Last week (25-29th July 2011), I attended the Biro Tatanegara Camp at Tanjung Rhu Sepang together with another four of my AUCMS friends; Hannah Alyaa, Saiyidatul Amirah, Nadiah Elmi & Ain Hanani. It took my family and I more than an hour to reach there despite being able to follow the directions in the map. Trust me, you'd appreciate taking a good rest before you travel there and seriouslu, don't be fooled by the map. It does make you think that the journey is really short! :P
If you didn't get a copy of the map to any of the BTN camps, you might as well check out this website: http://www.btn.gov.my/ssm/?page=1Q31. And here's the map to Tanjung Rhu BTN Camp.
*I swear I won't be going there again just for fun lol*
1. Clothes and Shoes:
To those who received the BTN offer letter, you'd get a list of what things you should bring.
You'll certainly notice that you must bring along white baju kurungs/blouses and black skirts for women and white shirt and black slack pants for men. I brought three readily ironed white baju kurungs and two also readily ironed black baju kurung skirts. As for my tudung, I brought a black Ariani tudung. I saw some other BTN participants who wore tudung other than black, so I guess it's okay to not wear black tudung. But to be safe, just wear black tudung.
You will also really need to bring riadah clothes. You would have kawad kaki every morning and riadah every afternoon. Wear tracksuit instead of slack pants during kawad kaki *I kena tegur for wearing slack pants lol*.
At night, it would be kinda warm, so do bring pyjamas or night wear that is not too thick :)
Don't forget to bring along a pair of black shoes for Latihan Dalam Kumpulan Purposes (LDK), a good pair of sports shoes and toilet slippers.
And, I don't know what to say if you forget your undies -_____-''
Bring along a notebook and pen(s). They'd be useful during LDK and sometimes during riadah.
Of course, don't forget to bring all that you need for shower time. There's a small tank (kolah) in the toilet, so IF there are so many people in the shower and you need to rush, the tank will be useful for you. For girls, it is advisable to bring your kain batik along.
For my muslim friends, pack in your telekung. And your sejadah if you want to. It is compulsary to go to the surau for Subuh and Maghrib prayers. I used my kain batik as my sejadah *You can obviously guess that I didn't use the kain batik for toilet!*
The registration was officially opened from 2.30 p.m till 4.30 p.m. I arrived there at around 2.15 p.m, and I saw quite a number of students who had already registered before the scheduled time. How can they be so semangat meh? :O
We were required to hand in our biodata form which includes our personal information and a passport-sized photograph. We also actually had to submit the BTN offer letter we got, but I guess it wasn't that important because nobody actually asked for it :P
After registering, I was given a fleece khaki-coloured blanket, a pillow cover and a bedsheet. So guys, you don't need to bring your own set, unless you are only comfortable using yours. However, I advise you to bring your OWN pillow. The pillows there are pretty hard, so yea, you might not find your nights there comfortable (as expected) :P
I was put into Dorm A1. Each dorm consists of 16 or 18 people I guess. And yes, they provide double-decker beds. I chose the lower-deck at the right-most corner of the dorm *cozy but pretty warm*. There are lockers with big capacity to help store your clothes and any other stuff you have. You can hang your clothes in the locker, so it's wise to iron your clothes from home.
Be reminded that they don't prepare irons for you, or water-heaters. You're actually prohibited from using these appliances, but if you wanna bring and use them, it's okay, really.
1. Pembentangan Kertas Kerja
At the beginning of the week, we attended four talks. They call it "Pembentangan Kertas Kerja" and each of them has it's own title. I was chosen as the MC of the fourth Pembentangan Kertas Kerja entitled "Kedaulatan & Rumusan". It was crazily nerve-wrecking. Imagine standing in front of over 100 people who you do not know at all and coming up with a few spontaneous things (the script's given, but I had to make up my own sentences for the penceramah's biodata). What's penceramah in English eh? I was like a cartoon on the stage; lupa tuang air lah, buat muka terkejut lah, jalan macam Japanese in kimono lah. Haih. Malu-malu -___-''
The talks were given one after another because they're aimed to ensure that participants can link the information received from the talks to the LDK sessions later on. Note that the talks weren't totally back to back. Hehe :P
2. Latihan Dalam Kumpulan (LDK)
Altogether, there were eight LDK sessions that we had to participate in. We were divided into groups of 13-14 people and were given one facilitator.
Among the activities we did during LDK were playing games and debating on topics that were related to the understanding of the situation of our country. I really liked the sessions where we were given the chance to voice out our questions, ideas and suggestions. I love talking in situations like these even though it gives me cold hands and feet every time :P
As the topics are mostly about the current situation in our country, I managed to know more about Malaysia from the government's point of view. Hearing everything currently gives me a neutral perspective on what's happening in our country. To me, it's good to know and it's good to not become obsessed.
Ouh yes, not to forget, we were also given a task in which all of the groups had to present a patriotic song during the last LDK. My group got the song "Malaysia Baru". Most of us were not familiar of the song, so we had to struggle hard to memorize it and think of some moves that can go with the song. I had lots of ideas for the moves, but the moves might be too hot to handle, so I just agreed with what my group members had :P Ceh! So poyo :P
This was the scariest activity I had to go through throughout the week! We had to climb 40 meters up and then go down via a wall with only strings and abseilling gears attached to our body. Scary right? *To know more about abseiling, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abseiling*
Frankly speaking, in my point of view, it's scarier going up the tower than going down, cause you know that when you climb up the stairs, you don't wear any safety gears and there's nothing at both of your sides except for the stairs railing that you hold on to. The going down part was scary when I had to struggle to kick the wall correctly. If you kick the wall with only one leg, you might end up twirling in air. But don't worry, if things get difficult for you, the facilitators will help you get down effortlessly :)
On the last day of our riadah, we went for a kembara at the forest around the camp. The kembara track was 2 kilometers long. There were two paths set for us, but it's actually the same track, the only difference is one path would be the beginning or the ending for a certain group.
Throughout the track, we had to pass through tall thatches, cow poops and muddy swamps. As kinda of a girly girl, it was pretty disgusting and worrying for me, but it's also undeniably fun and adventurous. I'm happy to have group mates that really care about each other. We made it though the kembara track as one. I survived with two half-inched scratches at my left wrist and wet muddy shoes.
Most of the time, in the middle of the week, we dine with our group mates *yes, we have to dine with boys too*. We recite our dining prayers together and ensure that everyone gets to eat well. I kinda miss the situation where everyone helps each other :)
BTN was a wonderful experience, minus the lack of sleep and rushings. I got to make new friends and know more about our country from another perspective. Congratulations to those who made it though and good luck to those who will be participating! :)
p/s: I'll be adding more personal touches to this post as soon as I get back from Malacca! InsyaAllah :)