Now that you got your university application and acceptance out of the way, it’s time for the fun stuff – orientation camps!
With the numerous camps offered, you must be wondering “Which one should I go for? What are the differences? Who will I meet? Help me out!”
You may have heard that orientation camps are infamous for having inappropriate games, but most universities have been taking extra steps to ensure that the participants’ wellbeing is taken care of.
With first-hand experience just a year ago, here are some insider tips I have for you. Let’s go!
Types of camps available
There are three main types of camps available – the student organisation camps, hall camps, and faculty camps.
These camps usually happen back to back, so unless you are a camp fanatic, having 3 consecutive camps may just drain you out.
Camp fees may also amount to $50 for each camp, so be prepared when you sign up!
For the student organisation camps, they are organized by student bodies such as the Students’ Union and Sports Club. If you wish to join a certain CCA, these camps are a great place to find out the culture in the club, and you can also meet people from different faculties!
Next, hall camps! It is highly encouraged that you attend hall camps to familiarize yourself with the communal living environment. These are the people whom you will seek help from when you are alone in hall – be it borrowing laundry coins or finding someone to have dinner.
Lastly, the faculty camps. With the different timetables, the classroom may not be the best place to make friends. Hence, the faculty camp is the place for you to meet your classmates. Furthermore, the seniors here will share tips on choosing the best professors and scoring As!
After application, the waiting game begins. Prank calling is a common way for OGLs to inform you that you are selected. This is true! My OGLs acted as radio presenters, pranking me that I had to sing on live radio. Upon completion, this officially seals your place in the camp.
Congratulations! you are now on your way to 4 days of fun, laughter, and… no sleep.
“Tell us your name, age, course, one interesting fact, and your traffic light colour” – I am sure anyone who has been through FOC has heard this.
Perhaps you can think of some interesting facts prior to the camp so you do not blurt out anything embarrassing to these strangers.
Oh yes, traffic light colour! Evergreen means you have never had a relationship, green means you are single and available, amber means dating or complicated, and red means attached.
Now that we know everyone, it is time to get comfortable for the next 4 days jam-packed with crazy activities.
Hurray, you will be having lots of fun in the sun! What do we mean by crazy activities? Here, let the pictures do the talking!
You probably will be having Cai Fan (mixed vegetable rice) for 4 consecutive days, and even do a Cai Fan cheer while eating it!
You probably will also be very sick of Cai Fan before camp ends…
Would you prefer passing ping pong balls around using your elbows…
or be thrown in the water to snatch ping pong balls from the other teams?
Or maybe, squeezing the entire orientation group with over 30 people onto a single bench, and then shifting positions without falling?
For the swimmers, here is your chance to shine! Dive deep into the pool to find mahjong tiles, and earn some points for your team!
You may also find yourself caught in a cheer fight where the judges will stand in the middle of 2 orientation groups to see which team can cheer louder. Yes, this is where your noisiest camp mate suddenly becomes useful!
Or build some fancy armours to protect yourself from the water bombs!
Do you like bowling? Here is a life-sized version! You will also get to play human bowling where you literally become the bowling ball.
You definitely cannot escape having all sorts of disgusting food items like mayonnaise being spread over your head and back – all in the name of fun!
Double up as bodyguards to protect your OG flag from being stolen by other groups!
What is camp without some cheers? Throughout the 4 days, you will be asked to cheer randomly, anytime, anywhere. Cheers, cheers, and… more cheers.
You will also get to show off some of your hidden dance moves!
Get a chance to be your university’s next top model, by posing with your sponsors’ products to promote them. Well, you got to do it if you want the good stuff in your goodie bags!
For the good-looking ones, your seniors may even spot you during the camps and invite you to take part in the pageant contest!
For the rest of us, phew! We can sit back, relax, and enjoy the performances that these pageantees put up, and even vote for our favourite couple!
Through it all, your GLs will be there to take care of you – feeding you with Pi Pa Gao to relief you from sore throat… so that you can cheer even louder.
The bonds and relationships forged strengthens with every activity that your OG does together during the camp, and these are the people who will create a home away from home, during your time in hall and in school.
Alright! I hope this post provided you with a more realistic view of orientation camps. Camps are not as daunting as you think – go with an open mind and you will be surprised by how much fun you find yourself having, and the friendships you will forge!
Have a camp experience to share? We’re excited to know! Tell us your story through the comment box below!
All photos used are in courtesy of NTU Hall XI’s Freshmen Orientation Camp 2017, NTU Sports Camp 2017, and NUS Business O’Week Camp 2017.