Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program – Part II

As you have, or have not read part one of the “Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program”, we had been planning, doing workshops, and going out on a tryout trip. To understand more of part one, feel free to read on the link attached here. (LINK)

For this part, it was also our new round, the next step of this project. The two main goals for this round were to host a workshop and a trip for our participants and to create a handbook and a few smaller things which I will talk about that more.

At the beginning of this new round, we discussed and started dividing the roles for the purpose of making a small guidebook to outdoor leadership and our program. I was in charge of one of the sections about Medical and Risk Management, and (During) Trip. It was another exciting experience to compose and design the book. The book was planned to be published in Khmer because our target audiences are Cambodian youth. But during the process of composing the book, we had to write in both languages so that our facilitator could understand the context of the book also. Once we had our drafts, we were doing peer checking, presented to the whole group and we were getting feedback and comments for improvement and every section of the book was very interesting, and I couldn’t wait to share the books to the country.

During this round, there was an event in Phnom Penh called the STEM festival under the theme of Green, which focused on the environment and nature. We were pleased to participate in the event as the presenters and the audiences. Pitching a tent near our booth made many people come in to see our team. I was delighted to see the smiling faces of the audience, and how they were interested in our program.

That’s me (Black T-shirt) during the STEM festival, presenting and interacting the project to a few of the audience in our booth.

Another important part of this round was getting our first official participant. They are from a local high school in Kampong Cham called Green Village School. There were eight students. The time has come, our first team of participants! They were staying over at our school dormitory for two nights before going on the trip. During the first day, it was just a chill, relaxing day after arriving on our campus. The second day was the day of the workshop. We had four workshops, nature, wilderness skills, medical and risk, and leadership. My feeling after the workshop was superb. I loved sharing the experiences, doing activities, facilitating, and guiding them through the whole process was a quality experience. The participants themselves were really enthusiastic and engaging in the lessons as well.

The next day, it was time for our outdoor trip. I was one of the three leaders to lead the participants on this trip but we do have two facilitators from my school, and the Green Village School just in case of an emergency. Everyone got smiles on their faces with joys of laughter and excitement on the way to our destiny, Kirirom national park. Arrived, had a quick lunch, some preparations, and we were off on our hike to our campsite, the heaven cliff.

Again, all smiles during the hike, it was the first experience for most of them. As we were passing through the world with no buildings, no city lights, just nature and us, the adventure was really beautiful. We walked, talked, shared experiences, had some breaks, had some water and some small snacks, helped each other when needed, stretched, and continued. And finally, we made it to the heaven cliff. How about a little break to watch the fascinating sunset, the birds (we were lucky enough to see many hornbills), and the whole stunning view. 

There was something unexpected happening in later in that evening, I won’t include it in here, but I got a link for you if you would like to know the story. (Link to the story)

We had pasta with bread as our dinner. And I’ve noticed that the students didn’t really enjoy it because it’s not something that Cambodians eat, it was not an-everyday-food that we eat so it was a bit weird for them. But it was also an experience for them and that showed that when you’re in the jungle or going outdoors, you don’t usually have everything as living a normal life. It’s a skill to try something new, adapt to the change and environment, and we called that “Comfort to uncertainty”

It was a worthy experience to lead a group of students on this outdoor trip. It was a really wonderful two days and one night with everyone. We’ve learned a lot from both the participants and us as leaders. We are looking forward to doing the same and sharing the experience with other schools and spreading the skills and programs around for the Cambodian youth about outdoor leadership.

Here are some trip photos!

I suppose that is all from me. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and leave me a comment if you got any questions or any other information from this piece of writing. I appreciate your time in my portfolio and I hope you are staying safe, and healthy. Have a nice day! Thank you!

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