Describe the first time you went on a camping trip. You should write about the activities at the camp and explain how you felt about the experience.

- by Wesly Kong
Curtin University

During the school holidays last year, I participated in a 3-day camp organised by the Boy Scouts Association of my school. As it was the first I had ever taken part in, I was really excited about it before the trip.

Apart from the scouts from my school, those from a school in a neighbouring town were also invited to attend. There were about 100 campers altogether, of which approximately half were from the other school.

The campsite was a clearing of a forest. There was a clear stream nearby. We arrived on the site early in the morning of the first camp day. After that, we were divided into 10 patrols. Our first task was to set up camp. Our patrol leaders taught us how to pitch the tents. After the tents had been pitched, we prepared lunch. All of us helped to cut firewood, fetch water from the stream, make fires with bow drills and cook a meal. Even though the food was not well prepared, we finished all of it as each one of us was as hungry as a wolf.

In the afternoon, we learnt knot-tying, a skill that is extremely useful in our daily life. That evening after dinner, we were free to mingle with one another. We had a good time chatting and playing games. We also slept soundly that night as we were exhausted from the activities all day long.

The next morning, we proceeded with our next activity - an Iban longhouse visit. We had to hike through the forest for about 2 hours before reaching the longhouse, where we were warmly welcomed by the longhouse chief and its occupants. We were given a guided tour of the house. After that, we were served with lunch and had an opportunity to savour the delicious traditional delicacies. Then we were presented with a local dance and music performance. We were also invited to join in. We had a lot of fun doing the ‘ngajat’ dance.

We were all back to our camp in the evening. After dinner, we gathered around a campfire. Each patrol had to present either a sketch or a song. Some of the sketches were really hilarious and we laughed till our stomach hurt.

On the last day of the camp, all of us participated in a cross-country race, in which we had to follow a trail of small bits of white paper across fields, forests and hills. An award presentation ceremony was held after the race. As I emerged as one of the top 10 runners-up, I was awarded a medal. Following the ceremony was a session in which we had to memorise each of our fellow scouts’ names, failing which press-up punishments were imposed. Of all the 100 or so campers, only 3 managed to accomplish the task. I was proud to be one of the 3 as I had worked really hard in order to avoid being punished.

The next morning, all of us prepared to go home. We broke camp and cleaned up the site before leaving.

Overall, I felt extremely grateful and pleased to have taken part in the camp. It was a real eye-opener for me. I had acquired new skills and increased my knowledge. I made quite a lot of new friends as well and some of them were among my best. Moreover, the experience had also boosted my self-confidence and sense of satisfaction. I definitely look forward to attending such beneficial camp again.

Click here for a lengthier and more detailed version of this essay.