RO at ACID Camp 2012: Camp Phantasia

This year’s ACID Camp marked my first, and I believe, of many. I’ve actually been a volunteer with MINDS-MYG since the start of 2010 but had always missed out on ACID Camp due to various reasons. I did attend last year’s but only at night, plus I did not manage to stay over. However, I told myself that I definitely had to attend this year’s Camp and stay overnight. It was a great decision made on my part.

ACID Camp is one meant for almost 500 participants, beneficiaries and volunteers alike. The committee did an amazing job this year and I was very impressed with the amount of effort put in at every station. The game preparations, execution of activities, overall decorations and more were done exceptionally well. I could tell that all the beneficiaries felt the same way and had a blast.

I think that what makes this annual camp special is that volunteers and beneficiaries from all across MINDS-MYG get to interact with one another for an overnight event since we are all separated from our own project groups and placed into assigned teams. The “Disco Night” segment was great too, since each project group had to put up their own planned performance. For my project, that is Reach Out (RO), I came up with a dance and taught our members (as we call our beneficiaries) the moves for three consecutive weeks before the actual ACID Camp. It was a very proud moment for me when I saw them dancing so confidently on stage in front of a huge audience!

Not only was this year’s ACID Camp special to me because it was my first, it was also due to the fact that I had stayed over to take care of RO’s members while they were sound asleep. As for 2 fellow volunteers and myself, we stayed awake all night long. Pulling an all-nighter was not a very smart idea because I could barely take part in the aerobics session the next morning thanks to my groggy state.

Staying over for ACID Camp was a great experience for me. Reach Out has had our own camps over the years and those have given us volunteers some great memories as well as cherished lessons to take home. While we stayed awake all night, we discovered the little things that we had never known about our members. Some had habits like waking up several times in the middle of the night to go to the loo. There was even one member of ours whom we caught sleeping in a “sitting upright” position – that wasn’t a pretty sight at 3am in the morning.

We also came to know that most of our members are early risers. Not just that, but they are all very cheerful even when they have just woken up. That is something valuable which I have learnt from them, that is, to wake up each morning feeling positive and to anticipate the new day that I have been blessed with. I felt all warm inside when I stood outside the male members’ room at about 7am only to hear them joking with one another in the dark as the sun had just risen.

I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to spend an entire day and night with my members as well as to have been able to meet other beneficiaries who were so lovely towards me. I enjoyed every moment of the camp and look forward to more of such events where all of us from MINDS-MYG can come together as one big family to make wonderful memories.

Written By: Andrea Saralina Bte Saadan