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Pre-Confirmation Camp

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Three participants who attended the camp shared their experiences and what they have learnt:

A total of 59 students and six Sunday school teachers from the Pre-Confirmation Class of St Ignatius Church (SIC) participated in this camp, which was themed “EMPOWER ME”. The camp was held at the Marist Brothers Champagnat Youth Centre, Port Dickson, from 9 to 11 November 2018. The journey begun with the students and teachers being split into two buses which took about two hours to reach the venue. This gave students time to relax and calm down, as it was overwhelming for some because it was their first time attending a church camp.

Upon arrival the students were split into two dorms based on gender before their first session began. The camp was facilitated by renowned speaker Martin Jalleh. Although there was an age gap between him and the students, Martin was able to quickly grasp the students’ attention and convince them to pay attention to him by having them participate in the activities he organised, and getting the students to invest in what he had to say emotionally and spiritually. Martin hosted a total of eight sessions throughout the entirety of the camp, which covered relationships, handling pressure and inner healing.

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A session that particularly stands out was the Inner Healing Session. Inner healing was different compared to the rest of the sessions as it was a more serious session where students asked God for strength to help them to forgive those who had hurt them, while also asking for forgiveness for the sins and pain that they had inflicted onto others. Many students broke down in tears that night, but all were rejuvenated by the Holy Spirit, with both teachers and students alike staying up till the wee hours of the night laughing, conversing, and building greater rapport between friends, as well as bonding together to form a strong Catholic community. The students were also extremely fortunate this year as they were able to be present at the sunset mass celebrated by Fr Paul Sia, who was newly ordained on 6 November 2018.

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Besides participating in the activities and games organised by Martin, some of the students also had the opportunity to plan their own set of games for the rest of the students to take part in. There was an array of games planned by the games team, which included charades, coin finding and finding the ball. All the games were purposefully designed to get the students out of their comfort zone and help them build their communication skills as they were forced to cooperate with the other teammates to finish the game.

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Some of the students, particularly the more shy ones and those who preferred working alone, found it very difficult to break out of their shell and cooperate with their team members. Fortunately the other members were very supportive and helped motivate the more shy ones to break out of their shells, to get out of their comfort zones and to acquire a stronger voice. Throughout the entire camp, many students learned a variety of new things and skills that can and will help them as they grow older and face more challenges emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Some learned how to break out of their shells to socialise with people. Some learned to put their mobile devices aside and have face-to-face conversations. Others learned that God is humorous. Some even learned how to face their fears. At the end of the day it was truly an unforgettable camp because everyone had made new friends. The class had grown closer and was more like a family. It had been one rollercoaster of a camp, with many ups and downs (but mostly ups). What a blast it was! by Alexander Thomas & Ashley Chooi

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After our arrival at the confirmation camp, the students gathered themselves in an open hall to be ushered up into our dorms to settle down. Our sleeping place had been tight in space, but the narrow walkways from the neatly cluttered bunk beds made me feel a sense of comradeship to have had to be so close to my classmates. We were then introduced to Martin Jalleh who was the designated speaker of our batch. He was a man of many words and impactful lessons. I believe that because of him, many of us learnt many new things about ourselves throughout those few days.

The food was great with its wide array of choices and sizeable portions of chicken and fish. Personally, I felt that the break times were too short as we were expected to have our showers within a 30-minute time span with only five stalls among so many of us of one gender. We made it work, somehow, and thankfully, some of us girls didn’t mind the lateness in finishing up before dinner. Separated into teams, the students from the Praise & Worship group did beautifully with their talented singing and musical accompaniment.

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The games team made great use of the wide expanse of field ground we were allowed. Flour and water became the main sources of fun and exasperation, but anyone could tell that we had fun with contagious laughter all around that evening. The administrative team shouldn’t be left out either. Due to their efforts, a fun skit of Angels and Mortals ran smoothly. Many learnt that even a single act of kindness with the Lord’s guiding hand could make someone’s day. – by Nicole Wen

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