NYAA Training Weekend 1 – Reflection
I had reached the NYAA Training prep class at exactly 4:32 pm. The large rucksack, organised and unnecessarily so, hugged off my back and I didn’t do much to adjust it. I was too jumpy, not really in an excited way but still in the way that adrenaline was pumping hard in me. I dropped my bag at a table and head over to the group of six boys and a girl. I knew them all by their names, and that worked well with me. My friend, Yeji followed soon after and we were there as a group. Eight in total. A seemingly large but nice group, but one which I didn’t think would work well. General observations taught me that most were in the last ‘core’ in PE. How were we going to get through 40km of uphill and downhill trails? I had no idea. I did, however, know that our constant communication over the last few days before the Training Weekend, had got us somewhat organised and closer as a group. This was an observation which helped us on the next day. During the first night, we discussed the route for the next day, figured how to set up a tent and cooked a decent dinner, we seemed to understand that the trip required a lot of support from one another. Though I didn’t realise this first hand until the next day.
The trek from W hotel in Sentosa, back to UWCSEA, Dover was a long trip where we all seemed to hate on each other because of the pain on our backs from all the unusual weights, and the pinch in our feet, as each step made a stop in the sensation of my feet. As a group, we were no longer connected, no longer together as some walked too far ahead while others fell too behind. There was no controlling in each others pace, as no amount of shouting could get this sorted out. In the end, we redistributed the weights. It was one out of many ways of sorting out the problem, but we didn’t realise this. When we reached UWC, we were 2 hours late from the time we were expected to arrive. This was because of the number of times we had to stop for the other members to catch up, as to not get in trouble with the staff. In the end though, the plan of stopping and waiting only slowed us down further as we continued to have elongated breaks and got nothing but slowed down. When we reached school, it was a little embarrassing but nothing we couldn’t cope with. We set up the tents once again and had a shower. This was one blissful reward. We then cooked and were told about the route we were following for the next day. We tried evaluating the day and came up with new solutions, which we applied the day after.
On the last and final day of the trek, our journey seemed longer as the pain from yesterday had not really left me. My shoes were prickling and I was mere seconds from losing it. But I decided that it was a waste of energy and tried to keep to the front of the group, as we travelled from UWC, Dover to MacRitchie Reservoir from a twisting but an interesting natural path. There was mud, and swampy ground, but instead of caring for my shoes I walked on them. They were a great reliever of pain. The group functioned so that everyone got a turn to guide the group using the compass and the map, and it was considerably better, as there was lots of communication and we were working together more often, allowing the slower ones to lead and being more motivating to the group as a whole. We soon enough reached the checkpoint and had a filling lunch before we departed for school, where the first NYAA Training Weekend came to an end.
NYAA Supplied Kit List – Reflection
We mainly carried all our things in the rucksack, including the ones supplied by the NYAA office at school. These items included, cooking items (e.g. stove, gas, lighters), tent and groundsheet, sleeping mats and its covers. During the first day, we managed to lose nothing, however, on the second day we realised that we couldn’t find the cover for our tent. This was because we set up our tent too late at night, and left the case when we were shifting our tent to the ground we were all supposed to be sleeping on. We did, however, go back to collect it as it was left amongst some of our other things like rucksacks and sleeping mats, however, we found that the cover was not there.
Since it was already past 10 at night, we decided to get it sorted tomorrow morning. This, however, was a bad idea, as I couldn’t seem to find Fiza, who looked after all the kit supplied by the NYAA office. However, I did find a teacher who helped me look for it, alongside the NYAA Gold, Dylan who worked with our group on both days. With their help, I found the cover and was allowed to leave the tent at school on time.