My husband has shared with me many wonderful testimonies and fun things that took place in Ranger Camps. But being one who does not like outdoor activities plus my physical health condition, I have never attended any Ranger Camps. However, since last year, he has been persuading me to attend the National Training Camp (NTC). Thank God after much deliberation, I finally put aside my fears and signed up for this year’s NTC held from 9 – 12 Aug because I wanted to have an experience to call my own.
The four days camp was indeed very rewarding and fruitful. Personally, I enjoyed the rope craft, lashings, tool craft, fire craft, and campfires. Our patrol was amazed and felt a sense of achievement that we could do so much in such a short period especially when there were many Ah Sohs (not that young lor) in the group. Moreover, most of us were camping greenhorns – having never pitched tents before. But one great lesson that I will never forget is that we can “chong” but not anyhow “chong”. Otherwise, we will just get burned out easily and that is unwise. Learn to read instructions!
In such a camp, we not only learned the survival skills but how to work as a team with different personalities to achieve the common goal. I was very touched and motivated to press on especially during the camp-out when half way along the trail walk my back started to hurt. Honestly, I was very tempted to give up and called my husband for help because my fears came true (I could not walk long due to the intense pain on my leg and back). When my patrol-mate saw the pain that was written on my face, they were sensitive and gathered to pray for me even though it was at the roadside. Some offered to off load my backpack while the rest shared the load to carry the tent. As I struggled to continue, I suddenly began to be more thankful that I was holding the patrol flag. That morning, when told by the Senior Guide that we had to bring the patrol flag along with us on the camp-out, my initial thought was that it would be an extra burden for me as I had to ensure that I did not lose it along the way. However, it turned out to be a useful aid that kept me going during the trail walk. In retrospect, I can only say God knows best how far we can go and how much we can take and He will always see us through the journey.
During the hike, I was feeling lousy because as the patrol guide for that day, I should have been taking care of the rest but it turned out the other way round. We were all exhausted but thank God for the team spirit and the motivation from one another that helped us press on till we found the campsite. We also learned the spirit of “NEVER SAY DIE!”. I have learnt that in whatever physical condition, we can minister and motivate one another as we are all inter-dependent.
I praise God for his healing touch and speedy recovery from my severe back pain. The pain subsided and I felt much relief that I could walk normally by midnight when I accompanied my patrol mate to the washroom.
After four days of stress, sweat, pain & joy, we were drawn closer and the bonding is stronger. Courageous Bob-Cat patrol has indeed made it and survived till the last day! A song was composed during the trail walk as we pondered over the first 3 days camp:-
We have come to NTC
We have gone through very long day
Every new day, is a challenge day
With God’s help we’ll make it till the final day, till the final day….!
I thank God for a breakthrough in the area of overcoming my shy and timid nature. I have the tendency to freeze in front of a big group but when I was the patrol guide, I was able to do the reporting (as required) and the courage to even testify during the last day of the camp. It was through this camp that I have no choice but to step out of my comfort zone.
I am especially inspired by the passion, unity & sweet spirit of the National Staff as they put all their hearts and hands in to make the NTC a smooth and successful camp. Most importantly is their love for each other and the ability to work harmoniously even though they come from different churches. This camaraderie can be seen from the way they tease one another and have lots of funs and laughter.
With all these wonderful experience, I told the Lord to help me catch the vision and passion for Ministry as I have been inspired and hope to inspire others to REACH, TEACH, and KEEP boys and girls for JESUS CHRIST. To God be the glory!
– By Serene Ler