The July and August 2015 editions of Camp@Home brought a total of 115 excited campers from 18 countries on a journey through our country’s rich culture and heritage. This year being Singapore’s 50th birthday, the campers also had the opportunity to participate in a host of specially designed, SG50-themed activities.
Held in July, the 11th run of the programme saw campers heading to numerous local places of interest. The campers made their first pit-stop at one of Singapore’s oldest heartlands, Ang Mo Kio. There, the campers learnt about the neighbourhood’s colourful and long history. The campers also paid a visit to the Eurasian Community House, and gleaned insight into the cultural practices and heritage of the Eurasian community here.
Continuing their journey around Singapore, the campers set off on an adventure to Pulau Ubin, where they got to play traditional games such as pick-up sticks, and kuti-kuti, in a rustic kampong setting. This was followed by a leisurely cruise down the Singapore River, which had campers soaking in sights of a gleaming, bustling metropolis.
Highlights from the July camp include kueh pie tee-making, a trip to the National Orchid Garden,
a fruitful day spent with newfound friends at Queenstown Primary School, and an attempt at the Eurasian folk dance, Jinkli Nona!
The campers were also treated to another important aspect of our nation’s culture - food! For most, it was their first time tasting (and making!) kueh pie tee. While the children were initially hesitant, many were quick to ask for more of this Peranakan treat after their first bite. “This green thing is amazing!” gushed seven-year-old Derek Lam, who resides in Texas, America, as he popped pieces of coriander into his mouth. “How can anybody not like this?”
The campers spent an afternoon at the National Orchid Garden to celebrate SG50 and the Botanic Gardens’ new designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where they saw over 600 species of iridescent orchids, including our very own Vanda Miss Joaquim. The camp ended on a high note with the N.E. show, which left campers enthralled by the spectacular performances. Picking up from where their friends in July left, the campers in the August run of Camp@Home plunged hands-first into their programme, and began by fashioning soap bearing images of local icons.
Unfazed by the drizzle on the first day of camp, the campers embarked on a heritage trail in Tiong Bahru, a neighbourhood characterised by its eclectic mix of the old and the new. The campers met Joanna Wong, the local writer-cum-artist behind the Squeaky illustrated books series for children, in her homely studio in the area. Unravelling their creativity, the campers rendered in vibrant colour scenes of Singapore’s yesteryear, as illustrated by Wong.
Campers in August got to try their hand at ice kacang making, make friends with the enthusiastic students of Cantonment Primary School, and visit various sites of interest, such as Kampong Glam!
Over the three days of learning about our kaleidoscopic cultural landscape, the campers also explored Kampong Glam and Little India, and even made their own ice kacang, which offered icy respite from Singapore’s warm welcome. The campers marked this significant year by successfully attempting a human SG50 formation – which was particularly meaningful in bringing the campers together for Singapore, however small or simple the cause.
Although the time spent at camp was short, the campers warmed up to each other quickly and became fast friends. “I felt it was important for Isaac to get to know more Singaporean kids”, said Shirley Lim, a Singaporean living in Shanghai, when explaining why she had signed her son for Camp@Home. In spite of their different backgrounds, and countries of residence, the campers shared one important thing in common – their excitement and zeal for Singapore, their home.
Take a peek into the fun and action of the camps here
Specially designed for overseas Singaporean kids aged 7 - 12, Camp@Home aims to help overseas Singaporean children re-discover their home, Singapore, and her culture and heritage, through exciting and enriching activities. Stay tuned for details on Camp@Home by signing up at the Overseas Singaporean Portal, and liking us on Facebook!