Everything has the time and space..
There was no regret when I realised that my 'active' camping days were over. Not because I got married, or have children, but simply because life changes..
As time goes by, I notice that every time we are on family vacation in the outdoors, I feel happy and free, like coming home to the place where I belong.. and then, I start to to feel that I want to pass my skills and knowledge about the outdoor life to my children, knowing that such things will be their assets in the future. However, setting up the time and planning the actual camp is a big challenge.
One day, last year, a friend (my eldest son's friend's mum), who owns a life-skills training course sets up a camp for school children. At first, she set up a camp mid last year (2012), but the camp had to be cancelled for some reasons. Then, she set up another camp which took place last weekend (29-30 June 2013). The camp will cover character building, photography and writing skills. My eldest son was very excited about it. After discussing it with my husband, we agreed that he would stay home with Aza and Kyra, while I would accompany Ariq in the camp.
Waiting for the time, Ariq already had a few plans for this holiday. He wanted to visit my grandfather's grave at the National Hero Cemetary (my grandfather was a soldier during the independence war, therefore he had the right to be buried there). My parents agreed to take Ariq there, so Ariq stayed for a few days at my parents' home.
Prior to that, Ariq had his mid-year drum concert, which I will write about in another post. He also had a few 'appointments' with his friends to play together.. so, it has been a busy holiday for Ariq.
I delayed enrolling Ariq in the camp, since I wasn't sure whether he would be up for it when the time comes. However, when my friend called me to confirm whether Ariq would be coming, Ariq confirmed that he was coming. So, I officially enrolled him.
The morning of the camp, I found out that most of Ariq's friends' mums had cancelled staying overnight, therefore the cabins we originally booked were cancelled. There was only one other mum (apart from the one who was organising the camp), and we agreed to share a tent, if there was one available. There were a few other parents staying overnight too, ones whose kids were not Ariq's school friends. We were so glad that there were tents available for us at the last minute.
Parents' tents couldn't be too close to the kid's camp site, so, the camp site people set up our tents across the path from the kid's camp site. We could see the kids quite easily, but they wouldn't 'feel' our presence because of the little distance.
The other mum staying overnight with me is a very energetic person. She likes walking and riding bike. As soon as the kids were comfortable with the camp instructors, we (the other mum and I) quickly decided to start our own adventure. Meanwhile, the camp staff was organising our tents. They were supposed to be ready around 2pm.
The camp site was located in 'Taman Buah Mekarsari' (Mekarsari Fruit Park). This park is where lots of fruit variety are grown for educational, conservation and sales purposes. For Ariq and his friends, Mekarsari is not a strange place. The park is one of the most visited as school tour destinations.
To me, however, it was my first time there, and I was amazed by the size and the beauty of the whole place. Mekarsari is so wide, green and clean. It feels like being in a perfect environment.
We took the train ride around the park. The ride started at the front entrance part of the park, and ended at the lake, which was the rear part of the park. Visitors are allowed to stay as long as they want around the lake, and they can take the train back to the front entrance anytime they want.
We took the train back around 2pm and unpacked in our tent. After that, we felt like walking around the park again. We walked to the lake again, taking a few turns to see what's behind the trees and to take pictures.
The walk to the lake didn't take as long as we thought it would be, although due to the stops we made, it was almost sunset when we reached the lake. As we were taking pictures, a security guard approached us and told us that the last train was leaving.. Then, we realised that we were the last people at the lake.. hahaha...
As we were arriving back at the camp site, a family of Ariq's friend arrived too. They occupied a tent near us. This mum used to go hiking and camping (even more active than me). We ended up chatting almost all night. We even came up with the idea of another camp for the kids..
We finally went to bed around 2am, although the quietness didn't last long..
The excited kids couldn't stay asleep for too long.. They woke up at 3am and started playing around the fire. So, no more sleep for the rest of us, haha..
After sunrise, my friend who was organising the camp told me that Ariq had a slight fever. He couldn't join the morning walk. After breakfast, Ariq was feeling much better, though. I guess the fever was just a result of lack of good night sleep.
The kids had 'FUN' farming activities.. which also concluded the camp. The other mum, who stayed in the tent with me, suggested to walk to a nearby garden and take pictures there. The garden was beautiful. We managed to take a few good pictures, despite the strong sun.
All in all, it was a great time. It wasn't a rough camp, but I'm still glad that I had the chance to do it.. and with Ariq.. Now I'm sure that I can do it again, hopefully with Ariq, Aza and Kyra..
-See you again-