Knock, knock, knock! NUminouS, Alhamdulillah!
The Freshmen Orientation Camp (FOC) is an annual camp event jointly organized by NUSMS and Persatuan Bahasa Melayu Universiti Kebangsaan Singapura (PBMUKS). NUminouS 2015 was held from 21st to 24th July, coinciding with 5th-8th Syawal. What better time to welcome the incoming batch into our Muslim community in NUS, than in the blessed month of Syawal. Allah states in the Quran, “Believers are indeed brothers” (49:10), which alludes to establishing the bond of brotherhood between the believers. Indeed, the festive spirit of Eid-ul-Fitri was a unique setting to bring people together.
An equally important camp objective was also to prepare the freshmen with the necessary information for their upcoming university life as a Muslim undergraduate. Thus, we sought to make FOC not just a camp for our freshmen to bond and integrate into our community, but also to share with them the essentials.
Numinous means “Mysterium, tremendum et fascinans” or a fearful and fascinating mystery. NUminouS exists physically as the Land of NUminouS (LoNUS), home to its highly intelligent natives.
Over the four days, our freshmen embarked on this mysterious journey to discover LoNUS and defeat its evil Queen Balasa. Following our camp motto that holds the three aspirations to hold as an NUS undergraduate, the 8 tribes of freshmen must Survive and Synergize in order to Succeed.
Day 1 was made up of Mass Games, Musollah Trail and a Folklore Sharing session.
Musollah Trail: Around NUS
The main aim of the Musollah Trail was to familiarize our freshmen with the NUS campus especially, its prayer spaces in the various faculties. Throughout the Trail, the tribes also participated in simple yet interesting bonding games.
Day 2 saw our activities kicking into high gear, where our freshmen went Out of NUS to Sentosa, followed by the Night Infiltration segment.
Out of NUS: Sentosa
The activities in Out of NUS were a mix of challenges and station-based games scattered all over Sentosa Island. After a bidding war (as a way to introduce CORS bidding to our freshmen), the tribes were given a list of challenges and station games to complete. The challenges encouraged our freshmen to do acts of community engagement and generosity such as treating kids to ice-cream, and interviewing passers-by with questions like, “What makes you happy?”.
Night Infiltration Games
After their dinner, rest and prayer breaks, the NUminouS campers embarked on the Night Infiltration! The tribes were tasked to hunt for some items in order to solve the mystery within the time limit. During this hunt, they were also ‘hunted’ by soldiers of evil Queen Balasa.
The exhilarating line-up of activities from Day 2 continued on into Day 3 where our campers took part in the Food Trail, CCA Carnival and War Games before the Finale Night performances.
Food Trail: Halal Eateries in and around NUS
The Food Trail is meant to equip them with the essential knowledge of Halal food in and around the school. At the end of the Trail, the tribes had sponsored lunch at any one of these eateries: Da Jie Niang Dou Fu, Fong Seng, Prata Planet, Thaksin Beef Noodle and many more.
We also had a small carnival to familiarize the freshmen with some of the co-curricular activities that they can be involved in while studying in NUS. Apart from the co-organizers NUSMS and PBMUKS, the carnival also included other groups like Malay Studies Society (MSS), NUS Silat and Nisaa’ of NUS.
With all the essentials gathered over three days of camp, the freshmen were now ready to battle Queen Balasa in the War Game. This is the last piece of the puzzle before the tribes can complete their journey. It calls for them to defend against a series of water balloon attacks, first between tribes, then together in unity as one NUSMS/PBMUKS against Queen Balasa’s Army.
After the congregational evening and night prayers, we had our Finale Night. The highlight of FOC started off with performances by NUS Capoeira, NUS Silat and NUS Ilsa Tari. Freshmen performances were centered on the theme of Journey. To end the night, we had several Hari Raya song performances by our very own undergrads.
The cosy mood of the Finale Night was proof of how far our freshmen have came in forming new friendships after three full days of games and activities. Many seniors also turned up for Finale Night and it was heartwarming to see new faces amongst familiar ones.
To round off the camp, we had a sweat-filled Kebayarobics exercise, a Faculty Sharing session and Prize Presentation.
Faculty Sharing Session
After the morning exercise, freshmen and seniors gathered for the Faculty Sharing session. We organized this sharing session so that the seniors from the various faculties could share their experience and know-hows with the freshmen to help them kick-start their NUS undergraduate lives.
We were astonished that despite it being the month of Syawal, the turnout for the freshmen was good and we couldn’t thank Allah enough for making this happen. We also received a lot of support from various organizations in the form of monetary and/or goods sponsorships. Thank you to everyone else who supported our fundraising efforts for NUminouS.
Alhamdulillah for all the volunteers – facilitators, station masters, first aiders, photographers, logistics and welfare helpers, and emcees – for helping the NUminouS committee execute what has been 6 months of planning. Without them, the smooth running of the camp would not have been possible.
Holding the camp during Syawal also meant that the committee experienced many challenges in their preparations prior to the camp, during the month of Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah, the selfless sacrifices of the committee and all our volunteers enabled us to overcome these.
Alhamdulillah on the completion and success of our event. The whole committee feels extremely blessed to have met each other and have been able to create a friendship that we pray to Allah, will last till Jannah. Amiin.
To quote one of our committee members on her thoughts after the completion of the camp:
Love needs time to grow.
How much time?
Five days and four nights,
Plus a couple of months.
NUSMS/PBMUKS NUminouS Committee 2015
For more photos, visit NUSMS Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nusms