doing it for the kids
earlier this week, i was busy with a camp for allan’s spiritmakers group. i’d done one previously, but was in charge of logistics then so yeah this time it was a different ballgame altogether.
the camp was a leadership camp (for p5 kids! what the heck), held in pasir ris park. it was, i thought, pretty much modelled after obs. first day of lectures (which the kids didn’t take to very well) and games, second day a land expedition (basically walking back and forth more station games).
i really hate camping in the open, so i’m infinitely grateful for the chalets (ostensibly for wet weather shelter, but in practice luxury accomodation) the instructors got to sleep in. they really helped us recharge from the tiring activities throughout the day.
so i was a group leader this time round, and got saddled with a group which turned out to be pretty unenthusiastic about things. really, i was quite surprised at how cynical they were (‘lame leh!’ seemed like their favourite catchphrase) and how, well, selfish they were. but then again i was probably expecting too much from them.
i used pretty much the same instructorial style i did at SI (relaxed until pushed), but on hindsight it probably wasn’t that great an idea. i gave some kid a really bad shelling (which i still think he deserved). There’s probably a better way to deal with 11-year-olds. hmm.
my group never did get to function well as a team, and i often wondered if it was my fault. i tried to steer them in that direction but they didn’t take to it very well, so for most of the second day i was just focusing on getting them to do stuff rather than motivating them.
but at one point rajesh stepped in and did the motivational-type talk on them. which seemed to work for that one station they were at, but the effect faded soon after. which led me to think that i’d probably did the right thing. but as rajesh later commented – it has to start somewhere. so now i wonder, once more.
regardless, i actually grew to be quite fond of the group. disunited, rebellious and irritating as they were, there was still a sense of… childishness present in them, which made the whole package rather tolerable. and endearing. the fact that they seemed to quite like me was a bonus =P
i’ve emerged from this camp actually thinking, hey teaching primary school kids won’t be that bad after all. (like i won’t be suicidal if i’m not able to get secondary or above posting)
but then all in all i think i still prefer a more mature audience. less childcare, more guidance. that said, i’ve never actually worked with the average secondary school kid before, so who knows?