On 22nd and 23rd Sept, Joy Class and Patience Class had a combined camp in a chalet at Changi. The teachers-in-charge of Joy Class share their thoughts on the camp. (Joy Class caters to clients with cerebral palsy.)
On 22nd Sept, clients from Joy and Patience classes were ferried to the chalet. We thank God for the provision of this chalet as the physical environment caters to people with special needs. The living hall is big and spacious enough to accommodate all 30 of us. Some clients just relaxed in the spacious living room, some watched TV while others went for a walk with their teachers in the nearby grounds.
As the chalet porch faces the sea, clients and teachers had their lunch there. The take-away hawker food that we bought, was delicious. The scenery was beautiful. It was, indeed, a relaxing first-time ever experience for most of the clients.
The activities we planned for the clients were nothing out of the ordinary, yet each activity was memorable in its own way simply because teachers and clients did it TOGETHER. We had great fun talking, laughing and taking photos as we walked past a kelong not far from the shore. Later, we all had dinner while watching TV.
Both classes selected a total of seven clients to stay overnight at the chalet after much prayer and discussion while planning for the camp. The chalet has three bedrooms and there are eight beds so every client has a mattress to sleep on!
Whether the clients could sleep or not was our major concern. The hour of testing came! We encouraged Heng Cheok to sleep, but he tossed and turned until about 1am. Jimmy immediately fell into a ‘dead to the world’ slumber, only to wake up at 1.30am and stay awake till morning!
Choon Seng could not quite sleep. But being good-natured and obedient, he lay quite still on the bed with his eyes half-opened most of the time. Kien Meng spent an hour struggling with Teacher Jenn for her mattress because he did not want to share the king-size bed with two other male clients. Finally, he conceded defeat and slept, but woke up at 2am to join Jimmy. They entertained themselves, talking and making noises together.
The most amazing surprise was Dannie from Patience class. With a reputation from previous camps of no sleep and non-stop self-talk, he slept like a log right through the night!
We thank God for everyone’s safety as walking about in the dark bedrooms can be quite hazardous. Fortunately, being awake for almost five hours, our No.1 roamer, Kien Meng, stayed inside the bedroom, which was on the second level.
Most of the teachers did not sleep well during the camp. On the next day, most of us moved around like zombies as we attended to our duties. Yet we have no regrets. With the fond memories of the fun and joy we shared with the clients, we are all ready to plan for next year’s camp.
We look forward to a two-night stay instead of one the next time and we hope to include more clients. We expect God’s multiple portions of BLESSINGS and FUN!
First published in News Flip 2005