ve all been listening to the same 10 teachers for the past 8 months and no worries! We’re not tired of it yet 😊
We started off by reminiscing all the beautiful memories that we’ve had in Form 1 and getting reminded of where we came from. Then, we touched on the main theme of the camp, which is Finding God In All Things (FGIAT- whoever is reading this, please do try pronouncing it!)
If God is love, how can we not talk about our foundation of love, our family. Oh, what a cringy and cheesy session it was but it’s such an important reminder for all of us that we’re loved, and we ought to love accordingly. Camp is all about self-discovery and getting out of our comfort zone in order for us to grow – being in touch with ourselves while finding who we are outside our boxes. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone by leading a short 3-5 minutes ZOOMba session – though I do admit that I still cringe about it till this moment but if that could encourage my fellow friends to do the same thing, I don’t mind doing it again! Not to mention how this camp has increased my ability to self-reflect, journal, to be grateful and so much more that it would be an endless supposedly “short” write-up if I choose to describe all that we’ve had experienced.
I’m just grateful for all that I get to experience and thank you for reminding us that there’s so much more left in us, to shine and to light up this world and to make it a better place for everyone around us. Thank you for such an assurance that school will always be a safe place for us to grow in this journey and not to forget, thank you teachers for your extra-ness, and that’s for sure one of the biggest highlights of the camp! Until then, let us all continue to root for each other in this journey 😊
• Joycelyn Hon