GLORIA CHENG HUI MIN
At this year’s camp, we had an equal balance of stringent training and relaxing activities, I believe. As this was my first ever training camp, I naturally found it very tiring in the beginning, my arms were practically aching on the second day! However, this was expected, it was already stated ‘training camp’. The idea of teaching responsibility through giving us eggs as buddies was unusual but good. As first-aiders, it is very important to be responsible and not leave things undone, e.g. leaving a particular casualty to attend to another one when you haven’t even finished treating the first one. Eggs were good ‘buddies’, firstly because they were very fragile, so we had to be very careful when handling them. Secondly, the size of the eggs was just nice, it was very easy and convenient to grasp in one hand while doing something. However, it isn’t very nice when it breaks and leaves behind a gluey mess. On the first day, we had the privilege of placing our eggs into Ziploc bags, so that it would be very much easier to hold and there wouldn’t be any mess we needed to clean up if it broke. In the end, almost everybody broke her eggs. I believe that it was because we took for granted that we had a Ziploc bag, so even if the eggs broke, it wouldn’t matter. In fact it would even be better, we would be spared of the worry of when the egg would break. Days 2 and 3 came, we were not allowed to use Ziploc bags anymore, except during the urban hike, when we went outdoors (I don’t think it would be very nice if the eggs broke and dirtied the public.).
In my opinion, the changing parades were helpful in a way that it taught me how to do things efficiently and not waste time. We had to get changed into another set of clothes in a limited time. I felt quite awkward upon finding out that everyone was just going to change in the same place as there was not even enough time to find another cubicle. I really thought that the changing parades were terrific forms of inculcating in us a sense of urgency. During the camp, I realized something: the Red Cross spirit here was very good, everyone was very united, the seniors looked out for their juniors, and everyone did not pinpoint anyone when there was a mistake and instead took the blame together. I felt that the checking of bags on the first day was good. This prevented anyone from bringing forbidden things; anything extra was confiscated on the spot, teaching us to obey the rules.
I enjoyed the fire drills immensely, they not only allowed me to put into practice what I have learnt but also made me understand how important teamwork was. The first time when we had a fire drill, I was not very accustomed to it and didn’t really take it seriously; in fact I was quite tickled when I saw some NCOs in a state of hysteria. However, I soon learnt to treat it seriously. I learnt that words of assurance were very important; the observers always commented that we could have done better in assuring the casualty more. We also must also not argue over what methods to use to treat or evacuate the casualty and must never sound discouraging in front of the casualty. Of course, I learnt much more things. I also found it very challenging and exciting to go around combing the school for casualties and evacuating them on a stretcher back to the first aid base. After the fire drill has ended, the observers would then come forward and commend us on where we had done well and explain to us our mistakes. That certainly was useful in helping us learn from our mistakes and not make the same mistakes again. Really, fire drill was great.
Beach cleaning was fun, and I believe it is the normal kind of CIP service for uniforms groups. I think that the time spent for cleaning the beach should have been extended and that we should have gone to a bigger beach as there were too many of us. After that, I felt that the games we played were very enjoyable, and games which really helped in bonding our relationships. I rather enjoyed the game in which we had to use our elbows to pass cups full of sand to a representative of the group so that she could pour it into the given Coke bottle. The group which had the most number of sand in its bottle was the champion. The urban hike made us use our legs a lot; we had to scout around the places near school according to the order assigned to us on paper. I liked it in the sense that we got to get exposed to new places and also managed to get some exercise. Basically, all the games and fun activities held were planned mainly to let us have fun and to bond relationships.
I believe the biggest production of the fun activities was the kidnap mystery. That was real cool. The scene at Tessa (if that’s how you spell her name)’s bedroom was very convincing. It must have taken a lot of effort and time to complete it with the finishing touch. All the character played their roles well and it was very amusing, with everyone acting like mad people. The mystery would have been better if the characters had put on costumes to make it look real. It would really be wonderful if more stations were set up. True, there were many loopholes in the story outline and I felt that the characters should have revealed more and not keep on saying, “I don’t know.” The auction game was very fun also. The food offered was really tempting, especially the ice cream, after a tiring half day we had. It was really worth it, just by doing some silly things, we could get what we wanted.
The packed lunch that was served was okay, but the most exciting one was of course, the outdoor cooking. We had to start our own fire, bring our own food, etc. Everyone was in a very light mood, joking with each other. Really, the outdoor cooking was good. Tea was okay too, I suppose. There was once when, after break, we had a fire drill. I didn’t think that was a very practical idea, because I was quite full then, and the fire drill needed us to run about. I also think that the number of water breaks should be increased, because I really get dehydrated after doing the activities.
All in all, I benefited a lot during the two days when we had to wear the Red Cross uniform here. Before the camp, I didn’t know much about my uniform, but these couple of days has really helped a lot. I am now more familiar with the uniform and less stressed when I have to wear it the next time because there are many rules on how to wear the uniform. During Uniform Inspection, I believe the NCOs weren’t really strict and overlooked a few mistakes, which was good, at least I will progress each year and make less mistakes each year, all the way until I become a NCO.
The lesson taught by Shi Fan ma’am and Cheryl Leong ma’am on how to use improvised materials as first aid equipments was interesting. We learnt how to make improvised stretchers with bamboos and old T-shirts. Furthermore, another ma’am also explained to us how we could use shoestrings to act as bandages when you want to immobilize the casualty’s leg if she has a fracture there. The information was indeed very interesting. Finally, I would really like to commend my seniors. They were all very caring, always asking if anyone was not feeling well. The camp this year was really one of a kind, one that helped made me stronger in my willpower and physical body. I understand that this camp was already more lenient and less tiring other camps in which you have to stay overnight. This 2003 Red Cross training camp, in my opinion, was very successful and fun. I look forward to next year’s one.
2004 June Camp
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
I think that this training camp in school from the 21st to the 23rd of June 2004 has been very meaningful and enriching experience to me and I believe, for almost everyone who attended. Through this camp, I am sure that the aims to arouse interest and upgrade skills during the first aid and firedrill training have been achieved. I feel we have been given many opportunities to develop our leadership qualities, such as the games we have played. All the activities we have participated in have to foster team spirit, enhancing better co-operation and division of labour. We are also able to interact with one another.
On Monday, the very first day of camp, we had to wear the Red Cross uniform. Therefore, we had uniform inspection first after settling down into our respective groups. I felt that my level could have arranged before the camp to help check the secondary ones’ uniform and not leave everything to the already-very-busy secondary threes. The inspection was quite fast and no time was wasted. Personally, I also think that I myself did not set a very good example to my juniors as I did not iron my uniform properly.
Bag check was rather slow though. It is probably because it takes more time to check everything in each Ziploc bag for everyone. I think bag check is good way of instilling discipline. By doing it, we will not bring extra things that are not allowed because they will be confiscated.
During the three days, we played some games or activities. Overall, I think I enjoyed the Amazing Race the most. Our first station was Plaza Singapura, where we had to buy the food which was the answers to the clues. I thought that was very creative. It was also very fun to solve the mysteries as a group while walking through the whole of Orchard Road. The games which we had to play as a group at the various stations were very exciting and not stereotype. At times we had to interact with the public and ask for their assistance in doing the stipulated dares. However, we had to be very careful to not behave too rowdily and be thought as a public nuisance. What made the game more challenging was that we had a fixed amount of time and could not exceed the time limit. This has helped to inculcate in us the importance of not wasting time and dilly-dallying. Generally I think that it would be better if more stations nearer to each other were set up. Sometimes, the distance between 2 stations was quite far, perhaps too far for walking distance to me, so I ended up with my legs aching (because taking public or private transport was not allowed). But I found it enjoyable all in all.
On day 2, we also played another game in school. It was similar in that we had different stations and a time limit too (15 minutes per station). The dares which helped us to earn bonus points were fun as we got to interact with the NCOs in a relaxing sort of mood. We were able to see the fun side of the NCOs, not only the serious and solemn side. However, I think that more time should be allocated to each station as sometimes a group may be held up at its previous station, and the time it has at the next station is cut short and the whole group will be late for the following stations. From this game, I have learnt how important teamwork is in order for a group to reach its destination in time. Everything was very organised and systematic, though.
On the last day, the early morning games at 5pm, the Insanity Complex 2, was very fun and mysterious, making it all the more challenging. The time at which we were playing it was just right as it helped to create the mysterious, eerie atmosphere. Some of us were scared out of our wits and it was fortunate that we were tied up together so that we know everyone is present. The costumes that the characters put on helped to make the mystery more real and convincing. Furthermore, their acting was very good and all their answers to our questions tallied with one another. It was good that there was an empty block of time for us to go and find Justine and the other essential characters and also recollect our suspicions with the evidence. However, I felt that we should have been allowed to at least clean our face or drink some water before rushing straight off to play the game the moment we wake up, as I felt very thirsty and drowsy.
This time, we were given eggs as our buddies for the camp. As first-aiders, it is imperative that we are responsible and not leave anything important, such as evidence or the casualty’s belongings. Therefore, through the eggs we were taught responsibility. Wherever we went, we had to have our buddies with us, even when we bathed and slept. During firedrill, many people misplaced their buddies, with some even leaving it behind at the scene. By doing so, we were scolded and punished duly. So we can say that the eggs taught us to get rid of our forgetful nature. One good thing was that we were allowed to put our buddies in a Ziploc bag, making it easier to hold and bring about; and if we had broken them accidentally, the sticky mess would not dirty our clothes and the place we were in at that point in time. That’s why I think we were not given them on the first day when we had the Amazing Race and had to scour the whole of Orchard Road. However, with the convenience of using a Ziploc bag, some of us took it for granted and even thought that it would be better if they broke, so that we needn’t be so careful. Some even poured out the liquid inside the egg. It was good that we were able to put our eggs inside our bag when we had to clean up the old folks’ home. However, it is not very hygienic to for those who had broken their buddies to keep it overnight. I feel that new eggs should be given.
Naturally, we had a considerable amount of firedrills, because it is part of the training of a Red Crosser, and moreover this is a training camp. This time there was almost no casualties taken from the secondary ones to threes, which I thought was better because this would give everyone a chance to take part in the firedrills. The NCOs would almost test us on the treatment of the injuries after the firedrills while they were explaining everything to us. In my opinion, this will force us to learn up our first aid. The concept of ‘dead aiders’ were introduced, meaning that the aiders who did not come back on time for a firedrill would be declared dead and had to stand in a squad during the next firedrill in the first aid base and not allowed to take part in that particular firedrill. She would only be activated on the next one. This will make be more careful to be back on time and cause us to be more swift and faster in doing our first aid and evacuation. On one day of camp (I forgot which day), where we were given a series of firedrills. The first one was a fake firedrill, which we managed to anticipate. However, we were not careful and treated a scenario that was read out to us as a fake firedrill. This has caused me to realise how important it is to a scenario very carefully, if not our lives would be at stake.
For the community involvement programme for this camp, we did something different from the previous times, beach cleaning. We went to the old folk’s home in Chinatown to help them clean up their one-room flats because many of them were too weak with old age to use force to clean their abode. I though this was more meaningful than cleaning the beaches as the needy, like the frail elderly, can benefit more from it. However, some old folks were quite harsh, probably because they didn’t want to feel helpless, and didn’t quite invite some of us into their houses cordially. On the other hand, some even offered drinks to us, which was not bad. The time given was sufficient for us to clean up the whole flat in a group. It was also quite organised as to which group was assigned to which flat and I felt the gift of a sort of cereal was appropriate as the old folks needed nutrients at their old age.
On the second day, we had a barbeque for dinner. It was very fun as we got to our own cooking. However and unfortunately, there was a slight drizzle and we had to do our barbequing at the bus bay instead of the secondary school courtyard. The NCOs were to sit with their own groups and we had some time to chat and joke. I felt that my group bought too much food and there was quite a considerable amount of uncooked leftovers. The time given at the beginning was a little insufficient as we had to use some time to get use to the barbeque pits and to be accustomed to using tongs. The I/C, I think asked for a time extension and so the time was quite enough. Overall, it was not bad.
We spent the night sleeping in the gym. It was quite the ideal place as the flooring was soft. We did not have any midnight firedrills as the teachers wanted us to have undisturbed sleep. But I thought it would be interesting to grope around in the dark with a torch in search of casualties. That would be the fun part too. The amount of sleeping time was sufficient to me.
Whenever we had to change destinations or I/Cs, the people who reached first had to go into men’s pumping position. This would teach us to have a sense of urgency if not the people before us would have to suffer more, also inculcating unity in the whole unit. Also, for every person who drags her feet, there would be a minute of hentak as punishment. The punishment was very tiring as many people forgot and dragged their feet, especially on the first day and for the secondary ones who were still not used yet. But as the days progressed, we had a little improvement. The NCOs were encouraging and they kept telling us not to give up and to persevere. It was good that almost no secondary ones fell out. They were very co-operative too. Besides, hentak is good for strengthening one’s leg muscles.
The meals provided were not bad, but I thought lunch was a little boring as we almost had the same dishes. For breakfast and tea, we were given bread with nutella/jam and some biscuits and milo. Almost all the time, Milo was served, so I think there should be a change. However, we were given a sort of treat on the last meal on the last day of camp, we had ribena.
Also for the camp, I had to change groups twice, from bravo to delta to alpha. I didn’t think it was very good, as I had to adjust to new teammates. But the good thing was that I got to work as a group and co-operate with more people and was able to improve my social interaction skills.
This camp has been a very memorable experience for me and I have indeed benefited in my skills as a first-aider. The unity among the unit has definitely strengthened. Through this camp, I have come to know my fellow mates better and more friendships have developed. We understand one another’s weaknesses and cover up for each other and stand by one another.
2004 NCO Reports
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
LEE YING MIN MA’AM
Lee Ying Min ma’am is a very responsible person who tries her very best to make sure that everyone is getting along very well. Ying Min ma’am is only solemn and serious when we are not behaving at our very best and will reproach us. However when she tells us to do hentak for a period of time, she does not fail to encourage us to persevere and not give up. From here, it is clear that Ying Min ma’am cares for us. Ying Min ma’am can be very jovial and all smiles when during non official times, like recreation and physical training. Ying Min ma’am has a heart of gold and sincerity and she is very caring towards everyone. Ying Min ma’am has very good leadership qualities that allows her to shine as chairperson. In my frankest opinion, Ying Min ma’am has been a wonderful and pleasant leader and friend.
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
EUNICE TEO MA’AM
Eunice Teo ma’am is a very considerate person. She is also someone who can get along with everyone very well and therefore, everyone finds it nice to talk to her. Eunice ma’am knows how to draw the line clearly between play time and serious business. For example, she is very strict and takes her work very seriously when something formal is on hand. However, Eunice ma’am also knows how to have fun during recreation time. Eunice ma’am is also not at all bossy. Eunice ma’am only uses the authority she has as a vice-chairperson to maintain order and discipline in the Red Cross unit. However, Eunice ma’am does not abuse her power and order people about and therefore, she has earned the respect of all the cadets. Eunice ma’am is also very polite to everyone and treats everyone the same as she is an impartial person. Eunice ma’am has been a nice person to know and we should all try to learn from her.
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
CANDICE CHEW MA’AM
Candice Chew ma’am is a very cheerful person and she always seems to greet everyone with a smile. Candice ma’am is one optimistic person, so she seldom lets problems discourage her. I think she should speak louder whenever she talks to the entire unit because I have a hard time trying to hear what she has to say. Candice ma’am treats everyone with utmost care and concern. This quality has made her very endearing to everyone. She only admonishes us when we have done something wrong but most of the times I always see her quite quiet. Candice ma’am is an outstanding NCO with a lot of patience. She does not get angry very often. Her heart is filled with kindness and she does not use words that are too critical or harsh when she is scolding us for fear of discouraging us in the process. Candice ma’am has been a very nice person to know and work with.
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
YAK SIN WEN MA’AM
Yak Sin Wen ma’am is quite a reserved person who is very quiet and very sweet. However, she is very active and enthusiastic in taking part in all the Red Cross meetings and she is hardly ever absent. Sin Wen ma’am is also a gregarious person, and I find it easy to communicate with her. Sin Wen ma’am is an attentive listener who listens to people’s problems and does not discourage, but tries to cheer them up as much as she can. Sin Wen ma’am has proved herself to be a very good NCO and has all the qualities needed. However, when we have done something wrong, Sin Wen ma’am will use her own discretion to lecture us strictly or tell us gently, depending on the situation. Sin Wen ma’am has a very sunny disposition which helps greatly in drawing people to her. I have enjoyed her company during Red Cross meetings.
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
JOLENE ZHU MA’AM
Jolene Zhu ma’am is very sweet person whose personality is very cheerful. In my honest opinion, Jolene ma’am is a very friendly person and therefore as I conclude, people have no particular difficulty in approaching her to ask for help, which she does give very generously. Whenever someone has done her a favour, she does not hold back her gratitude at all. She will thank the person profusely and indeed, she really appreciates their help from the bottom of her heart. This also goes to show her true sincerity, which touches people to realize how nice a person she is. Also, I find that Jolene ma’am is quite adorable because she has a very contagious laughter. Jolene ma’am is definitely not the aggressive type, but she does and will remind us or reprimand us when we make silly mistakes. It is obvious that Jolene ma’am is the even-tempered sort and does not get annoyed easily.
NAME: GLORIA CHENG
LEVEL: SECONDARY TWO
TIFFANY WANG MA’AM
Tiffany Wang ma’am is a fun-loving person who is very warm towards her peers and juniors, so nobody will feel awkward when together with her. Tiffany ma’am is very considerate too. She never fails to ask if her actions have caused any unhappiness or disagreement to anybody. Tiffany ma’am is also a very outgoing person. I often see her laughing and smiling gaily with her friend. This shows that Tiffany ma’am has a very positive outlook to life, so she does not take things too seriously to let it affect life negatively. Tiffany ma’am is also very encouraging and she has the ability to make sad people smile and be happy again. Besides, Tiffany ma’am is also very courteous. Tiffany ma’am is not in the habit to reprimand us whenever we make a mistake. I can also see that she is very active in Red Cross as she tries her best to attend every meeting.