I have entered a campcraft competition when I was in secondary 2. It was the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) inter-unit competition where each unit are to send four groups to participate in the competition. Each group comprises of 8 members. The main objective of the competition is to build a shelter, a temporary cooking spot, as well as a flag that represents our school.
This competition is only held bi-annually by the NPCC head quarters. Thus teachers in charge had a hard time picking out the elites for this competition. Surprisingly, I was selected. Over the next 3 months, we have been coming up with different types of design, then deciding on the final product. Although the training was energy consuming, we learnt a lot from this rare and valuable experience. That includes fighting against time, with speed and accuracy in everything we do.
We train at least twice a week and each session is usually three hours straight under the hot blazing sun. Each training, our Cadet Inspectors (CI) are making an effort to oversee the training and pointing out our minor mistakes and advices on how to improve our overall performance. Such opinions are valuable to us as we are able to know where our problem lies and solve it in time so as to not repeat such mistakes in the competition. This goes to show how seriously my group members and I approached this competition after all; we have put in lots of effort in it.
During the training, we had to coordinate our movement and the only way to do so is through practicing repeatedly. Firstly, before starting to build any of the structures, we must check that all essential items are provided. Following which, team members will have different job scope which they have to complete within a limited time period. Job scopes involved cutting of twines, tying knots on poles and erecting our flag.
These job scopes may seem simple, however, to be able to complete with a time limit is a different case. The twine cutter has to cut twines with different length for different purposes. The tying of every single knot has to be done in less than a minute. After tying, we had to tie ponchos to the tent as a form of shelter before tying a few more knots so as to stabilise the tent. After the tent and the cooking spot have been set up, members will then use a rope to create a level-like system so as to rise the flag.
Although the trainings we had were tedious and tough, I enjoy competing with others. This is because competition against different unit motivates my team members and I to surpass ourselves. Also, through competition, we are inspired by other unit's design of their tent; then through improvising the design and structure, we will share our knowledge with the juniors, who will be competing against other schools. Even though at the end of the competition, we did not emerged as the champion, we have rare and valuable experience which others may not have the chance to experience it.
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