Camp Courage

There is quite a huge backlog to blogging about things that have been happening over these few months or so. Especially about my thesis, which would be in a subsequent post. But recently, I have people asking if I had a grad trip in mind. Sure I had lots of grand plans, but the sad fact to all this daydreaming is a sad no. Certain factors came into play during the process and it was a bummer seeing pictures of friends who were already halfway around the world. So while I do have my wanderlust wishing, I can only stay rooted on home soil and make full use of my time… and even to make it enjoyable and fulfilling.
Part of the time was spent on Camp Courage, a Girls’ Brigade camp that consisted of girls from RGPS and HPPS. In partnership between GB, the schools and our church, a bunch of us church girls came to be facilitators. It was fun to reminisce back to those days being a fellow GB girl myself and my mind was set on going to the camp to just bless them out of their socks. But surprisingly, I ended up humbled, learning so much and refreshed over principles that needed to be remembered.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 was the powerful theme verse used in this camp and the message was to speak into the girls’ lives that with God, they have the courage. Even for their first time at a camp, away from their parents… that’s courage! The 8 groups were based on the different bible characters, all who have shown great courage in the face of trying times.
Team Elijah
Even though my team only had 6 from the original 8 girls, it did cross my mind why I had to take on a team single handedly when the other teams had two facilitators. My complaining side wanted to appear but I had to chose to remain thankful and to take up the challenge. But by God’s grace, I strangely had so much energy (without coffee!) to just spend time and have fun with the girls! It was to the extend of even playing the station games with them because I really wanted to bridge the team and connect with the girls (Just imagine a “giant” trying to crawl under tables during games). Though the facilitators do not need to be involved in the games, I did wish all our church girls did play too rather than be spectators. But other than that, the girls were just adorable. Even in the naive questions they might ask.
How does one plant a church when there is no seed?
Each of the girls I had were so unique in character. There was the leader, the quiet one, the one who wants to stick everywhere with you even next to where you sleep, the one who goes by the name of Samantha and feels funny calling back her own name, the initiator, and the calm one. Writing my post evaluation of each of the girls to the teachers was quite an interesting one.
Being a big sis to the girls meant there were occasions the girls would ask for their hair to be tied or to remind them to bring things they might have forgotten. But I soon realised that I could not do everything on my own. Even though in this context, I could have singled handedly just clean the table or carried their bags and have done it way faster than what they were doing. The word “empowerment” became something that as facilitators, we had to do so. Care and concern might have been a natural reason for us older ones or maybe, our maternal instincts might have kicked in when we tired to do everything for them.
The good in empowering the girls is that responsibility is learnt. Of course it came with some complains and whining on their part, even from my primary 5 group leader! There was a “I rather do the easier job” when my group had to deal with dirty clogged sinks. But mind you that many of these girls are little princesses in their homes, with some being the youngest in the family and so little chores like this might be new/disgusting to them. I think out of some of these instances, I had to be both firm yet correct them in love. Even a good dose of explanation do help them understand why certain things needed to be done that way.
Interestingly throughout this time, I was reminded of cell. And maybe it was things that I needed to work on and also how it rings a bell with commonly heard words in ministry like, “Delegation”, “Ownership”, “Team”. I do think that being in this camp context have let me see the simplicity of certain things that is key to how cell should be. I was also blessed to have seen two of my first batch of cell members, Abi and Evan, really raising up to helping out in this camp and being big sis to the girls. I am so proud that they have matured and are able to be a part of this.
I guess the best part to all of this was the idea of winning something. Though it isn’t as competitive to secondary church camps, I am so proud of the girls. The best RGPS camper coming from my group leader and our team winning the best overall tabulated score for the whole camp. It was not an expected win, because we just did our best and were mostly enjoying ourselves. Coming back to a GB camp that has been so long ago sure bring back much fond memories and yet new ones too. I do think the camp impacted many of us be able to reflect about ourselves, about God’s character and even about ministry. This I have to thank God for.
Maybe not going overseas was a better choice.

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