Tomorrow is the official beginning of RedCamp9 and I'm writing this post not to share about how deeply saddened I am with the fact that i'm not a RedCamp SL this year (although I am sad) HAHAHA. Instead, I write this post with response and reflection to the changes that I have undergone from the moment I received my acceptance letter into the RC family back in 2011, till now; and why exactly is RedCamp something I will always hold close to my heart. <3
What is RedCamp? To keep it short, it's a time where O'leavers come down to NgeeAnn Polytechnic to say "hello" and more than that, to be led by wonderful Student Leaders who have worked hard to make Red Camp possible for you. It's also a time where O'leavers start to question their next step in life as they transit from their secondary school route of education, to their tertiary one. O'leavers will get to discover the wonderful sights, as well as that not so wonderful sights of NgeeAnn Polytechnic in their 3 days here. But more importantly, through this camp, Campers and SLs will bond in their tribes - Ninjas, Apaches, Centurions, Vikings, Spartans. Each tribe is unique in their own ways and will forever be competitive to try and be labelled as the best tribe with their nonstop power cheers and every single tribe is so strong and dignified in their own way that I promise you that you will leave RedCamp feeling like you've lost a family. RedCamp not only guarantees you fun and loads of laughter, but also gallons of 'pipagao' and the definite loss of your voice.
Basically, it's a wonderful camp that is well worth your time and energy. (:
Let me reminisce a bit about my life as a RedCamp SL last year. In 2011, RedCamp for me was a wonderful and fresh experience because I had never gone through it as a camper. Yet I tried out to be an SL only because every single person I knew, who had gone through RedCamp, said it was awesome and that I had to try out for it. So I did, and I got through the selection criteria. Not knowing what to expect from it and frankly speaking, slightly worried about not being able to fit in (and the heaps of impending assignments that do not stop just for RC). Yet when we went through Boot Camp, in just the first 5 minutes of games, I practically shook and made friends with 1/2 of the SLs already. This led to me to realise that my half-hearted decision to try out as an SL could very well be the best thing that has ever happened to me in my poly life... and it was. (:
Through the days that led up to Red Camp, my family tribe, Ninjas, had occasional arguments and disputes here and there, but we cleared them up and forgave each other. Like family, we grew stronger after every resolved disagreement and learned to accept and love each other a bit more. My identity as a Ninja grew after every meeting we had and soon, if you'd ever find me in school, i'll always be donning the colour "Blue" on me as a representation and identification of a Ninjas SL. That's the amount of impact RedCamp has had on me and I hope it does for you too!
Finally, the day we had all be waiting for has officially arrived, Day 1. The start of RedCamp was pretty gloomy, i'll be honest about it. Secondary school kids feeling absolutely awkward with whatever I said and totally not participative at all. It's as if all the hard work we had put in had all gone to waste... But I was clearly mistaken. On that very evening itself of Day 1 the campers were so into the RedCamp spirit that they couldn't wait for Day 2. The spirit of Red Camp continued escalating even more on the second day and before we knew it, the last day had caught up with us. It was a time of joy and tears where we realised that although we came from different tribes, all of us uphold the same spirit... The RedCamp Spirit.
Soon, the final performance was over, marking the end of RedCamp8, we were all bidding each other farewell in the Convention Centre, exchanging contacts, adding one another on Facebook, following/stalking one another on Twitter, crying, asking for a Day 4, setting up Facebook pages for cute SLs (ahemm... Especially Apache Guy SLs like Aeden Kuek and Justin Leong -winkwink-), doing your power cheers for the last time, dancing the camp dance and refusing to go back.
All these will be evident to you on your last day at RedCamp. So if you are a camper reading this, please don't leave on the first day because you will regret it for all your life. Just from Red Camp alone, you will probably meet people that you will never forget, people that you will treasure and people that you might even become best friends with, just like me and Joie Tan as well as Courtney Bragais.
What I really want to say out from this post is this: As you venture forth through RedCamp9 this year, whether as a camper or an SL, I sincerely urge you to stop for a moment and see how fortunate you are to have been given this chance to be a part of a wonderful legacy; a wonderful family. (:
Once a RedCamper, Always a RedCamper.
Proud to be a Ninja.
PS: If I met you through Red Camp 8 and you're reading this, here's a big thank you to you for being part of something that has had a great impact on me. (':