My report for the school regarding the Eco-Bio Camp
Eco-Bio@Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve Program
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) had launched a four days and three nights camping program called “Eco-Bio@Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve” at Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Puchong, Selangor. UPM had invited 32 students from four different schools, namely SMK King George V, Seremban, SMK Aminuddin Baki, Kuala Lumpur, SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur, and Sekolah Seri Puteri, Cyberjaya, all of which are the “adopted high school” of UPM.
SMK King George V (SMK KGV) had sent eight of its Georgian, and two invitations for students from SMK Mambau to participate in this program with “Explore & Enjoy Nature” as its main theme throughout the whole program. The participants were also escorted by two teachers from SMK KGV for the whole program by Cikgu Hazlan and Cikgu Khadijah.
Ten participants from Negeri Sembilan consist of Jibrail Fitrah, Ahmad Hatimi, Danial Redzuan, Kok Bo Gyn, Tee Wei Jie, Mohd Afiq, Nurul Ain, Nurul Fatimah, Nur Atiqah and me, Zulfadhli. The trip was started around half past seven in the morning, on fourteenth of March. We arrived at the Faculty of Forestry, in UPM, approximately at nine in the morning, and we were the first to arrive. We were greeted warmly by the staffs in-charge, registered, and had breakfast served by the faculty itself. After the rest of the schools’ students arrived, all of the participants gathered at the lecture’s hall, for the official opening for the program, declared by the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Assoc. Prof Dr. Awang Noor Abd Ghani.
After the official opening ceremony ended, the whole thirty two students were divided into three groups, and were introduced the four facilitators for each group to assist and guide us throughout the program. Then, all of us were brought to Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Puchong by the university’s bus. The female participants were separated into two chalets, while the male participants shared a chalet with Cikgu Hazlan and some of the facilitators while the rest of the teachers were given their own chalet.
At night, a program “Night Walking” where every participants lined up, and guided to walk into part of the forest without any help of torchlight and totally dark and only guided by the facilitators. There, all of us could hear different sounds emitted by various creatures, from crickets to birds. Some of us were even lucky enough to spot fireflies flashing, as it’s not a common sight for all of us since most of us lived in cities. The main objective for this program was to show the participants how beautiful our forest is, and also to create awareness that the area of the forest in the world are declining due to human’s wrongdoings.
During the morning of the second day, fifteenth of March, after Subuh pray, all of the participants gathered at the opening for a morning jog around the area. Then, we played a game called “Squirrel / Hunter” where it tested how alert we are towards commands given, and how fast we could react. Then, we walked a little towards a hall for another activity. Here, each group were tasked to gather different types of leaves, and described them. Usually, when we walked around, we saw most leaves looked the same, but this activity taught us the minor differences in which making each of them unique in their own ways.
Then, the groups were brought deeper in the forest for the next activity, where each group were given a 10 x 10 plots of the forest for profiling, mapping, calculating the volumes of the trees, and calculating how dense the plot was. After the tasks were completed, we were brought to the Herb Garden, where the facilitators introduced the plants and trees around. They also taught us the history of specific plants, types of plants in the kingdom of plantae and such. At the evening, we were tasked on creating a handcraft out of bamboos and bertam leaves and at night, we should promote the handcraft, convincing that each group’s handcraft was better than the other’s. The day was packed with activities, and most of us were tired and went to sleep, while others enjoying a late night tea with a soothing ambience.
For the third day, from morning to evening, all of us were brought to two different faculties, Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Engineering, where professors and lecturers of those faculties introduced us the programs offered by those faculties and benefits of joining it, and also to instill an urge or need for the students to further their studies after they have passed their SPM examination.
There was supposed to be a campfire activity, but since it’s raining hard, we gathered in the hall for the activity. Each of the group must perform for the night. The first group, EcoRangers did an act of television news program. Despite the humorous performance by the EcoRangers, the motive of the performance was still to create awareness of the importance of the forests towards human being. The second group, Bugs Bunny, did quizzes regarding incidents and reactions of the facilitators throughout the whole program. This shows that the second group observed their facilitators closely and thus easier for them to cope with what the facilitators had taught them. The third group, which I am in, Terra QuaDiez did a minor act but canceled at the middle of the act as it was considered dull and boring. Then, Naquib of our group organized a train dance, where everyone joined and Naquib managed to pull it off.
After that, we were told that it was one of our participants from Negeri Sembilan, Mohd Afiq’s birthday after a gimmick set by the facilitators. There, we enjoyed the cake and the gifts given to the participants from our facilitators. Then, all of us went back to our chalets to pack our belongings because we would return to UPM for the final day and go back home.
The fourth day started with visiting the other two faculties in UPM, which was the Faculty of Veterinary, where we were explained of the programs offered and endorsed by UPM, procedures of animal treatments and such. Then we head to the Faculty of Science, where the professor gave us some details and information regarding the faculties, the area of studies and also some minor visits at the laboratory of physics and chemistry.
At the evening, all participants, escorting teachers, and facilitators gathered back at the lecture’s hall in the building of the Faculty of Forestry for the closing ceremony. The program was official declared closed by the Deputy Dean of Internationalization Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zaidon Ashaari. After that, all of us said our goodbyes to our new friends from different schools, the facilitators, and head back home to Negeri Sembilan.
It’s an enjoyable moments throughout the whole camp. We’ve learnt a lot from the facilitators and the willing lecturers. The whole program’s objectives were to create awareness of our forest that is declining today and also to expose students of the life in universities. We also met with various kinds of people whom can get along well despite the difference in their lifestyle. Besides, the program was also to attract students to further their studies in UPM and Forestry.
The students participated were the first batch, as this is the first time UPM did such program, and will held another for the next year. The impact of the program was so great that all of the participants requested for another session and hopefully, there will be another in the future for the first batch.
5 Izzuddin, SMK King George V