Campers in Nirwana Forest, Universiti Putra Malaysia Kampus Bintulu (UPMKB), Sarawak
ANNA, EDRINNA, JONATHAN, SYLVESTIANE
Forests are the good source to meet nature. As those living within always keep the forest lively and happy. The birds always chirping in it. Squirrels are always dancing, and crickets are always singing. May be this is how they expose themselves that they are in their homes. No matter, how much one claims to love urban life, we never leave the golden chance to spend some days with nature. For that we will forever be grateful for the forest camp in Nirwana Forest. Nirwana is situated in UPMKB and comprises of natural and secondary forest with the total area of approximately 60ha. Two weeks spending in this forest is considered as compulsory course for getting the degree of forestry in UPMKB. We had been busy immersing ourselves in nature for the past 2 weeks, in the beautiful serene Nirwana Forest.
Joining the forestry course has opened my eyes that every person in an ecosystem, whether big or small, in forests, make a bond with one another for their survival. Actually, we didn’t expect to set up a forest camp again in Nirwana Forest due to COVID 19, but we believe in God’s plan and we do believe that when you ask for something but are not ready to receive it, then God made a way for us to get it. It was our first-time camping in woods, some of us were camping for second time.
The first day was celebrated with nonstop raining but it did not stop us from preparing our sites for our 2 week stay at campsite. All preparations like making kitchen for storing and cooking purpose, wiring for lights and cleaning of campsite to make it comfortable to live, were done. In this camp, we were in groups of 4 or 5 and our group choose the name,” Canis Lupus”, the scientific name of wolf, as our group name because we were inspired by the characteristics and behavior of wolf. They have strong sense of instinct, and they work together to complete their task even though each one has its own uniqueness that our group would like to develop. We as a group were like peanut butter and gem sandwich as we could help one another through all our strengthens and weakness.
During the two-week camping trip, we went through ups and downs, especially when one of our group members fell ill, and it was just the three of us left. But we were never stop to push our group ,”Canis Lupus” towards victory as this group was meant for challenging conditions. Each task that was given to every group was difficult in terms of physically and mentally. But our teamwork really gave us some amazing results. All these challenges really motivated our group to work together and accomplish every given task. It might not be done perfectly but we nailed it to end. Also never give up, do it till end.
But the most awaited and dreaded program that every participant had to undergo was Solo Camping. Each participant in this activity was in a specific area and they had to make a fire by themselves, cook and survive with the resources that you had within a 5-meter radius. Every participant was already provided by the food that we had to cook and survive. Could we have lit up the fire with just a box of matches? Yes, it is possible but some of us really find it difficult.
We were all mentally and physically prepared for the camp and without warning something happened that was very unexpected which was rain. Although it was not a cat and dog type rain but a heavy rain with thunder and it had already fallen down the day before solo camp.
It was a bad situation for each and every one of us to lit up a fire in wet condition, but then it is not something that my classmates and I would shy away from as we were equipped with the knowledge to overcome this situation. As we were ready for it, it was hard in first even with knowledge, but we nailed it.
Finally, after 2 weeks, we had a great party at the end of the camp with barbecue lamb, beef, fish and chicken along with some other food like barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes and some fried mee hoon. The night was a blast as we had entertainment such as singing the names of our beach – Neofelis nebulosa, drama; A comedy-drama Hum Must Keha and Zikr Baaraat. It was a beautiful memory with a starry night as we closed our forest camp with each other’s presence۔That was definitely our last night.
Our friends were hampered by awards which they earned through their extraordinary talent and skills during camping. It was really a great job which we did as a team, so we are proud of ourselves and our personnel achievements.