Three zone supervisors from City Harvest Church took part in Supercamp to discover how to bring out the best in young people.
Contributed By Leila Tan
It’s loud! It’s animated! It gives you great zest for life!
It’s Supercamp, a 10-day stay-in event that’s meant to help individuals to improve themselves “physically, personally and academically”.
Held on the first week of December 2011, the camp attracted attendees from over five nations. Three youth zone supervisors from City Harvest Church—Kelvin Tan, Ee Zhen Ying and Leila Tan—participated in Supercamp as facilitators with the aim of broadening their horizons and learning more about how different organizations engage youth. They spent three of the 10 days going through training, and the remaining seven days facilitating the campers, who fell between the ages of 7 to 17.
Supercamp targets three areas: the physical, the personal and the academic. Through games and activities, campers are equipped with skills necessary to succeed in life and to do well academically. Campers were taught the eight keys of excellence—a set of values that many successful people believe have led to their own personal life achievements—and learned skills like speed-reading, mind-mapping and note-taking that gave them an edge in academic learning.
While the sessions equipped the campers with knowledge, it was the use of creativity and freedom of expression at the camp that taught the kids how to put their knowledge into use. This is really what sets Supercamp apart from other camps. At this camp, there are no right or wrong answers— campers are encouraged to speak freely at all times, whether during team discussions or in front of their cohort during the evening when everyone shares their reflections of what they have learned.
Campers are also encouraged to express themselves through body movements like dance, drama and cheerleading. Many of the camp programs make use of music for coaching purposes—even the sound of the school bell is replaced with pop songs. Known as the “Come In Song”, campers will enter the main room, dancing and clapping, once they hear the music played.
Kelvin Tan, 26, is most impressed with this element of the camp. He says, “For me, the greatest take-away from Supercamp is definitely its creativity. Its use of music and dance, the openness of the campers to express themselves, and the quiet moments that the facilitators give each camper to reflect and ponder has really been an eye-opener. I believe that if we can mix such activities with a spiritual element at City Harvest, our youth camp in church will definitely rise to a new level.”
The highlight of the camp is the Outdoor Adventure Day, when campers participate in a range of high element activities. To foster team spirit, bonding and an attitude of living life with no regrets, campers as young as 7 take part in challenging activities such as rock-climbing and the flying fox. By the end of the day, many of the campers find that they have overcome their own fears.
The final day of the camp had campers writing down their life goals, as well as identifying the barrier keeping them from overcoming that goal. They shared the goals and barriers with their team before participating in an activity that encouraged them to break through those barriers. The finale of the camp saw the campers “graduating”, as they shared with their family members what they had learned. In closing, the campers formed a circle and sang their final song—Katy Perry’s “Firework”—an anthem that reminded them once again of their ability to make a difference in their world.