Saturday, February 22, 2014

Davao girl scouts join int'l. camp in NZ



 “Davao girl scouts join int’l. camp in NZ”
Sun.Star Davao, Feb. 22, 2014

Stella Maris Academy of Davao girl scouts Zoe Alessandra Huang, Samantha Nuñez, Claudine Angelika Barroso and Pia Angelika Puentespina together with girl leaders Denisa Nenita Navales and Marina Mesina of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines-Davao Council, represented the country in the F14ME International Ranger Camp held at Wesley College, Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand last month.

Three hundred thirty scouts and girl guides from various countries which included Malaysia, Singapore, Cook Islands, Fiji, Australia and different parts of New Zealand joined the camp.

During the opening ceremony, there was a cultural presentation highlighting the represented countries’ traditional songs and dances. One of the most applauded performances of the talent night was the Davao delegation’s upbeat Bagobo dance.

The girls had the time of their lives with the “Flaming Challenge” where each color group had to undergo exciting team-building activities and physical challenges creating the chance to meet and know the other international scouts.

On the fourth day, the “Try-it Day” had the dynamic young ladies choosing new activities such as Aquaerobics, Archery, Barista Training, Beginner's Belly Dancing, Box Fit, Circus Skills, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Contemporary Dance, Cookies and Marshmallow Pops, Fitness Fun, Flower Power, Laser Skirmish, Massage Therapy, Orienteering, Pamper Experience, Photography, Raft Survivor, Self Defense Skills, SNAG Golf, What to Wear - Color Consultation, What to Wear - Style, Yogalates and Zumba/Laughter Yoga.    

On that same day, the girl scouts had their closing ceremony and disco party during the evening.

Before the girl scouts flew to New Zealand, they had to pre-select off-site adventures in their registration forms. Based on their choices, the girls were divided into groups for their 3-day Off-Site Adventure.

The memorable adventures were Auckland Allsorts, Awesome Auckland, Canyoning Adventure, Completely Kayaking, Just Dessert, Kawau Capers, Middle Earth in Matamata, Mud Slingers, Over the Rainbow Auckland, Pinnacles & Pioneers, Ride & Glide, Splash 'n Dash Goat Island, Tauranga Wonderland and Waitomo Blackwater Glow.

The myriad of activities showcased the wonders of the Kiwi nation through biking, caving, swimming, kayaking, hiking, abseiling and sailing.

On the final day of their camp, all teams from the various adventure groups gathered together again to bid each other farewell. It was also the day that some of the girl scouts who opted to join the home stay program met their foster families. 

The four girl scouts from the Philippines and other international girl scouts were divided into groups of 2 or 3 for their home stay.

The home stay program was truly an unforgettable experience where the participants enjoyed first-hand the hospitality and generosity of their New Zealand foster families. 

Three of the Davao girl scouts, Zoe, Claudine and Samantha who also joined the Giggles Camp in the United Kingdom last July 2013, had nothing but praises for their New Zealand scouting experience.

“We could definitely say that this New Zealand camp was different from the UK camp. The camp was full of simultaneous activities. It gave us another chance to meet new friends, see a unique culture and experience adventures. How grateful and blessed we are to be part of another incredible and priceless journey!”, they exclaim.

“We are very thankful to our parents for their unending support. We also thank our teachers, school administration, the GSP Davao Council and the GSP National headquarters for allowing us to join this wonderful encampment. Lastly, we thank the Lord for guiding us the whole time and for never stopping us from the thing we love to do – camping”, the girls express.

Truly, as Zoe, who happens to be my eldest niece, reflects, “the best things in life can't be learned from books alone. They are also learned from experience”.

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