Nanyang Polytechnic

Ambassadorial Team

Community Service // Leadership Development // Facilitation

LDC'15 Part 1

Personally, I felt that this indelible camp was held with the sole intention of enabling ourselves to self-lead. Thus, reflected in the name “leadership camp”. To nurture and realize dormant leaders into competent ones equipped with invaluable assets; such as time management and the ability to take initiative.

The camp activities that I thought was significant were as follows.

Beginning with the most impactful activity, the confidence walk. It tests our drive, trust and leadership capabilities. The austere camp instructors gave us unclear instructions, training us to take the initiative to clear any doubts. Camp participants were then selected to be “leaders” of each station, given the responsibility of our welfare. The participants were blindfolded, hands on the shoulders of the person in front, forcing them to rely and trust the leader. Needless to say, it was not easy. With one of your most reliant senses gone, the only logical way was to compensate by focusing on the other senses. The thing of it is, this only heightens the uncertainty and the fear of being oblivious to the environment. This is where the voice of your leader resonates through the silence, and you feel safety, comfort. That is when you know that you have placed your trust on your leader.  Changing perspective to being a leader now, it’s a whole different story. You worry of your followers’ welfare and constantly asks if anyone’s unwell. Once you are aware that they are following you, not due to fear of the consequences leading from defiance, but from the trust they placed on you, it will lead to this indescribable warmth and sense of accomplishment. The confidence walk itself wasn’t easy, that’s where it tests our drive. An example would be the passing of ping pong ball where one mistake from one person will result in repeating the entire challenge. This taught me that despite ones mistake, we cannot allow our drive to falter. To keep in mind the goal at hand, and to never stop until you reach it. One final thing that the confidence walk has taught me, was importance of critical thinking- to think on your feet before doing something. There are no space for redundant actions, ones that do not contribute to achieving the goal. Ones that are simply a waste of resources and time.

Carrying on to the next activity I thought was significant, was when we had to tie our feet together, and when we tied our feet to bamboo poles. This taught me the significance of coordination and communication. You simply are unable to work alone and hope that goal will be achieved. And so we came up with commands of common understanding and yelled them vehemently, slowly but steadily reaching the destination.

Next up was this challenge where we were supposed to roll down a ping pong ball on a string, into a bucket that was surrounded by other “bad” buckets. We were supposedly “enemies” with the other buddies. This challenge taught me to begin with the end in mind. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t allowed to communicate with or help the rest, you just have to think of the common end goal. Therefore, teaching me that the completion of the goal transcends the willingness or the ability to work and communicate with others.  
The final significant activity was where we had to give up $1, and get ourselves lunch with the money we had pooled. Sure it seemed like really simple task, but it has a really subtle meaning behind it. It tests capacity to share something of necessity- food. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter if no one was full. All it matters was that everyone had their share of food, and that elicits a smile on my face.

During the camp, I’ve learnt that the only thing preventing you form reaching your goal is self-limitation.  I received an envelope with a quote saying “Be the kind of leader you will follow”, and I’ve said that I wanted to be a leader who was trust worthy, who gives clear instructions and one of which people will follow out of respect. A leader doesn’t have to be fervent nor omnipotent. A leader that’s not there for power nor for the sake of gathering recognition. That is the embodiment of leadership.

Written by:
Mccoy Toh

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