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2 days 1 night brimming with the rhythm of youth

date_range2023-08-02

On July 29th – 30th, we held our annual Student Camp for saigonchildren’s university scholarship recipients in Dong Nai Province. This opportunity allows students to temporarily set aside daily worries and concerns, and instead lets them immerse themselves in exciting activities and form new friendships, all while practising and learning skills that will aid their integration into the workplace.

During this occasion, all campers wholeheartedly embraced a series of thrilling game challenges, with the aim of promoting camaraderie and a sense of team culture, perfectly aligned with the camp’s theme “Happy Bridges” – to bridge the gap between unfamiliar individuals and bring them closer.

The warm-up activity determined where each team would rest. The teams then had to set up their tents and decorate them with balloons and posters displaying their team names. This was followed by a presentation of their team’s name, where they were given scores by the judges. During the Opening Ceremony event, students participated in a series of rituals such as face painting and dancing, which got them moving and excited.

After lunch, each team had to undertake a series of challenges. After each game, there was a riddle to solve, with the answers to the riddles helping them accomplish the final challenge. These games would necessitate students to employ a combination of soft skills that will be useful in the future.

The first challenge was a miniature assault course in which they had to climb over an apparatus and dig for coloured sticks, which they had to accurately toss into a bucket to score a point. The second challenge required someone to climb atop a large yellow ball. Their team had to then gradually push the ball to the finish line, using clear communication to ensure the person on top maintained balance.

The next team exercise had the students line up over a green tube and lift it using their legs to carry it across the finish line together before the other team. The weight of the tube had to be distributed equally for optimal performance, which meant that everyone had to put in the work and share the effort. Other intriguing challenges included a river rowing race to collect flags and catching shallow fish, and lastly, they competed in an ‘apple picking’ challenge, where pairs from each team piggybacked to reach and bite into an apple suspended from the ceiling.

In addition to an enriching day of outdoor activities, students enjoyed a cosy evening with a gala dinner, where they performed with unique and vibrant paper masks designed by themselves during breaktime as part of the mask design contest, and danced in unison around the campfire.

On the second day, campers participated in a workshop led by sponsor team Mitek about managing personal finances. Through interactive discussions, they shared their difficulties regarding managing their personal expenses, and learnt practical strategies for budgeting, saving, and making informed financial decisions. Following this, the students had a gathering featuring exciting quizzes where they could be awarded unique gifts as prizes by the Nike team. They then engaged in the piggyback smashing activity and tent disassembling in preparation for going home. 

This annual Camp provides our university scholars and alumni with a valuable opportunity to learn and practise critical skills that they need to improve in order to excel in their future employment, as well as their interpersonal skills. The activities and games were chosen to help students exercise various soft skills, including communication, adaptability, creativity, and problem-solving, among others. They additionally provided them with the opportunity to bond with saigonchildren scholars from different universities, as well as practice working in a team with new individuals – an important skill for the future.

As another season of the Student Camp concludes fruitfully, it has undoubtedly imprinted indelible memories for both the students and the organising team, as numerous letters with heartfelt gratitude poured in after the event. Hopefully, they had joyful moments and will cherish the memorable experiences as we stand together for the long journey ahead.

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