This is a story based on a personal experience that happened a few years back. You may or may not choose to believe it. It doesn’t bother me much anymore, but it definitely did so alot back then. It stays etched in my mind regardless.
In where I live, schools love to have camps. Orientation camps, bonding camps, camps that seem to be out that to torture. This time round, it was an overseas bonding camp. It was my first ever camp overseas, and it got me excited. But little did I know that this camp out of the many others I’ve participated in, would stay with me forever.
I will not be giving the exact destination, just to protect the identity of the company/organization. Just a background info of how the camp environment was like, it plays a big part in helping you to imagine what I experienced back then. It was a 5 day 6 night eco-camp. Which means, everything we did, would deal largely with and in nature. We slept in bunks made out of a canvas and two standing horizontal wood trunks. We had no air conditioners nor fans, but trust me, it gets breezy and pretty cold at night (our bunks were above waters, which explains the night breeze). We were warned of monkeys everywhere, so we had to keep our belongings in a huge caged up box. There were also many stories of giant catfishes in the river, that were possibly the reason behind the disappearances of dogs living in the same area. But we felt safe even after knowing all these, because we had two teachers, a guide and the villagers there. Little did we know.
A little description of our sleeping area because this is one of the most crucial parts of the story to aid in you picturing the scene in your head. The girls’ and guys’ were all in the same area. Just imagine a huge open air hut on stilts. When you walk into the hut, you’ll see a wide empty space, followed by the guys bunks on the right, and the girls’ on the left, only separated by two bamboo walls. In each bunk, there would be two rows of beds, the two rows meet head to head, and each bed laid side by side. Each row had roughly 10 beds. Because the walls did not cover fully and there were no doors, whatever could be heard in the girls’ dorm, could be heard from the guys’ and vice versa. Now that you’ve got all the descriptions you’ll need, lets start with the story.
Like how camps usually go, there’d be games and activities that tire you out by the end of day. Looks can be deceiving but trust me, those suspended canvas beds felt so comfortable at night, most of us slept like logs on the first night.
The next day, we woke up according to the timetable provided. We got ready for our second day of activities. All the villagers seemed really nice, food was gold, and we as students started to get to know each other. Because we were all out in the nature together, it really forces us to look out for one another. And of course, mobile phones didn’t have any reception, so we were kind of forced to talk to one another. Day two ended, and we went off to a good sleep for the second night.
The third morning came, and as usual, everyone looked well-rested. Which is definitely something surprising to witness at a camp. We were all happily talking about how the beds were so good and how chilly it got at night. All except one, a female teacher who slept in the same bunk as the girls. Let’s just call her Miss Kim. She looked extremely exhausted and like i mentioned earlier, we were all out to look out for each other. So some did notice that Miss Kim looked slightly off character, and asked her if she was alright. We didn’t think much into it. However, rumours spread quickly because the camp group really wasn’t that big. What I heard was that Miss Kim had heard someone singing and seen shadows throughout the night. This was weird to me because I was sleeping on the bed head-to-head with Miss Kim’s, and I heard no singing. May or may not be because I’m a pretty deep sleeper. I usually don’t wake up in the middle of my sleep unless it is something really loud and near.
Most of us students really didn’t take it too seriously because no one else heard anything even though we all slept side by side and we suspected that it could probably just be one of the villagers who was singing and walking around to do checks. Day three went by as usual, and soon night fell.
Day four morning, Miss Kim wasn’t around when we woke up. We found out later that she had actually went to ask the guide if any villagers were singing that late into the night. We did not know what the guide had told her but she did seem visibly worried and shaken by the whole experience. We students started to get worried for her, so we encouraged and told her that if anything happened, she could wake all of us up to help her. Later into the day, two students who were sleeping beside Miss Kim were sharing that they heard Miss Kim praying at night. And that she hid herself in her sleeping bag when she slept. We really shouldn’t have, but some of us laughed. I was one of them. Day four ended and we all went to sleep once again.
By day five, all of us were bonded like we have met for 10 years but really was barely 4 days. We felt the pure connection between every single one of us, and we really wanted to make our last day there memorable. We tried to make Miss Kim happy even though she looked like she hasn’t been sleeping well for the past four nights, by including her into many of our conversations and jokes. We were enjoying ourselves so much that night felt like it came too early. We were told that since it was going to be our last night here, there will be no lights-out timing. Some of the students who were pretty exhausted went to bed right after bathing, which was around 9-10pm. The rest of us would gather at the empty area just between the two walls that separate our bunks, and we would be sharing life stories with each other. We had a guitar, so we had jamming sessions, played truth or dare etc. It was about 12am when some of us who were chilling decided to start heading for bed. I went back to my bed at 12.30am because i was really tired out by the whole day and night of fun. I fell asleep immediately. I wish i didn’t.
(Check my profile for the continuation)