Posted on 18-Jan-2015
SUNGAI CONGKAK, HULU LANGAT – In mid-December 2014, the 3rd Kuala Lumpur Company organised a year end camp at the Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest campsite. The theme for this camp was “Boys vs Wild”. There were a total of 33 participants attended the camp including 3 guest and friends. We gathered at the YMCA at 9.00am before departing for Sungai Congkak half an hour later. Some of the officers and boys arrived on the second day due to work and other matters. There weren’t many of us as some “city kids” don’t fancy staying in the jungle, filled with many mosquitoes and leeches. This camp was not just a year end camp but also served as a field assessment for the Campers Awards class. It was the ones attending the award class who were organizing this camp as part of their practical test.
Upon arriving at the campsite, we took about 10-15 minutes walking to our assigned camping zone from the entrance. After everyone reached the zone, Zone 2+, we separated into three groups and with assigned tents. We also separate the food items to the groups for their 4 days camp. A daily recommended meal plan was pre-determined by the camp committee. If our allocated rations were finished in one day, we had to either suffer for the next few days or share food with the other groups.
After distributing food we helped in the setting up of dome tents for the officers, as the 6 man tents we were renting was not yet prepared by the campsite. Once we finished setting up tents and putting our items in, we needed to begin cooking for lunch. For the first meal it was an exhausting task for everyone just to start the fire as none of us had any experience, but were fortunate to have officers who were experienced enough to help and teach us. We were only given one box of solid fuel for the 4 days camp and was required to find wood around us by ourselves as a fuelsource. Besides that, our enitre water supply was from the river. If we finished our water, we needed to boil it ourself. After few hours everyone of us was like - “finally we finish cooking!”, but most of the dishes were already cold and some dishes were half cooked.. but we were so hungry we just ate it! After we finished our lunch, we were given some time to wash our cooking equipment in the river, followed by a session where each group made their camp craft items. This session was took charge by Private John Ayenkharan. We were given half an hour to make our group flag, come up with a group cheer, a group name, and had to explain what was it about.
We were also told to craft something that is useful for our 4 days camp by using anything around us. After that we had to get ready for dinner. This time we got much better in getting the fire going. Halfway cooking, sky became dark and it was soon going to rain. So we got out fly sheets set up to cover the cooking areas. Most of us got wet because we needed to rinse the things for cooking and prepare for dinner. So after finished cooking, everyone finally could eat. It is a most wonderful dinner I ever had in my life. Furthermore, we had a “burung hantu (owl)” session. Everyone was separated individually, isolated and sat somewhere in the dark, alone, to enjoy the sounds of nature. Ending the day, everyone was allowed to wash up and have supper, but some still needed to get water from river to boil for the night.
At night after dinner we had our night walk, led by a guide which lasted over an hour. We are not allowed to switch on the torchlight because might scare away the animals and we will see nothing in the jungle. It is quite scary because it was dark and we need to walk across the river. We did see some bio-illuminant plants which glow in the dark.
It was the last day after breakfast, everyone started to pack up and clean the campsite. We finished it really quickly because everyone wanted to go home early. When we are going back everyone was thinking of Katsudon – one of 3rd KL’s favourite dishes back in YMCA’s Shiok Café.
In a nutshell, this was the hardest and the most exciting camp in my life. I hope there will be more people joining our outdoor camps in the near future.