By LIM JUN HAO and JACQUELINE LEE
Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) Roadmap to Explore and Discover (RED) Camp may be in its 16th year but the outreach programme continues to get the thumbs-up from secondary school students who have just completed their ‘O’ or ’N’ level examinations.
A poll conducted by npTribune among 113 campers to find out which school tour they enjoyed the most saw the School of Film & Media Studies (FMS) coming in first at 26.5 per cent, followed by the School of Engineering (SOE) at 17.7 per cent.
“Each school talked about their facilities and how their programmes are like, which really gives you the in-depth experience that you don’t really get to experience at an open house because it’s so crowded,” said Fasilah Sharin from CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent.
Over three days, campers were introduced to the eight schools and 39 different courses that NP plans to offer potential students in 2020. Participants also learnt more about the co-curricular activities (CCAs), explored the various facilities and experienced the school culture.
Participants were split into five different tribes according to their secondary schools, allowing them to interact with campers from other schools as well as NP student leaders.
Ye Lin Myat from Tanglin Secondary School enjoyed the activities at the School of Business and Accountancy (BA). “[The school] gave us props to try sell an equipment or item, or pretend to have a shop like making a skit. I learnt [more] about logos, slogans, point of purchase,” Lin Myat added.
Many campers also spoke highly of their student leaders. Their enthusiasm and approachability were highly praised as it made the programme more enjoyable. Survey results also showed that the school tours were popular, with 54 per cent of participants stating it was one of their favourite activities during RED Camp.
“They are lovely people. Even as a stranger, they treated me as if I knew them for a lifetime,” said Lin Myat. “Without the student leaders, I don’t think RED Camp is achievable. They made me feel like I’m already part of the school even though I’m not.”
While the main objective of this camp was for participants to learn about what NP has to offer, some also managed to learn more about themselves. “[Before RED Camp] I honestly only thought about joining one course,” said Ellysha Nazil from Christ Church Secondary School.
Mikhail Shah from Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School said that the camp made it easy for him to make new friends despite his fear of socialising. “For me, I have social anxiety, but this camp helped me open up so much more,” he added.
Although RED Camp was well-received, Fasilah said that she wanted more hands-on activities and also wished to see how lectures were actually conducted.
There were also suggestions for more CCAs to be showcased. With only four out of 87 different clubs featured, campers could only get a small glimpse of the CCAs NP had to offer.
“I wanted to try out the basketball CCA as I feel like there’s a difference between poly basketball and secondary school basketball,” said Justin Chow from Queensway Secondary School. Basketball was not one of the four featured clubs in the tryouts.
On the last day, campers were treated to a grand finale hosted by events director Fauzi Aziz from TheSmartLocal (TSL), one of Singapore’s top media agencies. Also featured were special performances by local artiste Jason Yu, R&B band Astronauts, and Local Korean-pop dance crew DR Squad that performed Kill This Love by Blackpink. Campers also had the chance to ask Fauzi for career advice and TSL through the RED Camp 16 Instagram page, which he answered during the finale.
Feedback on RED Camp was positive with some wanting the camp duration to be extended for more opportunities to bond with tribe members. Jonathan Wui from Dunearn Secondary School said: “As a camp facilitator myself back in secondary school, I would have to say RED Camp is very well-organised and very well-planned. Everything goes according to order.”