Getting pre-teens trained for life—that’s what Camp EPIC was all about.
Contributed By Jeremiah Tan
EPIC stands for Empowering People, Inspiring Champions. Camp EPIC was organized by People Of Destiny and catered to students in primary 5 and 6.
POD was formed in partnership with Tampines Changkat Citizens’ Consultative Committee and Ministry of Community Development Youth & Sports. It provides holistic care and development opportunities for youth. It organizes programs for young people to equip them with life skills that would enable them be their best they can be. This camp is one of the many programs that has been organized by POD.
The camp, held at the Costa Sands Resort from Oct. 21 to 23 was filled with games and activities that taught the youth how to live up to their potential.
Games fostered teamwork among the youths, while a drama competition created a platform for them to display their talents and gifts. The youth were divided into two teams, the Egyptians and the Red Indians, which competed against each other to earn points to win. Points were also awarded to the team that displayed qualities such as teamwork and sportsmanship. The youth were also encouraged to speak up and share ideas and to work with their group members in discussions.
The 11- and 12-year-olds took on the complex tasks without a word of complaint, tackling their challenges with admirable enthusiasm.
The greatest challenge came when each team had to cook something related to their team name. This resulted in “interesting recipes” such as Indian curry that was cooked in a mess tin during the camp.
Iris Sin, a primary 6 school student who participated in the camp said, “One of the things I learned is to be responsible. I have to be responsible for all the things I have to do. During the cooking, all of us have our own job to do. I was the one cooking the food, so I had to be responsible in making sure that the food was cooked properly and on time.”
Great responsibility creates great leaders. The team leaders, volunteers with POD, constantly encouraged the young ones to persevere and not to give up.
Apart from fun and games, workshops were also conducted. Volunteers worked with the youth to press home the importance of having a vision in life.
Nick Pang, the 36-year-old center manager of POD said, “Vision helps us to be clear about what we want to do. And you’re never too young to have a vision of what you want in life. The key is starting young in thinking, planning and doing something about it.”
The tweens at the camp surprised the organizers and staff with their level of maturity.
“We were very surprised that during one of the workshops, there was a moment when everyone could just settle down and think. It was amazing to see them do this at their age,” said Pang. “For a 12-year-old to do that, I think it is something very powerful.”
The activities created a learning environment in which the youths could improve on their interpersonal skills. Fast friendships were forged over those three days. Strangers became friends and even those who were once “enemies” reconciled.
“Two of my team members were not friends before. They used to scold and hit each other, but now, they talk to each other happily and even share food. The camp has certainly brought them closer,” noted Sin with satisfaction.