“Great things never came from comfort zones.”
Under the SP Engineering Scholarship and SPOT program, I was given the opportunity to attend a LEAP camp completely free of charge and since I already went for Foundation in my first year, I didn’t join the rest of the SPOT students in the LEAP Foundation SPOT but instead went for the LEAP Intermediate with another group of students. It turned out to be a really enriching experience and made my semester break much more memorable.
Unlike LEAP Foundation where the accommodation was horrendous, the Intermediate camp was held at a much more conducive environment at Kulim Eco-Trail Retreat in Malaysia. The rooms were amazing, the toilets were clean, the food decent. The only thing it lacked was a good telco signal. Since it was a retreat, it was meant for people to leave civilization behind and indulge themselves in nature. I had a few friends who bought Malaysian SIM cards with mobile data to the trip but the signal there was so weak we had to sneak out to the far edge of the place to even get a H show on the mobile signal. Eventually we gave up and just made do with what we had which was the sacred wilderness and the people there.
The camp was focused more on teaching us to be mentors rather than just leaders and we learnt about the differences between the two as well as in which situation what role we should take on. Most of the people in the camp were CCA leaders and we would play the role as mentors being in the CCA which made what we learnt in the camp much more meaningful. Just like Foundation there were a lot of activities followed by reflections and discussions and I took on the role of leader and mentor for the Day 2 activity which was the Land Expedition.
It was an activity that lasted the whole day which required us to race against the other groups to finish a 15-18km route that consisted of many other activities along the way with just a vague map and nothing else. It was definitely a daunting task for me leading a 16 strong group through the rocky, steep, humid, wet, dirty and rugged terrain with some of my members not being very physically fit. I had to keep the team spirit up throughout the whole expedition while making sure we were keeping ahead of the other teams as well as figuring out the right path to take and also getting the team to finish the activities along the way. Many of the activities required a lot of thinking, physical brawn and resilience and along the way there were many disputes and arguments on how we should do things and which route we should take and it was definitely not easy to bring the team to a consensus. I had to apply most, if not all of the 7 habits to understand the opinions and thoughts of all my members and come up with a win-win situation in a very short time span.
Thankfully, I had a really supportive team and I managed to bring my team to finish first while completing the whole expedition and it was definitely an experience to remember. The Intermediate camp is without a doubt the most memorable and enjoyable camp I have had so far in my polytechnic journey and it is definitely one that everyone should go for given the opportunity.