The 4 days 3 nights summer camp just ended. It was a really wonderful excursion. We had to switch off our phones so we had only nature and ourselves to interact with. I can say that this is the first camp after a long time that I was being myself entirely (I usually have a lot of things to hide. Like not wanting to talk as much or acting so cold that almost everyone would be afraid of coming near me). And that's good. Because tarbiyah can only enter if you let your guards down and make yourself fully exposed. Without that, you can never know what to improve. And that was my aim for attending this camp. To be tarbiyah-ed immensely and be given a boost so that I can know where to go after this point.
The word "tarbiyah" is an arabic word which roughly translates to be "education; nurture; breeding; upbringing". I prefer to use this word instead of the english/malay translations mainly because I relate "tarbiyah" with "rabb" which means God (they essentially come from the same root word). So everytime life teaches me something, I take that to be God doing His part in teaching and nurturing me to be a better person, hence the usage of that word.
As stated in the previous post, we had to live below the line i.e. £1 per person per day. This amount is then shared amongst groupmates. Since it was technically three full days, we had £3 each to contribute to the group. My group consisted of 8 people initially so we had £24 to spend for the camp. After deliberate budgeting, some of us had to pull out from the camp and some others were placed in our group at the last minute as our number kept going down. We ended up spending less than £10 to feed the whole group of 6 people. Miraculously, the food was just enough for the whole camp. We had other groups contributing their food to us (as they had extras or their initial groupmate was transferred to us) but ours was finished the very morning of the last day. Of course, afterwards, I grew tired of eating sardines and eggs.
The second day was filled with the hiking of Ingleborough peak, Yorkshire Dale, which is 723m above sea level. The walk from our camp and back was expected to be 8 hours. I volunteered to be the navigator for our group simply because I love reading maps.hihi. Besides the lovely scenic view, I was tremendously blessed with groupmates who constantly and openly reflect and ponder upon our journey besides filling it with loads of spiritual inputs. Here are some of it.
- Just a few minutes after our departure from the camp, one of us suggested that we memorise and recite our hafazan verse together while walking (one of the tasks for the camp is to memorise surah al-Anfaal verse 45-46) and we did it. Although this made us miss a junction which consequently made us to be the last group (evident when the sweeper came at us) but it made us quicker to finish the first checkpoint, which the task was to recite this ayat fully, without referring to the quran.
- We passed by this incredible view of piles of stones. These stones were beautifully stacked and looked as though they were carved, it was almost impossible to think of this as just a natural occurrence. This area is covered with white stones so much that from above, it appeared as though the land was covered with snow.
Walking through the Pile of Stones
- The walk wasn't that bad, as the trail that we chose was (presumably) the easiest one. Except for this one point at Little Ingleborough (a small peak before the ultimate peak) where the ascend was really steep.
Part of the route we took. The purple circle is Little Ingleborough.
You can see from the contour, how steep the trail is to reach that point.
The hike up Little Ingleborough
The view from atop of Ingleborough peak
- We were the last female group upon reaching the first checkpoint due to the missed junction stated earlier. But for some reason, we were the fastest paced group and by the second last checkpoint (which required us to change the map reader), we became the first group at the front, with the shooter facilitator being with us. As we were done with the hike, we approached the town near our camp. We were so complacent with the fact that we were about to reach the camp, and most probably the first to do so, we were deranged and missed a junction (again, but a different one). We ended up taking an hour detour. Upon turning back, we met another group and reached the camp with them. Enough said, we weren't the first. This hit me hard. It's clear that victory is Allah's and He can give it to anyone that He wishes. Now we know how it felt when the people in the battle of Uhud thought that they were already winning the battle that they became distracted with the spoils of war. This caused them to flee from their assigned posts and resulted in the Prophet pbuh became seriously injured.
We reached the camp after 7 hours and 59 minutes of walking (clocked by fellow facilitators), third (or maybe fourth) fastest of the female groups. But the hike wasn't about completing it quickly, neither was it about doing the tasks at the checkpoints well. We've learnt so much from our experience: encountering with cattles in the middle of the track, walked through the field of free-range sheeps, threaded the path of different types of soil and earth, and fulfilling our assigned roles throughout.
|One of the best views we had upon reaching the top|
Amongst many things we did and learned during the camp was a mafia game where throughout the remaining one and a half day, there were silent killers and healers amongst us. The activities went on as usual but every now and then someone would be killed and healed. Anyone who were killed by the killer need to remain silent of whom the killers and healers were. We would have proceedings every now and then where survivors were able to discuss and appoint several people to be convicted which later everyone can vote. The conviction lead to some killers and some innocent civilians to be convicted. Simply put, it was a horrible game.
By the end of the day, so many of us were killed that I became frantic, not wanting to come close to anyone that I don't trust. I didn't even trust my naqibah (who were in fact one of the killers and did try to kill me several times) and literally ran my heart out when I saw her. I can really imagine how my brothers and sisters in the war-inflicted countries felt. I didn't feel safe anywhere, especially since all of my groupmates were killed inside or near our tent. On the final day, I was pretty much the target as I was amongst the very few who still survived and was the head of the camp. Basically my voice needed to be shut. I remember being so scared to go to the toilet (as this was the usual spot for killings) and waking up in the morning, really cold, in need of the toilet, but the first thing on my mind was to check everywhere around me that there's no potential killers lurking. The game occupied our mind so much that it affected our mutabaah amal (we had several amals to be done in the camp, such as reading one juz of the quran in one day, do dhikr 1000 times daily, recite the ma'thurat twice daily, etc).
All in all, it was an intense training. Physically, mentally, and spiritually. What with british summer being rainy, sunny, and cold all in one day (we were in our sleeping bag while listening to a talk at 8 pm). I came out of the camp with stiff muscles, sunburnt face, increased love towards my fellow sisters in the camp, and a heart that required to be placed back on track. Jiwa koyak gila. As I switched on my phone on our way back home, I received tens of emails and messages that required immediate actions. My heart sank as the reality hits.
The camp wasn't merely an excursion to escape reality. It was a training for me to be stronger to face it.
As the theme song quoted, "pejuang takkan berhenti".
A fighter never stops.