Y Camp Stories
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This is a story of helping one another overcome our fears...
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...a story of hellos and goodbyes, and of joy and tears...
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...a story of teamwork, belief and camaraderie...
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...a story of being there for someone when they need it most...
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...a story of how we turned make-belief into reality.
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This is a story of one and many, a story which you can be part of...
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...will you write a story with us?
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Dear Ah Hock

By Royce
Jun 10

Dear Ah Hock,

When we first met, you did not know me and I guess, you did not want to know me. You were happier off being in your own world, with people you were more familiar with.

But from the day I first met you, I knew that I had to take care of you. Even though it was fate that brought us together, I knew that you were going to be a challenge and honestly, I was scared. Really scared of having to deal to handle your whims and fancies.

But I had no choice. For it was decided somewhere else in this vast universe, that you were for me and I were for you.
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Cherish life

By Bo Jie
Jun 09

Y-Camp thought me to cherish life and treasure everything I have.

I have been participating YMCA activities for the past 3 years but each time there is always something new for me to learn. During Y-Camp there are sorrowful and angry moments but after all the difficulties, what left behind is always the sense of satisfaction.
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Never give up on anyone

By Nicholas
Jun 10

My buddy disappears if I look away for more than ten seconds. He doesn’t participate in group activities. He shuns social interactions, especially when girls are around. He eats alone. He shouts vulgarities and gets violent sometimes. He treats me as his best friend for one moment and his servant the next. He is demanding and can be very, very difficult.

His name is Ben and still, I missed him sorely after the camp.
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As a friend

By HuiEr
Jun 10

What I've learnt over the past Y-camps is that it is full of promises - of friendship, love, and fresh insights. Yet, these are made possible only with commitment on the part of the volunteers'. No doubt, this camp challenges our limits, but its several rewarding moments make the camp utterly wonderful. I'll share with you a few of such experiences I had with my buddy, Hui Mian, in YCC June 2010.

Hui Mian is wheel-chair bound, so tending to her needs during the course of the camp was no mean feat. What may seem to us as simple activities, such as showering, were tough for her. It was thus very much a surprise to me when she managed to conquer the rock wall till the 3m line for our high-elements. Not to mention conquering it - her stepping up to conquer herself and challenge her limits inspire me to this day. Of course, she was able to do so only with help from the volunteers, who became her legs as we hoisted her up and made sure she was safe as she relied on us for support. Beating the odds, she eventually overcame her aim of crossing the 3m mark.
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Needs before my own

By Chin Yang
Jun 08, Jun 10

I did not want to go for Y Camp at first. To clarify, I had signed up for the camp, but found myself swamped under preparations for my Common Tests and my Art coursework. 4 days may not seem like a long duration, but when you only have 14 days left to finish a month’s worth of work it is eternity and back again.

And then I went for the camp, and ended it wishing I could stay another 10 days.
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Looking beneath the surface

By Pei Lin
Dec 09

I have been volunteering for Y-Camp for the past 3 years, and this has been an experience that I've always cherished. One particular incident that really struck me the most was the Dec 09 camp, when I was a leader leading a group of 30+ volunteers and beneficiaries.

I had a beneficiary who was about fifty years old, and he impacted me significantly through the way he carried himself. Though he was intellectually disabled, he was a really joyful character. He likes to draw, and drew up a really cute cartoon character which no one could recognise, yet he took a lot of pride in his drawing. He was very interactive with the group - and was so much more enthusiastic about activities than the rest of us were.

At that point, it hit me that for these people, their 'special needs' are something that will stay with them for life. Although he was 50, he still had the mentality of a 10 year old, and that may not be a bad thing. That particular camp also taught me a lot about looking beyond the surface of people - and is probably what pushed me to be so passionate about working with people with special needs.

A camp that changed my life

By Wen Xiang
Dec 10

I first joined Y-camp in December 2010. It was a camp that changed my life. Y-camp to me is not like any other holiday or an orientation camp where the sole purpose is to interact and expand your social circle. It is a camp where it challenges your mental and physical boundaries as much as it will for the beneficiaries.

One will come to know that debriefs play an important part in Y-camp. Each night, these debriefs allowed me to reflect upon my actions, my attitude towards my buddy, my family, my friends and my life. I remembered vividly that during every session of debrief, one of my group mates would cry or that another group mate would reveal something  personal which he/she would never tell anyone at all. It made me realized that we are actually no different from people with intellectual disabilities.
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