NYAA Gold – Expedition to Okinawa, Japan

In April, our CAMP CHALLENGE National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) team was tasked to bring 8 enthusiastic students all the way to Okinawa, Japan. Their main objective was to clock in the necessary hours needed as part of the requirement in their NYAA Gold. The requirement was to achieve a total of 8 hours per day in a 4 days 3 nights outdoor adventure expedition.

It was a smooth journey, travelling from Singapore to Okinawa with a total of 8 and a half hours. The challenge began upon our first day of climb as the weather in Okinawa was not very kind. It rained constantly through the time spent in Okinawa. However, the team persevered and carried on climbing to the top. Each of them cared for one another, constantly checking on each other. Despite knowing each other in school, they have learnt even more through the hardship they endured together.

Next, it was a day to head to the beach for water activities, and the group was divided into two teams. One took on kayaking while the other group went for snorkeling in the morning, followed by a swap of activities in the afternoon. Despite feeling like it was a ‘day off’ from the tedious mountain-climbing, the water activities were equally challenging as the wind and currents were against the team. It became exhausting as the team had to exert twice the amount of effort to keep in formation. Safety was also a top priority as the currents could have easily swept the snorkeling team into the sharp barnacles. What was worse was that the bus got stuck in the mud due to the heavy rain, causing the soil to become too soft, resulting in the bus wheel sinking in. With everyone’s help to push the bus, it finally got free and the team was geared up for another day of fun and adventure.

Nearing the end of the expedition, the team decided to work together to cook up a big feast for everyone. Although the participants came with the objective of completing their NYAA gold, they realised that they went back with more than they had expected. They went back home fulfilled not just as individuals but also as a team, as their bond had grew and became stronger. Egos and differences were set aside and they bloomed as a well-performing team, able to work and bond together! 

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