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The Camp Calye Experience Day 2: There Will Be Mud

As I awake from my not-so-pleasant slumber, I slowly came to and immediately realized that I was still at Kampo Trexo, and it's already the second day of camp. After taking 5 minutes or so to "initialize my core services," I quickly opened my bag, grabbed my towel as well as my other necessary toiletries, and I dashed as fast as I can towards the shower rooms. While doing so, all of the sudden, I quickly heard my teammate's voice saying, "Dart, we're not supposed to take a bath in the morning." Although my clothes were still fairly clean and I had changed into a new set of clothes the night before, I still didn't want to accept the fact that I wasn't going to get the sweet taste of cold, running water early in the morning, oh well.

The camp facilitators began the morning off by letting us eat and then gathering us all at Rialtok and giving us an exercise routine to wake ourselves up. (I guess that's how the flow went, I don't fully remember.) After exercising, a few pointers we given to us and we were told to eat because a very busy (and by "busy," they meant a "really fun") day was ahead of us. So we ate for a while or so, I can't remember what we ate (sorry for that), but I think it was some sort of speedy meal—probably some corned beef or so—and then the camp gathering song, American Authors' "Best Day of My Life," sounded off and we were back at Rialtok once again. This time, they only told us to sit for a while and they lined us up and then we went off toward a "hidden" path near Rialtok (oddly enough, that "hidden path" also had a path toward our tent, which made a great shortcut). The path wasn't that long, and it led to a hanging bridge that connected to a different part of Kampo Trexo.

From L to R: Sky (the girl in the blue shirt), Phileen, Yza, Giselle, I, Rhea, Marvin, Kuya Joed, Kaye, and Gary.

The hike to the other side of the camp didn't take that long, and it was around 7 to 10 minutes or so. We finally got to the (what I call) mountainous part of Kampo Trexo, and I assume it's also the highest point of the camp itself. Our team facilitator, Kuya Joed, told us to put our necessary belongings in one place and to keep guard of the team's flag (because you also get a penalty if your team's flag got stolen by another team). Our first game, a game I remember vividly, was "Color Wars," and the game's mechanics were similar to that of the mechanics of Game of the Generals. Unfortunately, I didn't get the mechanics at first, probably because I haven't played Game of the Generals nor "Color Wars" before, but after a short demo was given to us, we all quickly understood the tools of the trade and soon we were ready to do battle with the other team, "Light Bluetathione." We played with all our might and strategy, and I was the first of our team to go into this sort of battle scene, and I had to compete directly with the leader of Light Bluetathione. As with most competitions I compete in, I, unfortunately, lost (as expected, haha). I felt bad at first, but seeing that my other teammates were getting leveled by the same player, I quickly felt a little better because I had some company with me (I probably like failing with my best friends). The game was short, sweet, and fun; in the end, we lost, but we were all happy about it and proceeded to the next game.

Tensions we high as the Carolet team was about to face off against the Light Bluetathione team.

We played a few less-than-memorable games after that: a game where you toss darts at balloons, a game where you try to knock over a tower of cans by making a ball jump from the ground toward the cans, ziplining, a rope course game where you go up to a platform and try to reach the other platforms by going through rope obstacles (the usual heart-pumping game show-like obstacle course), a game where you try to stand up while holding your team member's hand, and a game where you toss metal rings in a set of bottles.

That game where we tried to stand up while holding our team member's hand. I don't know why I'm not in this picture.

While we were playing various games, the facilitator of another team announced to us that we got a penalty for some reason, and our time in the shower was depressingly reduced to just 3 minutes. Since my teammates were a bunch of funny, creative, and out-of-the-box individuals, they made a very funny cheer that mimicked the tune of the Filipino song "Tatlong Bibe" ("Three Ducks," but often depicts ducklings) and I think it went along the lines of "May tatlong minutong ligo na lang tayo [at iba pang linya]" ("We have three minutes of bathing left [and more lines]"). The cheer really made me laugh a lot and I kind of felt some sort of feeling that I was in the company of individuals I can trust, and I felt some sort of assurance that I can trust them with anything along the way.

Our second-to-the-last game was called "Splash Dash," and the main goal of the game was to go through a path as fast as you can while your team was given two sheets of paper, and those sheets should not be wet or have any drop of water on them. We made a formation similar to the formation of the Dragon Army in Ender's Game and we positioned two of our smallest teammates in the center with the sheets of paper stuck to their backs, and the others essentially formed some sort of outer hull around our two team members. The formation was complete and we were ready to start the game, and—the second that the game started—we were immediately blasted with blue-colored water and with water guns pelting us with a gushing stream (torrent, if you will) of water. Ah man, we tried our best to get through easily and, by some miracle, we did and we didn't get a single drop of water on the sheets of paper. We won the game and we were told to take a picture afterwards.

After that, we were told to proceed to our final game, a wall-climbing game, but as soon as we got near the wall-climbing platform, it slowly started to drizzle and then it eventually escalated into a full-on downpour of rain—with real lightning for that added effect, too! My teammates didn't bother to get soaked in the rain, and I happily enjoyed walking in the rain with them. After a few minutes or so, we were told to gather around by our team facilitator and we had a "squaddle" session again. This time it was a little more serious compared to yesterday's squaddle sessions. I don't actually recall what Kuya Joed asked us to say, but he gave us a few choices: would you like to improve on your family relationships, your friendships, or few other choices, and you are only allowed to pick one. I picked the one about my friendships because I was currently facing problems with trusting people and also because I recently suffered a heartbreak at the time. It was fun to actually get a release and it was comforting, in a way, to hear that my teammates were going through similar situations as well (not with love, though. It seemed that I was the only one focused on romance.).

Our session was quick and we were told to go to another portion of the camp to continue with the next set of games—regardless of the weather. After hiking for a while, we were told to go through a fast-paced obstacle course and we were told to take our slippers off and then dash through the course as fast as we can. At the end of the obstacle course, there was this "mud crawl" portion—this is where we really got messy. Sadly, I had an extremely pure and clean white shirt (though, it was my P.E. shirt from high school, which I never use anymore), but I continued with the course regardless.

Me, struggling.
Since our team's facilitator didn't go through the course, someone thought that it would be fitting if we had a group hug.
The resilient members of team Carolet after a long, muddy day.

(By the way, while searching for the pictures online, I wasn't able to find Gary's picture. It wasn't in the album, so I guess the photographer ran late and wasn't able to take a picture of him.) Fortunately, it was raining a little during that time, so some of the rain washed out some of the mud on our clothes, but the mud crawl was fun nevertheless. Marvin and I tagged along (because the we also had a "buddy system," explained later) and we headed off toward our tent and got the necessary toiletries and clothes. Getting into the tent and grabbing our stuff proved to be extremely difficult because we weren't sure how to get into the tent without covering it in mud. With the help of another camper from another team, we eventually got our clothes and went to the showers. The wait took a while because we had an order on which teams would go to the shower first, and so on. Luckily enough, we were given 5 minutes of shower time and the girls were given 7 minutes, according to Rhea. We took a shower, got changed into our new set of clothes, and we were ready to go back to Super Kaland to prepare dinner, or so we thought.

(Camp Calye has this "buddy system" where, at all times, you are supposed to be in the company of another camper to bolster friendship between the camp members. The rule was to be with a member from your team, and the team member must not be of the opposite sex. If you are spotted walking alone, your team will get a penalty—a 2-minute or so deduction from your team's current shower time.)

After Gary, Marvin, and I were done taking baths, we sat for a while and lounged around Super Kaland and, once all of the teams were done taking showers, we were told by our team facilitator to prepare for another activity. We were given 5 sticks and we were told to prepare a dish using those 5 sticks and the ingredients we have. Gary, Kaye, and Giselle, came up with the dish. Giselle and Kaye started cooking and preparing the necessary ingredients for the dish while Marvin and I helped with preparing the ingredients and skewing them with the sticks given. In the end, we came up with this dish with bitter gourd, potato, eggplant, and some some parts of milkfish (bangus). The judges seemed to have liked our dish, but I didn't feel that confident about it since the others had bacon and other tastier ingredients.

The dish we made, with a small cup of soy sauce in the middle and with Yza's cool lamp on the side.

After the small competition, we prepared our dinner as usual. This night was unlike the night before, because this was the night where a few things went wrong—not with our group, but with the other groups. For starters, the group next to us (the gray team, I believe) were preparing bacon for dinner. Everything was fine until the girl sort of spilled the bacon onto their table and burned herself in the process. There was also this team (the pink team, I believe) that had a problem with their stove and butane gas and I'm not sure if a small fire started, but I remember a big bucket (or pot) of water being thrown at their stove and knocking over all of the food they had prepared onto the ground. Yeah, some really crazy stuff.

After a somewhat disastrous dinner, we were told to gather around Rialtok to listen to some talks about fellow camp members and how Jesus or God has influenced them in their life and how much He has helped them. I'm not sure if this was the night this happened, but we also sang some Christian songs. The two I can remember was "I Will Sing Forever" by Bukas Palad (a song I really, really like because the members of the Campus Ministry sings it during Mass at APC), and "Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)" by Hillsong Worship (I never knew that the line "amazing grace" was actually from a Christian song).

After the short talk by Ate Charie and some other guy, and after our sing-along, we were told to go to our tents to sleep. Our team facilitator, Kuya Joed, told us to stay at Super Kaland to wait for our other team facilitator, Kuya Pong, there. (We were supposed to have 2 team facilitators, but Kuya Pong arrived late because of his work and other stuff.) I really wanted to meet our other team facilitator, but I was so tired and exhausted by then, and my body was close to "shutting down," so I asked if Marvin and I can go to sleep and we were given the green light. As we were preparing to go to sleep, Gary entered our tent (he also slept in our tent, by the way) and we asked him if he saw Kuya Pong. He told us no and that he was going to arrive late, so the others went to sleep instead. After we prepared, we immediately dozed off and our second day ended.

(I am really, really sorry for the delayed post. Other important matters came to me and I didn't have the time to finish writing this. Hopefully the other posts won't be delayed this much and I'll try to finish this series within the week. Once again, I'm deeply sorry if you were part of the extremely small minority that waited for the continuation.)

(I admit who my camp crush is in this blog post :^) )

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