Monday, September 12, 2011

MCKL CF camp 2011: Unplug Intune

The Mun Yee pose/dance.
(Photo credit: Lye Tong/Jimmy)

To get straight to the point, CF camp was awesome. I'd gone for it with no expectations whatsoever, and came back browner and truly amazed.

During the day, when we weren't having a workshop, we spent quite a lot of time in the sun. Now, if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm probably the least outdoorsy person ever. I'm the kind of teenager who's perfectly content to sit at their laptop all day, moving only to get water or food (I am basically a plant). However, I really enjoyed the station games that the Events team had planned. The games at each station were fun, if a little frustrating at times, and I didn't mind the least bit that we were running around drenched to the skin. Good times, good times.

Not my group, but this was the wettest game of all. Mr. Jared stood serenely off
to one side, hosing us down while singing Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

On the second day, we had time to go down to the sea. It'd been so long since I'd swum in the sea; I'd forgotten how easy it is to float, how the small waves push you back towards the shore, how your knees get little scrapes and scratches when you kneel underwater. I'm no hardcore fan of the ocean, but the beach and the sea are a novelty for a city kid like me.

Oh, we also went banana boating! I was a bit hesitant at first, but others had gone and returned safely, and the life jackets were so buoyant you couldn't sink if you tried, so I figured I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I went! It was a good experience at RM10 per head, and tumbling off the boat into the sea wasn't half as scary as I thought it'd be. In fact, it was probably the best part of the ride.

Shean Yen, Ying Ying, and me on the beach!
Apparently, only I was in the sun.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

On the second night (the last night!), we had a bonfire. And, of course, when you have a bonfire, you gotta have roasted marshmallows. When I said I'd never had them before, Ying Ying just screamed at me to go try them now, which I scrambled to do.

Oh my gosh. They are heaven in your mouth. We had Hershey's chocolate syrup to go with them, and it was the perfect combination, I swear. Forget fluffy -- roasted marshmallows are hard on the outside and a lovely gooey paste on the inside. Om nom nom.

Because there were extra marshmallows, I played Chubby Bunny. (For those who don't know, it's a game where you see how many marshmallows you can stuff into your mouth and still say 'chubby bunny'.) I got up to six. Not bad, if I do say so myself. On the down side, I was on a massive sugar high for the next half an hour or so.

Calvin and me after my sixth marshmallow.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

The rest of the night was spent standing and sitting around, talking and embarrassing Mr. Tee with pick up lines. He got back at us by telling some groan-worthy pau riddles, delivering each punchline in a Hongkee accent. Shean Yen, Joel, and I talked for a while -- an actual, real talk, not our usual, funny, sling-insults-at-one-another talks. Fun as those are, a serious talk every now and then is always nice.

Everything that night was just so nice. Sitting in the sand, watching the moon and the bonfire and the sea, feeling incredibly carefree... It hit me then that CF camp really was like a break from the real world, where I'd be worrying about something or other all the time. (They'd even confiscated our phones to make sure that we'd well and truly left the real world behind.) Even the qualifying tests, though only days away, refused to take seed in my brain and cloud it with anxiety.

That night on the beach, I felt the most peaceful I'd felt in a long time, and I honestly didn't want to leave. We had to, though, at about 1.30 a.m. Ying Ying, Shean Yen, and I stayed inside in the shaded area, talking for a bit (Joel went to bed, the pansy), before finally heading to our room at about 2.00 a.m.

An awesome shot of our bonfire.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

But, of course, CF camp wasn't all about having fun. We had workshops with Pastor Clement during the day and night, and the worship sessions were amazing. Somewhere along the line, it felt like the barrier of my own doubt and misgivings had finally been broken down, and I could actually feel God's presence in the room...and I know I wasn't the only one.

For far too long, I'd been struggling to really believe in God, that He exists; this camp has honestly strengthened my faith in God more than I would've dared hope. Right now, I am absolutely certain that God is real, and that He exists, and I don't care what the non-believers say because they don't know what I felt. There is a God. I believe.

Pastor Clement doing his thing.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

I think the best part of this camp wasn't the beach, nor was it the bonfire or even the fact that I was there with my friends -- it was the touching of the hearts of the non-Christians who were present. In my opinion, the best proof you could ever get in terms of God and the holy spirit is how they make non-believers sit up and pay attention to them.

There were at least three non-Christians at camp who all there for different reasons, but certainly out of their own free will. Take, for example, a friend of mine, who was more excited for camp than I was. She wasn't forced to come at all. She came for camp because she wanted to, not because she was persuaded to do it. She came, she listened to Pastor Clement's sermons, she watched us worship, and, somewhere along the line, she took a genuine interest in the goings-on around her. She wanted to know more, she wanted to understand things. And, even better, she wasn't the only one.

Group shot! Our group was called Love, or Agape in Greek.
(Photo credit: Lye Tong)

From that aspect (as well as most others), I would say that CF camp was a great success. Reaching out to non-Christians is always a really hard thing to do, since Christianity has a pretty bad rep with a few things (homosexuality, anyone?). But there're many understandings and teachings within the religion itself, which is the beauty of it, I guess -- there's bound to be something for everyone. There are so many denominations that I don't come close to knowing them all, what more their beliefs and practices. Still, we all do worship the same God, our uniting factor.

Moving on. I have to say, major kudos to the Events team for organising this whole thing. I know it was a lot of work (I don't think I'd ever seen the perpetually hyper Mun Yee tired!) and planning beforehand, and yet, they were cheerful all throughout. Super awesome job, guys!

Also, thankyou to the lecturers who came: Mr. Yoshua, Ms. Rachel, Mr. Tee, Mr. Jared, and Mr. Denis. Pretty sure MCKL has the best lecturers ever.

Yep. L-R: Ms. Rachel, Mr. Jared, Mr. Yoshua, Mr. Tee.
(Photo credit: Jimmy)

Man, just going through the photos is making me miss camp already. I wonder if I'll be able to go for next year's...

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