Resilience: Secondary One Day Camp 2020

Resilience: Secondary One Day Camp 2020

24 Jun 2021

COVID-19 has left an indelible mark on everyone’s lives, which does not exclude our school life here in Hwa Chong. The nation has had to adapt to a flurry of safe distancing measures – first unveiled during the March ‘Circuit Breaker’ Period, while schools in particular have learned to cope with the modification of physical lessons and the introduction of safe-distancing rules, which have greatly affected our annual school activities, big and small. 

It is perhaps our fresh batch of Secondary One students who know this best, with little more than a sprinkling of school events on these freshmen’s docket amidst the pandemic. During this uncertainty, they have had little chance to bond with their new classmates in-person – if at all.

Yet, in the face of this coronavirus-induced disruption, Dr Huang Xiaoqian, McRoy Lim (3i4) and Yeo Yue Long (3P2) – the Organising Secretary and assistant Organising Secretaries of 2020’s Secondary One Day Camp respectively – have remained unfazed, working alongside the school’s Organising Team and facilitators to organise this year’s SODC  (a day camp within the campus). 

1A2 Students Playing Street Soccer

Though the day camp builds on the school’s yearly Secondary One Annual Camp (a three-day-two-night experience better known as SOAC), this year was the first when organisers were forced to grapple with safe distancing protocols, scarce resources and little external assistance, and a very tight deadline, no less. 

With these hurdles in their way, the planning process was indubitably a difficult undertaking, requiring our student organisers to walk a precarious line between their studies and event logistics, and all the while hampered by the camp’s proximity to their End-of-Year exams. 

1O2 Demonstrating their Football Prowess

Nevertheless, SODC was a massive hit, with Secondary One participants quickly engaged in the various activities laid out for them. In spite of the short planning time, barely half of the previous years’, there were still exciting games designed, and students from each Consortium could be seen participating in a variety of activities designed to foster bonding amongst them, while fostering in them a sense of belonging and school pride, all without breaking safe-distancing measures.

Throughout both camp days, facilitators in bright lime green and organising team Councillors in neon pink t-shirts could be seen all over the campus, leading Secondary One students in their games and interacting candidly with their juniors. Their efforts certainly paid off – the Secondary One students were most actively engaged from the start to the end, while the post-exam atmosphere remained cheery and light-hearted. As the Secondary One students participated in the camp’s final event, a treasure hunt set up around the school grounds, we could see this excitement reach its crescendo, as students ran around with their class looking for clues in a race against the clock. It was a most thrilling event indeed!

Pro-Ed Students Leaving for Their Next Activity

Our Organising Secretary, Dr Huang, was likewise pleased with how the SODC was run, and extended her gratitude to the students who had laboured behind the scenes for it to come to fruition. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the organisers involved. She said, “The planning [for SODC] was done right before the exam and the student organisers had to balance their studies and this event, so I am really appreciative of them. I am also very glad that the organising team were willing to sacrifice their time for this day camp.”

Though the SODC has come at a time when our Secondary One students were soon to be on their much awaited two-month December break, the day camp is sure to wrap this eventful year up on a good note, and, of course, provide our young freshmen with a much needed respite from the occasional tedium of High School life. What an excellent way to herald the holidays and a fresh year for all!

Written by Javier Cheng Kai Heng and Tsun Yi Ming Ewan (2I1)

(This is a continuing series to capture the vibrancy of Hwa Chong life in 2020.)