More than 200 students participated in the camp

Youth: This time, instead of spending his winter vacation doing temporary jobs at construction sites, 16-year-old Samten Dukpa participated in Camp Raven instead.

With the camp ending yesterday, Samten Dukpa said that for the first time he had spent his winter vacation learning different activities that helped build his sense of responsibility and volunteerism.

He said he did not regret his decision to attend the camp despite sacrificing the pay a temporary job would have given him, which he would have used to meet his school expenses.

“I was not sure about the camp in the beginning because my only worry was to earn from a temporary job and help my parents,” said Samten, who is a class 10 student from Garpawoong primary school. “But most of us are glad that we got to attend the camp that taught and brought us together, which we’ve never experienced before in our life.”

Samten expressed his gratitude to His Majesty The King for the opportunity.

Like Samten, another 227 children from the Royal Bhutan Army and the Royal Bhutan Police based in Samdrupcholing, Jomotsangkha and Samdrupjongkahr participated in Camp Raven by giving up their temporary jobs this time. The children would have earned on an average Nu 6,000 each during the vacation.

Another participant Yeshi Dema, 20, said they are eagerly waiting for more such opportunities this winter because children in the remote areas mostly spend their vacations doing temporary jobs.

“We’ve built so much confidence through this camp and it was so entertaining. Such camps will help build us but we hope we would get to attend the camp again in future or any other camps.”

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden awards participants with prizes

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden awards participants with prizes

The camp was initiated and began as a Royal Project in 2012, upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, to engage children in fun activities during the winter vacation. The camp, which began on January 4 was held for the first time in Samdrupjongkhar and outside Thimphu.

The objective of the camp is to instill and develop values, responsibility through fun-based personal development, character building and life skills experiential learning programmes.

The children were engaged in various fun filled activities such as yoga, meditation, mass dancing, music, karaoke,  awareness programmes about health and hygiene, zero waste and human values. The students also took part in firing of weapons and club activities such as sports, art and western dances.

Works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden attended the closing ceremony of Camp Raven at Dewathang.

The minister gave away prizes to the winners of various events held during the camp like football, basketball and volleyball, among others. The winners received prizes ranging from smart phones to shoes.

Yangchen C Rinzin | Samdrupjongkhar


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