Hello everyone! It’s been a long time since I actually wrote a post and I’ve been putting it off for quite awhile although I wasn’t supposed to. Ever since I came back from Singapore, I’ve been going out with my friends and my family.
Regardless, I am now back to update you all on what has been the most tiresome yet amazing month of June!
Starting it off was the BRATs Camp that was held from 3 June till 6 June 2015. I initially applied to join the camp in late February for their March 2015 camp that was going to be based in a 6-star chalet, Casabrina Resort in Raub. Needless to say, I wanted to join because I wanted to experience what it was like staying in a 6-star hotel. Kidding, I have actually always wanted to participate in this young journalist camp since secondary school but due to time constraints, I never did have a chance to join until this year! I’m so happy I participated in this camp because I thought I learnt a lot especially since I’m going to be studying Journalism in university.
There were a lot of challenges faced. For one, we had strict deadlines and our video editing software crashing causing our video to disappear an hour before the deadline. Throughout it all, it was still a beneficial and memorable four days.
I left for JB the night before the camp and relied on the country’s main railway operator, KTMB/Malaysian Railways. It was relatively cheap and convenient as the train departed from KL Sentral and would stop at JB Sentral. I took the sleeping coach as advised by sister, Wei. She mentioned to me earlier that the sleeping coach would be better as it wouldn’t be too cold compared to the seating coach.
I got some sleep but woke up a little too early as the arrival time got delayed. When I got out, I met up with the other camp participants for breakfast. I’m really thankful that I took the sleeping coach because I was informed by the other participants who took the seating coach that it was freezing there! After breakfast, the participants and I departed for Mutiara Hotel, the hotel we would be staying for the next four days. It was a little too early for check-in as we reached there at 9am but after an hour of waiting, the hotel managers checked us in. That was a smart move, Mutiara Hotel and so I thank you guys for letting us check-in earlier! Upon checking in to my room, I took some photos of the room, freshen up and took an hour nap before I had to register for the camp.
The beds and more of my bags. The beds were alright but the pillows were comfortable that I fell
asleep quite fast.
Haha! Right after that quick nap, I headed down for registration, you know usually they give your name tag but instead of that, they gave me another person’s name tag for our first “assignment” which was to interview him/her and then introducing him/her during ice-breaking sessions. It was definitely a good ice-breaking technique because then you’re “forced” to talk to people. Hahah! When we were done introducing ourselves, Ian(Editor of R.AGE & BRATs organiser) began the journalism workshop! 😀
The workshop gave us basic tips and tricks on journalism and I took down lots of notes.
When the workshop ended, we were then separated into our teams. So there were three teams: Team Ian, Team Vivienne and Team May Lee. I was in Team May Lee(#teammaylee) and somehow, I was elected team leader…
I was reluctant to become team leader and tried to put it on someone else instead. But I failed so for the next four days, I had to delegate tasks, come up with angles for our articles, write, rush people and ensuring work gets done.
So yeah… Our very first assignment sent us to the heritage street of JB, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee!
We got to interview the main baker of Hiap Joo Bakery, James Lim. He was a very nice pleasant man to interview although a bit soft-spoken. His most famous baked goods are the coconut buns and banana cake, both equally delicious and mouth-watering. We also made a video on the process of baking with a wood fired oven, a traditional baking oven.
After all that tedious work, we had lunch at one of JB’s most famous restaurant/kopitiam, Hua Mui!
Either my taste buds were dead from my runny nose or it was that the Mee Mamak that was supposed to be super spicy wasn’t spicy at all.
Once we were done with lunch, us BRATs headed to EH HE Gallery & Cafe.
EH HE is a little boutique gallery and cafe that showcases history and art. When we were there, they were having a Teo Chew Opera exhibition. There were original pieces from the era when Teo Chew Opera was at its prime.
During our time at the gallery, a few of us got to catch one of the members of EH HE Gallery, Low Shi Jian, 19. Although he was busy working on his art, he happily explained how this gallery and cafe came about. Team Ian included the discussion in their article.
On our third day, we got to visit the most-hyped-about theme park in JB, LEGOLAND!!!!!!!
Throughout our time there, we interviewed the lifeguards of Legoland’s newly opened Water Park, restaurant managers, regular employees and LegoFriends.
One of the most awesome interviews was the intimate Q&A session with LegoFriends!
They were all very happy and chirpy. They showed so much energy and spirit during the interview even after performing twice that day!
After the interview, we had a bit of free time to wonder and explore Legoland. I returned to out temporary base in Lego Hotel to do work but was called out later to play at the Water Park for photos.
Amidst my exploration of Legoland, I found out that there were having a Star Wars exhibition! I really wanted to go in and explore but I prioritised work first. However, I did take some photos of their Lego structures.
After everything from interviews, trying out the rides and enjoying the theme park, we went back to our hotel tired but determined to complete our assignments!
Some of us stayed up late to complete assignments, especially Jasmin(our lovely videographer and video editor whose Final Cut Pro decided to destroy our video) to redo the videos and made sure they were YouTube-worthy.
The final day was a bitter-sweet one. Some of us left for home right after the camp ended, some of us stayed another night in JB for the Pinewoods Studios Tour and I… Left for Singapore. I honestly wanted to check out Pinewoods Studio but it would be too rushed for me. Nevertheless, my journey to Singapore via the SBS Bus proved to be smooth which was reassuring as I have never travelled to Singapore via bus, what’s more alone.
To recap, I learnt that there’s more to JB than tall buildings and constructions, being a journalist has a million of responsibilities, being a team leader requires you to connect with your peers, and lastly, be confident of your own abilities.
Thank you everyone who helped make this camp a success and a memorable one. 🙂