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ICT FO Camp Day Four (We Depart!)

28 Nov

The next day began quite late. Due to the extremely unearthly sleeping times, we had brunch again. Then we were assembled in the foyer.

Mass (very) Games were played, although for a certain game (I forgot the name), a list of actions could be compiled, so that everyone would travel extensively around the circle. There were not enough actions to enable us to travel full circle.

Then we were given pen and paper. Stick the paper on your back, thus labelling yourselves, and go round writing on others’ papers your opinions of them, or testimonials.

And so everyone was walking round like idiots with papers stuck to their back (some not securely enough), and calling to each other, "Eh, eh, you! Yes, come, come, come!" to write on their backs.

People lined up, stood still, formed circles, and created positions of writing, changing them as desired. Positions resembling mambo lines and sit-down positions were most common.

So you could choose anyone, and they won’t know what you were writing, which was the fun part of it.

The result? A whole piece of paper filled with comments left, right and centre, written by anonymous people. Excellent amusement!

A truly versatile activity!

There was a photo-taking session.

We departed after that.

But not for good, of course. This wasn’t a farewell camp, it is an orientation camp!


ICT FO Camp Day Three; Part Two (Disco Night, and the Informal NightWalk)

27 Oct

            Back in SP we all showered, and waited patiently for the next event, Disco Night.

            Soon the moment came. All of us were assembled in T2011, and heard speeches by Chalk, the Club President,and other OC members of high position, pretty much else anyone who wanted to speak.

            The OC members gathered and did their dance which we saw during Shim Night. They invited members of the audience to dance with them. Suddenly the lights turned off and *everyone* was invited to dance. A disco light was turned on, and a smoke machine gave the place a cosy feeling (terrible for asthmatics, of course.) The music was deafening. The whole place was transformed into a discothèque!

            We danced to our hearts’ content, occasionally forming lines that snaked round but didn’t go anywhere. Someone, I think it was Chalk, operated a strobe light. The room was regularly smoked and when that happened we could barely see each other. There were so many people squeezed into one room. It was somewhat comforting to know that the floor could support 5.0kNs per square metre.

            I discovered that Chalk was missing from his post and busied myself by being strobe light operator in his absence. I suitably flashed the light according to the rhythm of the music (the light was actually just a desktop lamp, but a very blinding one.)

            The revelry ended after some hours. It was now 3am, and the OCs permitted us to sleep. The room, they said, would remain open, as a lounge (not a discothèque!) where those who didn’t want to sleep could engage in learned discourse.

            Amazingly, no one budged, and the OC members repeated their announcement. Still no one moved. So entertainment was staged for us. Several people who could perform singular acts were called upon. There was Bin with the mighty chest, Bun who was practically a human orchestra, Bash who could perform painful movements to make muscles budge, and Zacf, who could lengthen and twist his arm in alarming ways. Finally most of us retired to bed. I wasn’t feeling sleepy yet.

            I soon found out (rather discreetly) that there was to be an informal NightWalk. It was all very hush-hush, and the senior warned us not to tell the other seniors, due to the risky nature of a NightWalk. Who knows what we may encounter.

            After collecting the people who wished to take part, we set off. There were several people from my group, and a few members of BullShit as well.

            We went first to the Red Bridge. It conected T21 to T22, and had its share of stories; of people who fell down from it; of the apparitions sighted there. Our senior (whose name I shall not disclose) took these stories with a pinch of salt, and reported to us his findings after examining school records and histories for sensational deaths concerning the Bridge, and apparitions seen. There were no such stories. (Poppycock!)

            We sought to retrace the route of the original NightWalk. We were led all the way to the Workshops, on the other side of the campus.

            These Workshops had an interesting feature. They were situated in pairs, and had as an emergency exit a central corridor. Placed back to back, the central corridor created a sort of tunnel, with emergency doors placed at regular intervals on either side. Turn off all the lights and they are *very* dark corridors. Quite an effort to walk through them alone, though that *can* be done. They were the site of many booby traps. Our senior pointed out to us the location of a dead body (stationary), in an emergency fire hose box, and another dead body (falling), that was to fall at the end of the corridor. Other than these, live humans (usually the more mischievious seniors) could hide in the alcoves of the corridor and startle us in any number of ways: by making unearthly sounds, or just startling us. These types of booby traps were the most versatile, and thus the most unexpected. Just because you hear screams ahead of you doesn’t mean that trap would still be there. The senior could move to another place, and you would be left in great suspense as to whether that person is still there, since it’s so dark that he would go to another location undetected. Then you would have to approach it with caution (lots of it).

            We approached a junction further on, whilst walking in the yellow-box corridors that connected the different blocks. Our senior shined the torchlight along the left corridor. It illuminated, at the end of the corridor, a human figure walking past. Only I and our senior witnessed it, us being at the front of the line. We both looked at at each other questioningly, "Should we treat this as an apparition sighting or not?"

            The figure, when it passed briefly, looked like an Indian. Perhaps one of the security guards or foreign workers. We dismissed it was an apparition, and continued with our journey. The rest did not see it.

            Eventually we reached our bunks. It was about 5am (or was it 6?) and the lounge was still open, though the people inside were inanimate. Some had fallen asleep, curled up in every nook and cranny, looking like dead bodies all over the place. I went back to my bunk and slept. The sight that greeted me when I opened the bunk door perpetuated the metaphor of corpses lined up in a morgue. The people were bound in sleeping bags, arrayed in neat lines, and the room was eerily silent. I could almost imagine joss sticks before the bodies. (Aiyoh.)

ICT FO Camp Day Three; Part One (The Excursion to Sentosa)

14 Oct

On the third day, I awoke and properly attended to personal hygiene. Unfortunately I was late for breakfast and only managed to eat two slices of bread, downed with gulps of the unpalatable "Ovaltine".

Then we were told to find our hidden team banners. After searching high and low, we finally found it around a corner. Luckily one of our group members thought to look there, or else we’d be stuck finding it all day.

Then we were told to proceed to Sentosa. We chose to take the MRT, then bus.

My associate’s group chose the taxi. Their group was divided among two taxis, and the one behind was instructed to follow the one in front. Unfortunately the one in front didn’t have any idea how to get to Sentosa and the one behind couldn’t follow the taxi in front due to a red traffic signal. They found out they were the first to get to Sentosa but it wasn’t accepted because the other half of the group was still en route. And Hi-5 was close behind. Well, too bad for them.

There was a great hurry when all of us who took the train realised that the NEL train was coming in 1 minute. All 50 or 60 of us rushed to the platform ("Wah! Like catching train like that!" An apt statement!)

Same thing happened for the bus. "Tooo the Palawan Beach!!"

Once there, we rested and were briefed on the upcoming game, Water Strike.

I quicken the pace here. There isn’t much to tell, and so my sentences shall consist mainly of little mentions of things as they happen to me and as they occur to me. Now, on with the beach games.

It appeared that Summit was filling their water bombs even when they weren’t supposed to.

Due to the unnatural placement of the different groups during Water Strike, each of us did not know which team was which. For lack of suitable nomenclature, we resorted to naming conventions: Summit was labelled the Coconut Tree Group, and Cherokee was labelled the Shelter Group, to state a few examples. These names were indicative of the locations of the respective groups.

Our group was one of the first to fall, due to an unbelievably accurate hit by Summit, what with all the people waving around trying to protect our circular paper target. I was an Immortal, and sought to protect my groups’ target by  means of reclining and other related positions.

So half our group joined Summit (the Coconut Tree Group) and my half joined Ozone, my associate’s team. They had an admirable supply of bombs, and were invincible, until all the remaining 4 or 5 teams decided to attack them all at once. I as a defender was caught in the ensuing melée (a violent free-for-all), ending up very wet and covered with sand. The target had gaping holes all over, and thus the game was ended. Time for lunch!

During lunch I and my associate contemplated the reasons as to why so many Indian nationals had been called upon to work on a small patch of land beside a road nearby. Surely only three or four would suffice.

Then it was time for the playing of assorted games. Blazerz performed well during Captain’s Frisbee™ and Dodgeball. We played for the rest of the day.

During dinner a whole group of Temasek Polytechnic students came and ate near our area. My associate quipped that Temasek and Singapore are one and the same country, therefore we were allies and should not feel threatened. Despite several bombings, we gave three cheers to them (Hip-Hip-Hooray!) and amiably departed.

Back in SP we all showered, and waited patiently for the next event, Disco Night.

ICT FO Camp Day Two; Part Three (Shim Night…)

14 Sep

…….End of the Race (How Amazing!) at about 8.30pm.

We showered and waited in our bunk for the next Event, the Shim Beauty Pageant. Whilst waiting, we played games and held amiable conversations within ourselves and several OC members and GLs.

Of course, before we could judge the Shims, we had to make them first. A shim is, if you prefer more exactitude of nomenclature, a transvestite.

During our wait, we had to fill in a piece of paper with the things we needed to create our very own shim (which stands for She-Male or -Man, ignore the spelling.) Most common items for the purpose were hair clips, lipstick, rouge, mascara, and other such objects. Balloons were most useful for creating sizable bosoms. We were advised not to ask for bizarre items like grapefruits and melons, and bras with sizes gravitating towards the end of the alphabet.

Duly we received a standard set of materials plus a few of the items we requested. There were black plastic bags, newspapers, aluminium foil, string, markers, and two arms’ length of tape. From each group a shim had been chosen the night before, and in our case it was Jia Xian (the one with the spoiled handphone.)

Our balloons tended to form into very vulgar shapes. Foil was used as a kind of pair of stockings, and string was used to hold up the bosoms. Bull Shit’s shim was Very Feminine Looking. Right choice! He could have been mistaken for a girl if not for the voice…

And so all of us campers congregated in the Foyer, and music was played to indicate the arrival of the Shims.

We were pleasantly amused by the appearance of last years’ Top Shims, among them our GL, Bash. They promenaded around and behaved in suitably enticing manners.

Then *our* Shims appeared. Some were tastefully adorned, as in the case of Bullshit and Cherokee, whilst others were not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye, in part due to their bosoms which were not secured properly (one even fell off). They were also disproportionately sized.

Finally after all these displays of feminineness (if you could call it that), it was announced that Rebecca (a.k.a Jun Yuan) from Cherokee was Champion Shim! (I think he won because his character as Rebecca was constant throughout. Not once did he drop the persona.)

After a photo-taking session, we were allowed to sleep. By the time we did so, it was 3.00am in the morning (!).

ICT FOC Day Two; Part Two (The Amazing Race!)

7 Sep

Later on we gathered in the T19 Foyer (or Lobby, as some prefer to call it). We were instructed to form radiating lines around a yellow pillar. Then we were told to feel sleepy. All of us stood with eyes closed.

Suddenly someone whispered in my ear, "Psst! Open your eyes! Come!…Just follow!"

I was led all the way to FC6 on the 2nd floor, where I hid. It was fully lit, although there wasn’t a soul there, save for the painters and cleaning uncle (who were all wondering what I was doing there.) I waited.

The cleaning uncle came and asked for one of the remaining brunch set meals. I assented to his request. The sight of me hiding in that corner evidently amused him.

Finally my team found me! We went back to the foyer to get our first Clue.

And so we went to the Moberly, untangled ourselves; to SP CARE, where we created a cheer even the Game Master forgot; to the Childcare Centre, where I was blindfolded to find something, and where the Clue led us outside campus (finally!). Something about an immobile Mercedes, we headed to Orchard towards its suspected location, courtesy of Timothy. The Race began, proper!

In the MRT train Mark did his sleeping thing again whilst standing holding onto a handgrip.

Nous arrivons! We discover that Cherokee is ahead of us by one road crossing.

We had to pass long pieces of food from mouth to mouth. Not for the more hygienic.

The Next Clue led us to the Orchard Geodesic Dome (it’s *Not* a golf ball), and we used anything we had to knock down some stubborn drink cans. The Game Master didn’t cover the gaps on the sides, though, so the Stray Items Collector was kept busy. I should have brought a longer umbrella, so I could hit more cans.

Then to Lucky Plaza, where we searched for people and blew up condoms. The general public was amused.

Our next stop was the Istana Park. Halfway along the journey there, we stopped to repose ourselves. Half of us went to an Old Chang Kee stall to eat, and the other half went to a nearby building’s toilet. Some of us did both. (The building was the Heeren.)

Then Hi-5 passed us!

We quickly gathered ourselves, then ran like the wind to get ahead of them. Luckily our group could run for prolonged periods.

We managed to get ahead of them, separated only by a busy street. There were already some groups at the Istana Park pit stop. After performing our cheer, we had "ICT FOC 05/06" and our group name branded on our arms. Then one member went into the fountain pool to retrieve our next Clue.

To the Fort Gate! We brought the house down with our rendition of "She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain".

Then to Clarke Quay, where we wasted time counting windows. I don’t understand why we had to do so; we could’ve just asked the receptionist inside that MICA building. We had to cross the road countless times counting the different coloured windows. The hidden ones tested our patience. If we wanted to see them, we had to cross to the diagonally opposite side of the nearby junction. But that junction only had one crossing–to the other side! The other three roads had no pedestrian crossing (typical of chaotic roads in the city.) We had to cross at another traffic light further down the road, once we crossed to the other side at the junction.


There was a traffic policeman controlling the junction at one point. During those times, whatever the policeman ordered, we did. Though the traffic lights seemed perfectly all right to me, we followed his instructions. I resisted the temptation to dash across the road even when the green man was visible, since the policeman knew better. Some tried to disobey him: a taxi nearly ran over him as he tried to halt traffic. Well, it *was* rush hour.

We had been there for an hour: from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. One hour counting windows! By then it was twilight. The Final Clue led us to the Esplanade. We were told that we were in 5th position, out of eight. It was a slightly comforting fact.

Unfortunately all of us agreed to walk there. That was because we didn’t expect such a great discrepancy in location: the place *wasn’t* the Esplanade, but 750 metres further than expected, and not even included in our Singapore Map and Transport Guide (inexistant location!)

By the time we got there, we were completely *drained*. We couldn’t even give our cheer. Well, we didn’t have to. Some time was given for rest. Then we did some silly charades game. Finally we were given another Final Clue: go back to the Polytechnic! Whichever team gets there first wins! (Of course some other team already got there first–we were in 5th place, remember?)

Thus we and some two other teams took the most direct form of transport to get back to SP: the bus 106, whose stop was conveniently nearby. We certainly didn’t want to walk the 750 metres back to the nearest train station.

Blazerz, Fire, and the third group (certainly not Cherokee or Ozone) waited for bus 106. It duly arrived.

Our entrance was a sight to behold. Even the ez-link card readers were not ready, the bus having left the Marina Centre Bus Terminal just before this. Everyone wanted to get in. In the end there was standing room only. There were so many people, it seemed like we chartered the bus.

Member of the public who boarded the bus after that were equally surprised. Our profuse apologies to those who were looking forward to a nice good seat on the bus.

We arrived at SP, did our cheer, and were promptly crowned 5th (as expected).

End of the Race (How ‘Amazing’!) at about 8.30 pm.

We showered and waited in our bunk for the next Event, the Shim Beauty Pageant. Whilst waiting, we played games and held amiable conversations within ourselves and several OC members and GLs.

ICT FO Camp Day Two; Part One (The Sleeping Prince)

7 Sep

The second day began terribly. It was raining! We were allowed to wake up late, since we slept at 4.30am the night before. Some early risers had readied themselves, and some went to bathe, though the majority who woke up just in time for brunch didn’t. Really, the irregular bathing hours! (Well at least we should have been told that there would be no bathing time given, so that we could awake and bathe earlier.) Our GLs told us to brush our teeth and freshen up instead, and report back to our bunk. We did so.

After performing the necessary ablutions, we set off for brunch (refer to Monday, August 15th, for the full story.)

Then there was the spoiled handphone (refer also to Monday, August 15th, for the full story.) Brunch finished and we waited for further instructions concerning The Amazing Race, a sort of obstacle race (the only amazing thing was the absence of a prize.)

After the episode of the spoiled handphone, there was Mark (Song). A member of our group, he was known as the Sleeping Prince of our group, due to his strange way of catching up on lost sleep. He would close his eyes and nap in any kind of position he happened to be in. Currently he is sitting upright with arms crossed (uncanny: it really seems as if he was awake). Jia Xian took some pictures with his handphone. Someone remarked that a girl should kiss this Sleeping Prince and wake him up (which soon became a running joke.) The others giggled and had a look. When Mark was finally roused, he did not know that he was the centre of attention only some moments before! Absolutely Bizarre™!

ICT FO Camp Day One; Part Four (Concerning the NightWalk, and the Showers)

16 Aug

……..the NightWalk was cancelled ("That is Good News!") There were sighs of relief, as people were rather tired. It was 2.50am in the morning.

Either way, we still had to perform the NightWalk, as our bunks were at the other end of the campus, from where we were congregated. Thus, we instead walked in a huge group, in a sort of mass NightWalk.

Pause. I have just found out why (perhaps) the food was unpalatable. From an undisclosed (human) source, it was found out that from last year’s camp, a team of food tasters from the ICT Club sampled each meal personally before ordering. They gave their opinions and comments about the dishes, and suitable changes were made to the menu.

However, this year, they did away with the panel of judges; instead, the choosing was based on price. So, the food was bad.


The mass NightWalk was the exact opposite of what a NightWalk was supposed to be. A NightWalk, for your information, is solitary. Its main purpose is to instill Fear within the walkers, and several methods are used to achieve this result. Other than the solitary nature of the Walk, the next easiest method is to deprive walkers of light. No flashlights are allowed.

Booby traps and terrrible items are placed along the route at regular intervals. Most common ones consist of dead bodies, falling or stationary. There are also disembodied heads "floating" on ropes connected to pulleys (silent pulleys, not creaking ones), and the Walkers are supposed to detect by themselves the approach of the head(s), and scream at appropriate points.

Of course a drawback of installing all these apparati would be the screams, indicating to those behind that a booby trap was near, and they had better watch out. How ironic.

The NightWalk was uneventful.

The booby traps were taken down because the Walk was cancelled, if you remember me saying so.

So we reached our bunk. The OC members announced tomorrow’s waking time, 11.00am. Then we were permitted to sleep.

My group chose to bathe first. We had already agreed to do so earlier.

Unfortunately the nearest mass showering area was a good 450 metres away (could be more!), and travelling there required the use of a torchlight, since the roads were uncustomarily dark.

Once there, we discovered luxurious showering areas (3 in all) and some apparently so big that they needed two different doors. Of course, the actual *number* of showers were not so luxurious for us campers all at once. Impatient ones whiled away the time walking to and fro between the areas, hoping to find one with shorter queues.

For goodness-knows-what reason the number of toilet cubicles in one of the showers-cum-toilets were equally luxurious. I suppose shower cubicles are in great demand during bathing times, but I can’t imagine vast numbers of people coming to use the toilet cubicles (only). Well, for the female toilets, that would be perfectly acceptable due to the eternities spent there, but Really, for the male toilets, put more showers!

The school has an excellent ez-link card payment system for the vending machines. I have tried it. ("It’s Good!") There are shortcomings, as usual (what do you expect? It’s electronic!)

Average number of showers per toilet: only 5! One changing room (out of 3) could be done away with, and converted to a shower. The Reduction of toilet cubicles goes without saying. Out of an estimated 6, 2 could be converted into showers. Sinks? Put more. Benches? Also. We don’t want people standing about expectantly (they walked a long distance to get here, so let them sit and rest!) Also useful for wearing long pants when the floor is wet; they can stand on the benches to do so.

Finally I was back in my bunk. To bed! (sleeping bag rather.) After a long day.