CNS 2014

3 August 2014

CNS 2014 was a FOC from NTU Buddhist Society. Titled “This Is It!”, the camp features The Four Noble Truths as its theme. Held on 29 July to 1 August, this camp is one of the most tiring and memorable camp I’ve ever joined. The camp itself was so big that the preparation itself took around 6 months and we need a goods van only to transport the stuffs to and from different venues. Besides that, I’ve always amazed when someone explains the Four Noble Truths and goes on to the twelve links of Dependent Origination.

Day 0 was quite boring and ended around 11pm. Arrived at my new room at Hall 4, I still need to settle some things before going to bed. In the end, I finished the day around 2am. I woke up at 6am and arrived at NYH around 7am to find out that no one has reached there yet. Around some times, the camp master has arrived and we started to clean up things. After the participants arrived, the opening ceremony started. Here, the main committees, including me, went to sing & dance the mass dance to open the camp. Next, the camp master introduces the committees to the participants, and right after that I, Neilson, and Ivan need to leave for collecting a van that we’ve booked at Fulco Leasing. After collecting the van, we went to KMSPKS first for Resource team purposes: collecting free distribution books, and then went straight to NYH. Raining, the loading-unloading things are not as smooth as planned as there are quite number of confusions. Besides that, we somehow faced lack of time although we planned to go out earlier. Finally, most of the stuffs are pushed into the bus and only some little stuffs are put into the van when going to the temple.

Day 1 has not ended, along with the rain, it was still heavy. Arrived at Foo Hai Ch’an monastery, there is quite some confusion of who is in charge of settling down and where to go for settling down. It is quite some times before we realized that most of the stuffs at van were not supposed to be unloaded as it will only be used at the chalet. The best part is: I can join the temple tour! Although I’ve been through this temple tour already, I still enjoy it as there are a lot of extra information from Xin Zhao. After the temple tour, we went to shower and dinner where at last I can get to rest for a little bit. Next was Dhamma Talk, but because somehow we were informed that they need chanting booklet, I & Ivan go search the rooms and the vans to find out that they have already distributed the booklets. ._. Late during the Dhamma Talk, I was okay since I’d ever listened to a number of talks on Four Noble Truth. After the talk, the activity ended in group debrief, night game briefing, maincom debrief & briefing, and some other discussion with camp master. Aaaand it’s 2am again.

Day 2 started at 0540 when I, with quite some will power rise up to take bath first. After that, we were supposed to move stuffs from the rooms of 3rd & 4th floor to the room at 2nd floor but with the help of participants, everything went quick. Breakfast then calligraphy session, continued with Dhamma Talk and then mass dance practice (which logs skipped) and then lunch. Here, we quickly loaded stuffs to the van, mostly stuffs that are needed to be directly used at the chalet. Joining the team bonding games for the first 2 stations, some people (me, Neilson, HH, Martin, and Raymond) need to go earlier to the chalet.

Checked in to the chalets, things to settle are: inventory checklist, cleaning up, boil some water, and then put up some signs for the groups to settle down. They came down quite late, which gives us enough time for doing all of that, but unfortunately the floor that has been mopped was not dry yet when the participants arrived. Next was settling some other things to the other chalet far-far away. After putting down things there, I felt tired and had shower then go for some rest while chit-chatting with Andy and watching the programmers preparing the night games. We then went back to the participant chalets to join with the OGs and they did a skit discussions while in the middle suddenly the night games started. Woah, the mood was suddenly scary. The GLs done a great job in making the mood. The night games were overall a nice one, especially for my group, where they finished the 2nd and was the only group to actually save the life of the murderer although we were stuck in the 1st station for more than half an hour and then get confused when going to the next stations. After the night game ended, the maincoms had a short debrief & briefing. Aaaand it’s 2am again.

Woke up at 6am, Day 3 started with logistics setting up seaside meditation, which in the end it was cancelled due to rain. The activities shifted back to the chalet where we continued the meditation, continued with breakfast and then Dhamma Talk. We did not join the next activities as we (logistics + programmers + ZY + VCMP) are to walk to the beach and make water bombs, and it was a lot, around 1200 water bombs. Although initially we had some problems with NParks people, they let us to continue as long as we leave any litter in the end. The preparations were tiring and were finished when the participants arrived. At last, the logistics can fully join the games 🙂 The wet games + mass games ended with some people thrown into the beach, everyone cleaning up, and then taking picture together. When going back, the shower time were quite long as everyone were queuing. After a tea reception, there were an auction of our points for food ingredients. Then we had a cooking time together, with me contributing much on helping to finish the food 😛

After the short cooking + dinner session, we had a final skit practice, in which I joined and suddenly got a make-up (Shienny & Jeff drew mustache and beard on my face using calligraphy ink). Our group’s skit storyline are as follows: one day, in far-far away kingdom, there is a princess (Thiri) with a prince (Calvin) from another far-far away kingdom in which the prince cheated with a sissy (Jeff). The princess asked for her parent’s advice (me & Hui Lin), but it resulted in vain. She then asked her friend (Shienny) who suggested to meet a venerable (Stephen). Then the princess give up herself to be a novice monk and in turn her parents came back to convince her back but they failed. Although since she become a novice monk, her memories of the prince has went off but since her parents convince her, the memories came back again, so bad that she had to consult to the master (Xin Zhao) who points out that it is the attachment of the appearance which is impermanent. She later reflects again and finally can let her past go away. In the end, when the prince & sissy had a conflict, they went to the monastery but the novice monk can’t be bothered anyway.

After the skit,  we had a mass dance and a song singing session, closed with CM speech and other committees and participants’ speech. The night ended with some cleaning up and short maincom debrief & briefing. After that, I went to write thank you notes. Aaaand, even worse, it’s 3 am already when I went to sleep.

The next day I intend to wake up at 7am, but failed. It was 7.40am when Neilson woke us up. I quickly used the toilet and then get ready for the day. At the committee’s chalet, the participants had a morning puja, breakfast, then they played games by themselves. It was 1030 that they went to the bus and depart back to NTU, Neilson is fetching HH from the participants’ chalet, and I’m left alone in this chalet. After that we checked out from the chalet and went directly back to NTU, but somehow the GPS gives wrong directions that we circle around for some times before arriving at NYH. At NYH, the logistics team gathered one more time, this time to return things back to the cabinet, to welfare team (which we dunno where to put), and to Ivan’s room (other stuffs that we borrowed).

At the cabinet area, somehow, I was in charge of the keeping stuffs, i.e. putting stuffs in the right rack which makes me feels like being resource director. After that, we went to the maincom final debrief which discussed about what’s wrong in the camp itself and what could be done better for the next camp. The debrief itself was long and tiring, and it ended with a steamboat from leftover ingredients from the cooking session. The steamboat session was quite fun, (a.k.a. “post-camp celebration”) until in the middle someone else came in and stated that they had booked the room. Ouch, yes, we did not book the room until that late. We had to move somewhere else, nearest is Hall 6. Luckily we haven’t returned the van, which makes us easier and quicker to transport stuffs there. The steamboat session continues albeit the notice at the TV Lounge that no steamboat is allowed. We had almost ended the session when finally the security guard came in and warned us to end the session and clean up in half an hour. We quickly done that and we went back afterwards. The final thing right after CNS was to return the van.

On the next day, finally I had somehow enough sleep although I woke up early to meet up with Neilson, Ivan, and Chun Wah for a not-so-special-but-special (just so-so, breakfast around MacPherson. We went there by van and then I & Neilson went to Fulco to return the van. After that, we went to the hawker center to have a breakfast, chit-chatting until we went back to NTU by MRT. Going back to NTU, we went straight to Nanyang Auditorium, for meeting with Shi Wei (and met Serene too), and of course, free lunch. We met others like Liniki, Aryani, and San-san, of having the same purpose as ours. After lots of photos, we went to KFC before I left them, going back to my room and had a nap. This day, finally I can move all my stuffs from Handoko’s room to my room, and then did a 2-week load of laundry.

On Sunday, I ended the week with going out to Buddhist Fellowship with Alwyn and Dian. There we met Robert, WJ, and Meli. The Sunday Service was about death, and turned out that there were heavy audience on this day. It talked about the speaker’s experience in overcoming death and the funeral traditions. Besides that, the speaker showed a TED talk about Toraja’s tradition in funeral. After the talk, we went back to NTU, where I gave my lecture notes to Dian, I met Liniki at his hall for reimbursement purpose, and finally returned the buckets to Wilton.

This week has been a long, tiring, and meaningful one. As a Logistic Manager, this CNS has taught me to somehow manage people (although my skill is still far from enough); to work behind the scene almost all the time and taking no credit (well, I’ve been doing this for almost a year as NTUBS Resource Subcomm; but this camp is more extreme as we need to sacrifice not joining events only for work); and maybe to be the next Resource Director.

 Subject to change are all things. Strive on with diligence.

— Buddha’s last words

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