Sunday, August 10, 2014

The 4th Rover Adventture Camp

The Sherubsteans Rovers
With the excitement for the unknown, I decided to participate in the 4th rover adventure camp. It was an opportunity to enhance my capability and more importantly, to make new friends. I was exhilarated with idea of meeting new people and learning new things. The camping held in Paro was for one week, from 5th till 12th July. Later, after introducing ourselves I came to know that there were 96 participants from various colleges, institutes and high schools. We were divided into 4 different patrols; Jigme, Khesar, Namgyel and Wangchuk. To enrich more interaction and to encourage team spirit among the participants tthe members were mixed.

I got into Wangchuk patrol and so did was Kinley Dema (one of my closest and craziest friend)  Both of us got our luggage with rather enthusiastic mood. We got the first tent or it was more like we raced for it. The whole afternoon we played games with some of our new Danish friends. Although our culture and opinions differ we came to an understanding for mutual cooperation.  By evening, the chief organizer briefed us about the rules and regulation about the camp. 
Tents for the Rovers 
The main highlight of the camp was about “camp site should not be a dating place”, to which our Danish fellow mates were shocked. When questioned, they said that in their country it is normal to date in the camp and were allowed too. The most shocking revelation came later; they even said that it was normal to date more than three guys in Danish, “it’s as normal as Bhutanese taking lots of chilies”. Nights were bit cold with the tent as our roof and sleeping bag for protection. Furthermore, we had noisy visitors disturbing our nap, the mosquitoes which fed on us. With 7 people in each tent, it was bit cramped but cozy. The first night, I was restless, and was not able to sleep tossing here and there. The thrill for tomorrow was brewing inside me.

6th July.
 Well dressed in our national attires, we waited for the chief guest for the opening ceremony of the camp.  After the arrival of the guest and the khaddar ceremony, we haunted for our meals.  The team Wangchuk was in the team building activity where the team members played games. The activity was to develop true team cooperation and the importance of working as a team. There were many sub activities like balancing the nails, Giant finger (which I had no idea before), brain and drain, spider web and sticks and stones. True to their name, the games were full of fun and knowledge.

Team 2 working on the project
The four patrols were divided into two teams. So our group project was to build a canopy within this given time. We knew that, for our work to complete, we need immense team cooperation and hard work. That is when I realized that the camp was not only the place for fun and entertainment but also to show our skills as an individual as well as a team. We worked hard until it was the time for our supper. Everyone was exhausted but then there was a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
That night it was our night, team Wangchuck’s night so we were asked to organize the camp fire. The sky was illuminated with stars and it was really beautiful. The chillness in the camp was warmed by the warmth of the camp fire. It was  a new recognition. The camp fire started off with the song, “ gathro gi me bar do’(fire of happiness is burning). That night the fire was burning the differences among us and thus like the fire I prayed that our friendship and cooperation would rage high. That night I slept and almost all of us slept like a dead log. 
7th July.
Exhuasted Rovers after the community Service
 “Pema! Morning exercise!” Kinley shook me out of my dream land. With a messy hair, I quickly wore my sneakers and dashed out of the tent. Except for the resource person and volunteers who were clean and ironed, all the participants were same as me. Still dazed and out of the bed, we looked dreamy and some were annoyed. We were made to exercise and allocated with our morning duties.   And lucky was I again as that day, our patrol was to assist in the community service. So we collected stones for the renovation of a lhakhang.Almost after two hours of community service, we visited Hae Phu Lhakhang coinciding with the birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche. To add upon our already accumulated merit we got the chance to witness mask dances too. Our Danish friends were dazzled and mesmerized by the mask dances. “I have never seen something like that” Emily said looking amazed.
 That afternoon it rained heavily. Some of the Danish friends played in the rain. I liked their enthusiasm but what I did not like was the rain water getting inside our tent and soaking our stuffs. By the time we reached, everything was fully drenched. So we had to make a drain. Our chief said that as a scout one should “be prepared ‘and our motto as a rover is to “”expect the unexpected’. 
8th july. It was still raining. The normal routine continued and the day’s program was known to everyone. Hike to the tigers nest, Takshang. It was bit difficult for us as the route was really challenging, I could not imagine about our Danish friends who were sweating and panting. Finally after walking for what seemed like an eternity we arrived at our destination. We explained what we knew about the lhakhang to our foreign friends who seemed impressed. We returned to the camp and had lunch together, it was fun to sit together and converse after a tiring day. That night, unlike futsal it was coffee night where coffee prince and princess were crowned. It is a pride to say that both coffee prince and princess were from Sherubtshe College. Dancing, shouting and games, that’s how the coffee night came to an end.

Wangchuck Patrol solving Puzzles
9 th july. The sun was piercing our skin but we had to go for fun race. (Unluckily, my luck ran out.) We were required to solve puzzles from the clues left by the organizers. Decoding the message was what I learnt. We were given picture map to follow. One most memorable thing that happened was that we lost our way. We reached Bondey instead of Ge Zam chu bridge, which was our end. We were pursuing the opposite direction to our destiny. We returned back fully dehydrated by the sun. Well, maybe that was what it meant to be a Rover. Evening, we exchanged our uniforms. Danish wore our national dresses while we wore their scout jacket. It was fun. That night was cheered to our Danish friends and we had Danish night where we danced, sung and played.

Gimpse of an adventure Race
10th July. It was tough for the Wangchuk patrol. I knew that my luck was finished. The task got more challenging and difficult than ever. This time it was the adventure race. In this activity we were made to undergo different physical task.  Although the activity was meant to improve the physical fitness, I could not complete two tasks due to the height phobia. But after all that it was fun. I felt like we were in a commando training. That night we didn't have any entertaining night as we had dance practice for the final day. We also had canopy project. 

Proud Team 2 infront of their new Canopy
The grand and last campfire(Gatro gi mii)
11th July. The closing day was graced by the MOE secretary Dasho Sangay Zam. It was celebrated with dances from different patrols. By afternoon, the event ended. Some of us played games, some slept after all it was a tiring event while some just sat there chit chatting. It was the last night, so we had a grand camp fire, followed by games and songs. The final day ended with a jammed up session. Everyone was on their toe, tuning and moving with the music. It was fun watching the dance to their fullest.

12th July. We had our breakfast and started the mass cleaning. After that, we dismantled our tents and packed our luggage. We sang songs and some of us hugged. It was the time for goodbye which brought tears. Departure was the hardest thing we faced in the camp. We exchanged our gratitude and bid farewell. That was how the camp ended; I came back with lots of new ideas and knowledge. I made friends and learnt to accept my short-comings. I have brought the team spirit, boosting energy, warm memories and most of all the prepared mindset. Thank you all… it was wonderful!!

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