PTPI Student Chapter
Together Everyone Achieves More
“The word ‘TEAM’… can anybody tell me what that stands for?” the camp commandant asked.
“It stands for: Together Everyone Achieves More,” cleverly quoted by our camp leader Mr. Charlie.
What is a team without teamwork? We were to get a taste of what teamwork and trusting each other really is during a trip to Hutan Simpan Bukit Sungai Puteh, a forest reserve in Cheras. We were led by our camp leader, Uncle Charlie who carefully guided us through the team-bonding activities together with his fellow camp committee members.
Before we started the activities, Uncle Charlie gave us a very important lesson on how to tie bamboo sticks using only string, the way commonly used by scouts. Firstly, he taught us a “Clove Hitch” or what is known as a universal knot. This knot is the first step. Secondly, we proceed with “Lashing” which is webbing the string around two bamboo sticks, securing and fastening them together firmly to ensure it’s tight so the bamboo sticks aren’t loose. It is then tied with a square knot 3 times, tightly, and finished off with another clove hitch to ensure the sticks in place.
In the first activity, we recognized the importance of communication and working together as a team. Uncle Charlie split all 16 of us into 3 groups. Our task was to build a table out of only bamboo sticks and string using the way he taught us. It was very tricky at first but after a few times, we finally got a hang of it. Another lesson we learnt – to always help each other as a team - was very much tested during this activity. We were also required to build a stand to place our trash bags on. We divided the task so two people would build the stand for the trash bags first and the rest would start building the table. This resulted in us finishing everything faster and realizing something new about teamwork - dividing the task multiplies our success. Each team had successful results which surprised each and every one of us of our capabilities.
We were then, presented with a second activity which was to cook our own lunch – WITHOUT GAS! We were given a few handpicked ingredients, a pot, a wok and a few trays. We had to prepare pasta and a salad. The hard part of this activity was that we had to create our own fire. We were taught how to create the fire using only twigs and firewood that we had to chop and find ourselves. Luckily, we were given the benefit of the doubt as this was our first time and the camp leaders gave us fire starters and a lighter. The process of cooking our food was painful and tiring, but very rewarding by the end of it. Being a team requires all hands on deck and everyone communicating and cooperating with each other.
We all gathered at the hall only to be split again into another new two teams. We carried out our next team-bonding game which was very challenging. It required a large number of patience, communication and leadership. The aim of the game is to pitch a tent successfully but with all the team members blindfolded and only one person, without a blindfold, leading them without any physical contact or touching of the materials. Each person is given a chance to lead. I really enjoyed the game as it was a very interactive and communicative game that really left me with a lesson embedded in my memory.
We quickly rushed to our next game which was the “Trust Fall”. This game taught us to trust one another because a team is nothing but to fail if no trust is valued amongst its members. It was a very scary experience because of how scared I am of heights but it really taught me to trust my peers better.
Each person is given the chance to be a catcher and to be a faller. Uncle Charlie also did the trust fall and was successfully caught by the catchers to ensure them that there was nothing to be worried about. He trusted us! Leadership by example.
This team-bonding experience taught me what it means to be a team. We practiced our communication skills and the way we handled situations as a team. We were placed under a great deal of pressure especially during the first two games but the point was that we were able to work through it together which was the biggest accomplishment and struggle we endured and prevailed, as a team.
Lim Xian, Secondary 4 Mozart