Red Camp 5

Posted on: November 21, 2008

(what camp? red camp! what camp? red camp! what camp? red camp, 5!)

If there is one camp I would recommend to graduating students (of secondary schools), it would definitely be Red Camp. (totally biased NP lover here)
That is, if you are prone to outbursts of spontaneity and is willing to sacrifice three days of sleep. You will see why in a couple.

Day One
It started with a revoltingly slow service of bus 61. Although I live only a bus stop away from the Bukit Batok interchange, the bus was always packed with working professionals and Ngee Ann Polytechnic students.

It was an exasperating wait for the second bus to trundle along (upon missing the first: it was packed, like an air tight tin of sardines) which had me wondering, “How am I ever supposed to survive the morning rush hour once I am fully enrolled into Ngee Ann?”

With that said, Bang Yan and I had finally landed at Ngee Ann’s convention centre at around 8.40.

Walking into the convention centre meant being greeted by a multitude of what I came to know as student leaders. Right then, I wished I could scream out a greeting in reply (to be fair as to acknowledge everyone), but spontaneous Alyssa was lying rather dormant…

(the sumo wrestler with a steel nappy. we are… CEN-TUR-IONS!)

Registration went by and being a Centurion, we were led up the second level of the convention centre. I must say, it was my first time being perched above the convention centre. That’s only because for most of the events that I have attended at Ngee Ann (be it NP idol, the accounting challenge), we have been gathering down at the first level.

The hosts (who introduced themselves as Bernice, Roxanne and Matthew) were trying their utmost to warm the various tribes up (there were five: Centurions, Apaches, Vikings, Spartans and Ninjas) but Centurions obviously needed some budging, as none of us seemed up to a chirpy response.

Round one of enthusiasm went to the Apaches.
Or so I thought.

The moment more Centurions poured into the hall (and that the simple cheers have been taught), we boomed our replies (cheers) loudly and proudly.
Centurions… are often nudged to spontaneity.

Red Camp 5 was in full force moments later. Upon acknowledging the fact that Medusa was the tribe’s mascot, our tribe had initially cheered for the wrong one when they walked out to stand in line of the cardboard cut-outs of our poke-balls representations of our tribes.

We went crazy wild when Medusa actually introduced herself (we were previously cheering for the Ninjas’ mascot), which drowned out whatever else she said. This happens all the time.

After which a skit of the Chronicles of Red Camp ensued.

The day begun with my sub-tribe (they broke us down further to proceed with activities) awaiting for dismissal. Till then, we sat through one dirty joke after another, as told by the hosts.

It was also then I figured Bernice was the outgoing, uncontrollable host, Matthew being the dare-to-bare (in speech. girls, what were you thinking?) host, while Roxanne was the conventional host.

Sub tribe dismissed. Finally. (while Matthew was sharing a dumb blonde joke)

CCA X!perience took us to Baracuda Batucada (they performed for us in the morning), the coolest samba-brazilian band of drummers and percussionists in Ngee Ann.

I had willing volunteered to try out the bass drum.
The biggest one in the room.

The weight of it did not set in till later, when I found out we spent close to what seemed like an hour learning one sixth of the given score (to learn).
It was deadweight, considering the drum was unkindly strapped onto the left shoulder (or right. but i chose left). Nonetheless, it was the most memorable activity I had for the entire day.

Finally, I had the opportunity to hold drumsticks (if that’s what they call the drumsticks used for a bass drum) and play like a semi-pro. Or close-to-none pro.
Salutes to bass drummers. It is tough counter-balancing the weight.

Sore shoulders aside, the first half of the day was done.

Lunch! KFC. American cuisine was served, and it was only going to get far more international in the coming days. (Matthew promised) A two piece chicken meal with mashed potatoes and apple juice.
Did I also mention it was free?

Cheers, is the name of the game if we were to clinch the best tribe. After all, Matthew had cheekily announced that we were identified to be a strong match against the Apaches, and one to be in the running to be… The best. With that, we dutifully absorbed a couple more cheers.

Soon after, we headed to the School of Humanities (also known as HMS), where an origami session (which i fared extremely poor in), a puppet show (or should i say, muppet show) and a magic show were presented.

Next up was the School of Film and Media Studies (FMS for short), where we were given an advertising challenge (only 5 minutes to plan!) and a feel of how studio recordings (for the news) would go.
I must say, advertising is not really for me, but our team decided to go with a spontaneous suggestion of mine; where I would smoothly exclaim, “Fifa Online 2, the greatest game you can ever get.” (we were supposed to promote the game fifa online 2 for the challenge)

I made the worst referee (it involved me crab walking) and we did indeed stump the judges when I exclaimed my line. Amusing.

When we completed the tasks, we sat about waiting for further instructions from our student leaders. As we were close to the blaring makeshift “radio station” (resident Radio Heatwave of Ngee Ann, as i assumed it to be), we were given the opportunity to dedicate songs.

Nicole (a fellow classmate and craziest friend around) dedicated Womanizer by Britney Spears. It went out to all Hillgrovians who attended Red Camp (aww!) and ended with “Hillgrove rocks!”. Uh huh!

Back to the convention centre… The day rounded up with an (gentle) uphill task of raring a tribe member on in a game of little wits, but plenty of tricks. It was a fun way of keeping us informed about courses and admission at Ngee Ann.

Ninjas clinched the best tribe of the day for winning the game (we had a small glitch along the way).

Centurions, were dead exhausted from cheering.

Day one, done.

Day Two
The morning rolled around and once again, Bang Yan and I set off to wait for bus 61.

Luckily, the first bus was moderately packed. We got on.

The convention centre was again, teeming with excitement. A wave of greeting was yet again washed upon us. One of the many honours to be a red camper.

By that time, I have noted the path to the Centurions sitting area and was almost jumping out of my skin upon arrival.

The day kicked off with the hosts encouraging us to migrate to a different tribe and basically, mingle. That was done for the reason of getting to know everyone else better. Or at least a fraction of.

I had trouble remembering names (cringe! my bad.), but I tried nonetheless.

Centurions were again quiet in the initial stages, but our student leaders hopped madly about, gesturing summons, which made us yell crazily loud.

Our tribe videos were played.
I must say, Centurions’ clip was by far the funniest yet.

The crazies are from the Centurions… undoubtedly.

We were identified to be the Loudest Tribe.
Say, that’s something we can’t deny.

The Chronicles of Red Camp was continued from the previous day.
More yelling from us when Medusa spun around in her eternal greek goddess like dress.

Sub tribe away! This time, we proceeded to the School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology (LSCT). There, we attended mini classes on horticulture (potting of a plant) and how perfumes are made (definitely not a simple science experiment one can carry out from home).

What stole the attention of many was liquid nitrogen, thanks to the wonderfully complicated world of science.

Potted plants were given as freebies.
Plus, finger pricks if you are concerned as to whether you have diabetes or not.

Cheers, plus alliance ones. That’s because the Centurions, Vikings and Spartans have merged into an alliance (named, CenViTans), while the Ninjas and Apaches joined forces (also known as NinChes).

Next, School of Health Sciences (HS). Other than recalling about water coloured with red dye (to fake blood) and about a dummy who was brought back from the dead, the School of Health Sciences was one to remember.

Also, my friend Nicole was put on the heart rate monitor, only to discover her heart was racing. AHEM AHEM Nicole.


Lunch! came in the form of pasta. The kind people at Ngee Ann treated us to Breeks! cafe. Simply awesome, huh?
Brownies too.
Drool baby drool.

This day’s lunch was by far the best I had. We (Bang Yan, Pei Li, Avalyn and Nicole plus Yong Liang) had a ball of a time talking about everything random to unconventional hand signs to common acronyms like LOL. (i’ll see if i can get a photo of Bang Yan doing that…)

Go 4E3!

After it all, we settled for more cheers. This time, we had one which incorporated the song, “In The Ayer”. Nicole and I went mad upon hearing it.
We couldn’t stop repeating it to ourselves for the rest of the day.

That’s why Centurions are hot!

As well as the student leaders.
Uh huh! Oh yeah. And I say, yeah yeah yeah.

After a day, I have finally gotten to speak to Blueberry Cheesecake. (he’s Benedict, one of our student leaders for our tribe. he’s called like such due to the fact that he portrays Spartans’ mascot, Blueberry Cheesecake) Shoutout: holler when you see me at Ngee Ann!

School of Infocomm Technology (ICT): we learnt how to sketch anything under the sun by using basic shapes (for instance, triangles). Clearly, I had no artistic talent, so I drew a cat which had long models-que legs and freaky long arms and a freaky short torso.

Nicole was the artist. (she is.) And she named my cat Miss Siew, after our geography teacher. (so much for writing I love Nicole on your drawing, Nicole.) 😀

More techological gizmos came our way, while we sat back to enjoy a short animation done by a student of ICT titled, Un-frog-tunate.

Thank you claps and more cheers upon leaving ICT. What a peek into what my brother might be into once he is in university. (he’s pursuing a course in information systems) Heh heh.

On the bus back, Nicole and I did crazy loud (even on the way there) impersonations of Britney (her) and Paris (me). We established our silly identities then.

School of Business and Accountancy we went! (BA) FINALLY!
(that’s me, loving BA always, and forever.) There, we were made to personalise our own stamp. (the theme was BA! goes international)

Due to time constraint, we coloured our stamp to death (with the help of two BA students. HINTHINTHINT Nicole. BA boy lover.), and I had even threw in a christmas edition background (on a partial section of the stamp). Well, we didn’t win the title of best stamp, but at least we walked away with four strips of hairbo (thanks to the 3 BA guys who were gladly feeding us with all the answers to the quiz) and scored a photo with the Eiffel Tower.

To France!
Oui oui.

By now, cheers are second nature to us. Well, that and the fact that the BA students were such a rowdy and rambunctious bunch (totally unexpected), so we left the building hyped up and ready to kick serious tribes’ rears (figuratively. too many rears to kick.).

Then, we learnt a fabulous new “Mat” (what’s Mat? do google it. its meaning maybe insulting, should i post it here) cheer. Crude, but we Centurions always cheer the impossible, and mean it.

To the convention centre! Another day was almost over. Nicole left before that, which, made me lose a “In The Ayer” fan. (like girl! you understand, right?) A mass dance had us all piled down in the first level.

The then messy arrangement also made us lose our star power of cheering the “move tribes” cheer. We meant it a sorta friendly, figurative manner, but I ended up literally gently “moving” them aside. Alright, so I squeezed my way through. All in the name of fun.

Mass dance came, and Bang Yan and I paired up. Pei Li and Avalyn remarked me for my uncontrollable butt shaking moves (grr girls. grrr.), but hey! That’s what Red Camp is about, getting into the groove!

We had a tight dance space, but it was worth trying to make good use of it. It ended as soon as it started, and we made our way for dinner soon after.

Oh, I have forgotten to mention lunch was Italian. Dinner, Thai and Indonesian. Thai for the “pineapple” rice and Indonesian for the accompanying dishes to the rice we had.

Munch munch, chew chew.
Day two, done.

Day Three
When I say Hop, you say Nite. Hop, nite! Hop, nite!

Dressed and ready to go, day three had to go down in history (of my sad, sad, life). Yet again, bus 61 was being a stubborn baby. Frustratingly, it got the better of Bang Yan and I when it was 8.35am and that the second bus (the first was packed, so we couldn’t get on) was still packed, and only a couple of passengers at our bus stop could get on. Not us.

Pei Li and Avalyn was on the bus too. What luck! The day we couldn’t hop on was the day we would meet them on the bus. Boo yeah.

So, Bang Yan and I did the unthinkable (to me, at least) and hopped on a cab. $8.45 for the trip. To be going dutch. Well, in order to justify our actions, I told him that we did save aplenty on meals at Red Camp (meals could have chocked up to 70 to 80 bucks, should we be paying for them), so… justified.

We ended up arriving at the convention centre ahead of Avalyn and Pei Li. Met Nicole (plus Haziqah, Falisha, Jourdan and Jolynn; all classmates of mine. also, schoolmates) and silently told myself, “This is going to be great! (day)”

The Chronicles of Red Camp barely concluded (as saved for the camp finale in the afternoon), but we moved off for our cluster programme anyway.

School of Engineering (SoE)… away! My brother would have said hi if he was still studying there. Sadly, he isn’t. Ah well.
However, we met a real spontaneous SoE chap named Ilmil. He’s simply awesome to be with when we were fashioning our own ball slide contraption.

Just in case you were wondering, that was the activity everyone had to participate in at SoE.

Although we created a pretty neat “Tha Pink Mommy Tower”, our ball flew right off the “pin-ball” slide adorable Ilmil created for us. So went our second chance.

We didn’t win the challenge, but hey! At least we tried, along with Ilmil. 😀

With half a day finished, we were yet again back at the convention centre, tucking in to another Italian lunch; kindly brought to us by Breeks! cafe. A hawaiian pizza, two chicken drumlets and two piece of chewy garlic bread. Plus a mango pudding, which I dumped into my bag to doggy bag home. (i was full from drinking and eating rather slowly)

Lunch took a short while as we begun cheering our behinds off while Jeff and Adin (our student leaders) literally shook theirs behind the Centurions crowd.

Readied for the power cheer, we sat for a straight hour, waiting for the other tribes to settle down in the hall (we were the first to arrive). Yawn… We were growing both restless and tired.

As soon as the hall was filled with all the tribes, our extraordinary camp finale was unveiled.

Blueberry Cheesecake was not prancing across the stage like before, but Amar (our tribe emcee) was donning the same “bedsheet” dress from that morning. (they paraded it. proudly.)

The five warriors made it to Red Camp, and defeated the saucy witch. So much for evil.

That aside, we did our mass dance nearly five times over, and managed to set the record of freezing (staying at a particular position) for a minute. Our names are to be recorded in the book of… records! (amused!)

Then it was the finale of all finales. As At The Beginning by Donna Lewis and Richard Marx was sung by all our student leaders, to be repeated in a tribute video. They sung another song too… But that, I couldn’t tell.

“We were strangers, starting out on our journey. Never dreaming, what we’d have to go through. Now here we are, and I’m suddenly standing, at the beginning with you…”

At the very end, the Centurions were the first to around in a choo-choo train of people, coursing through the hall like a bunch of crazies.

The student leaders got to us after some time.

Then I met this wonderful friend called Sinren. She was bubbly and we had a brief encounter on the second day, after lunch, during our game sessions before cheers.

Like what Red Camp is, it is all about making new friends and opening new doors (to spontaneity!).

Oh, to add, there wasn’t a best tribe this year. (for the first time in Red Camp) Instead, they handed out individual awards which were Most Enchanted Tribe, Wildest Tribe, Most Bonded Tribe, The Most Drama-Mama tribe and The Armageddon Award.

Most Enchanted Tribe was crowned to the Centurions! (and the award was a yep, if you have guessed it, a crown!)

Dinner rolled around and as promised, we went Japanese. Yoshinoya it was. It was a simply fare with some raw slices of beetroot and cabbages plus a salmon patty (which Nicole and I did some exchanging; she had chicken) and fried fish cake balls. Topping all of that, was the familiar, japanese sticky rice.

Before and after dinner, we were all running around taking photos with student leaders and everyone there is to Red Camp.

One I had was with Blueberry Cheesecake. Hey, he was indeed the one to be missed through all of this! (again, holler when you see me at Ngee Ann!) … Then came the Matthew shot.

Interestingly, the girls (the classmates I were with) went ballistic when I hooked arms with him. They went, “Eh, no touch! No touching! Eh eh eh!” whilst trying to pry our arms apart.


Matthew couldn’t stifle a laugh for that one. (fangirl mania)

It happened again, but I had forcibly hooked arms with him. Eek, sorry there. 😛

Hop nite came an hour or so later than expected, and we ended up entering an almost empty scene in “the club”. (it was just the hall transformed into a club) Most were still queuing to deposit their bags. (it was not allowed in. thankfully.)

Now, came the crazy part. We stood (Haziqah, Nicole, Avalyn, Pei Li and two other friends) right out front, but it ended up with Haziqah, Nicole and I. Yes, it was sweaty, it was a party, and it was tiring.

Plus, I was parched the moment I got out. I had only stayed for the Andrew Chow segment, as the first hour he was there tired me out. (i danced like a mad woman, which is… showing from all the body aches i was experiencing after) After which, I could barely talk.

My throat hurt, along with my ear drums.

People, standing in front of the speakers might be euphoric, but it comes with a price.

All that while, I was staring at the bottles of water on the turntable, while the three of us out front was busy fanning the smoke (from dry ice) away from our faces.

Nicole, Haziqah and Falisha (AHEMAHEM), you guys make the world’s greatest clubbers to be with.

Given an opportunity to attend Red Camp all over, I definitely would.
Won’t we girls?


Day three, the final day… Done.

But… Red Camp 5! lives on.

P.S. Okay, I can’t help by type this Matthew clap out:
Gimme one Matthew clap! (claps)
Giving you… Something extra.

P.P.S. Sounds familiar? Guess who he is then!

P.P.P.S Credit goes to Matthew for the Red Camp 5 logo (as my header photo). I scoured the web for it, only to find it on his blog.


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