From the 31st of May to the 3rd of June, the grounds of Majodi were home to the participants of the Church of the Immaculate Conception’s Persons Are Gifts (PAG) programme.
Created mainly for young people from Form 1-3, the four-day camp aims to educate its participants on the value of their God-given gifts, and thus the unique value of each and every individual, including themselves, as a precious gift to all around them.
Organised by several of the youth of CIC, the camp was headed by Deacon Adrian Ng, who was also one of the main speakers for the camp, along with Mr. Breitner Esthaky (Uncle Bob to the youth), and Mr Donald Culas and Mrs Fiona Petrus.
About 27 youths took part in the camp, mainly from CIC. All enjoyed it thoroughly.
They were split into several groups, and over the four days, got to know their group members a lot better. Many of the sessions involved interaction and sharing with their group mates, and as a result, they forged new bonds with each other.
The sessions were focused on getting the participants to recognise and acknowledge their individual gifts and also to understand the merits and the worth of others by looking beyond their outer veneer; sessions such as “The Outside Wrapping vs The Inside Gift” and “How Tightly Wrapped Are You?”
“God’s Gift”, another of the sessions, saw the participants cleansed through the gift of Reconciliation and following that, a praying-over session, which left the participants feeling “lighter” according to the participants.
After their time with the Heavenly Father, the participants penned down, in their next session – The Gift of Parents – their thoughts and feelings towards their earthly parents, in a letter to be given to their parents at the conclusion of the camp.
Isabel Dason, one of the participants, said “It made me a lot more understanding towards my parents. It made me love my parents more.”
As solemn and spiritual as these sessions were, the camp was for youths, and hence, not without its share of unbridled fun and activity. On the third day, all of the participants were plastered from head to toe with eggs, flour, water and shampoo when completing the series of tasks presented to them during the station games.
That same night, the camp held a talent-show, with many of the participants’ parents turning up to spectate the various performances their children had perfected over the first three days at camp, every single one of which succeeded in entertaining, impressing and moving the audience. Even the facilitators took part, putting up ‘commercials’ in between performances by the different groups. The talent night was a way for the participants to acknowledge and utilise their own specific talents and gifts, which was the objective of the camp.
Their acceptance of their individual abilities and traits was strengthened by their ‘gift boxes’. Essentially tissue boxes which the participants had wrapped and decorated, on which others could stick post-it notes with handwritten messages, the gift boxes were platforms for participants to deliver affirmations to one another – affirmations that could be kept and treasured long after the camp had ended.
And end it did, with the celebration of the Holy Mass as the climax and the conclusion of the camp at around noon on the 3rd of June. Many of the participants said that the camp has made a difference towards them and have expressed hope of another PAG camp to follow, which they can help organise and facilitate, following the footsteps of this camp’s outreach team which deserves to have the time, effort, and sacrifices they put into making this camp a success taken note of.
Headed by John Paul Sequerah and Pierre Chang, the team was responsible for making the music for the praise and worship, initiating interaction between participants, keeping the participants in-line and on time, performing the various skits which are an intergral part of the PAG programme, and managing the activities, logistics and overall flow of the camp.