It has only been two weeks since school started, and yet I was already feeling drained out from all my assignments. Even the night before the gathering, I was still contemplating whether to attend at all and my fatigued body was tempted to give in. Nonetheless, I was glad I kept my word and turned up! Registration started early morning – it was really sweet of the organizing committee to think of providing Milo to everyone, since some of us would not have had their breakfast. And who doesn’t like free stuff? So when I entered the seminar room and saw that there were free goodie bags for everyone, I was excited to see what it contained. In it were plenty of snacks for me to munch on and water to stay hydrated.
Once everyone got settled down, Ser Yang (Vice President of SMU Travitas) gave an introduction about Travitas and the scope. During this introduction, two items got me particularly interested. The first would be Next Stop: Asia, SMU Travitas’ upcoming week-long festival (15 to 19 September 2014). A whole week of activities to look forward to! The second is Traventures, SMU Travitas’ very own online sharing platform, which allows us to share our own experiences with others, as well as posing and answering questions. Even though this is still in the prototype stage, I am already quite excited about it. I am looking forward to the official launch of Traventures.
As with any camp, everyone is split into groups. And the first thing to do was icebreaker games to allow us to get comforatble with one another one. Several games were played but I thought that one of them particularly stood out. That will be the game whereby we were given cards with a phrase in a different language written on it. There were a total of five different languages, namely Spanish, Italian, French, German and Dutch. The phrases are either a question or an answer, but it was hard to differentiate as there was no punctuation. The way my group did it was by looking at the individual words and trying to pair phrases that contain the same words. Apparently, this method was effective since we got everything correct. So kudos to my group!
Next up on the agenda was “Dine in the Dark”. Have you ever tried eating without your sense of sight? Well, even though I have not tried it for myself, many of our visually handicapped friends have to do this on a daily basis, having to rely on their other senses to know what they are eating. Through this activity, I was able to get a glimpse at how eating without being able to see the food in front of me feels like.
Touching on the subject of eating, it was time for lunch! To make things more interesting, we began our Mega Thrill Trail with a food stop. A list of food in a few categories such as Chinese, Indian and Fusion was provided to us.
After lunch, we proceeded to Marina Bay Sands for the second component of our trail. There, we were tasked to find and teach foreigners certain Singapore slang such as “Kiasu”, “Chope” and “Confirm Plus Chop”. Initially it was hard to find a foreigner as we were afraid of being rejected by them. However, as time was running out, our team decided to throw caution to the wind and just approach a random foreigner. Luck must have been on our side that day as we managed to find not only one, but two friendly and zealous foreigner. They were open to trying out the challenge. Kudos to them! Through them, we also managed to learn how to write “I love Singapore” in their native language.
Once this task was done, we moved on to “Know Thy Exchange Rate”, which had to be my favourite game in the entire camp. For this game, we had different countries’ exchange rates pasted on our backs. A question such as the one below was then read out to us. “I have 20 dollars in this country’s currency. How much is this in Singapore dollars?”
Clues would then be given to help us identify that country. With each subsequent clue, the number of points earned for that question would be reduced. This game was extremely fun for me as it was an intellectual game, testing us on not only on our conversion capabilities but also our general knowledge. For some questions, my group decided to take a leap of faith and just going with our instincts after the first clue. This paid off and allowed us to earn more points. Even the facilitators were surprised at how well we did for this game. So well done to my group mates!
The last game was held back on SMU campus. For the last game, each group picked a scenario at random and had to come up with a video to elaborate on it. A modified version of scissors, paper and stone was played to determine which group gets which items. These items included Ping-Pong balls, disposable underwear and sanitary pads. Points were allocated for creative use of these items. Given the limited timeframe, I felt that every group did a great job in filming their videos. They were creative and innovative with a storyline.
With the conclusion of the last game, the camp ended the night with the prize presentation. Here, I will like to give my heartfelt gratitude to the people who made the whole event enjoyable and memorable. Firstly, to the organizing committee and helpers, who spent many hours preparing for this very day. All your hard work and effort made this event possible. In addition, credit would have to be given to all my fellow participants too, for your active participation and open-mindedness which maximized the amount of fun we had. In particular, I would specially like to thank my dearest Group 3 for being so awesome.
Lastly, I express my appreciation to SMU Travitas for providing me with the platform to meet like-minded people with a passion for traveling. So to everyone, do keep a lookout for updates from SMU Travitas, either through Facebook, email or our other platforms! Have fun and keep wanderlusting!