July is the time of the year where most university orientation camps occur to aid freshmen in their transition to life in university. With so many different types of camps offered (a total of 70 in NUS alone), you may be wondering “Which one should I go for? What are the differences? Should I even be going after they have earned a bad reputation for making freshmen partake in sexualised activities?”
To start off – let us look at the three main types of camps available – interest groups camps, halls/residences camps, and faculty camps.
As each of the names suggests, interest groups camps are great opportunities for you to find out more about the club’s culture as well as to meet people from different faculties with the same interests as you. The halls/residences camps are focused on creating vibrant student life experiences based on the halls or residences that you will be residing in and to help you familiarise yourself with the living environment there prior to the academic year in August. Finally, faculty camps would be the place to meet your future classmates, receive tips, tricks, and life hacks on the academic aspect of campus life.
Now that you’re aware of the different types of camps and the differences between each of them, let’s move on to the next biggest question.
“Should I be going to orientation camps after they have earned a bad reputation for sexualised activities?”
Snapee’s short answer to this question is yes, and we’ll elaborate on the why.
1. Best way to make friends
It is usually hard to forge strong friendships with your classmates once the academic semester starts due to hectic, conflicting timetables, as well as the lack of opportunities for socialisation aside from project work. Unlike Junior College or Polytechnic, your classmates differ in every tutorial, lecture, and seminar classes. There are no PE lessons nor out-of-class activities (e.g. Sports’ Day) to allow interaction out of formal class time. This results in you seeing your classmates for only 2–3 hours a week and these friendships usually fizzle out after the academic semester.
In contrast, orientation camps force you into a large group of strangers commonly known as the orientation group or OG and create a shared experience that allows members to bond within a short period of time.
2. Head start on how to navigate in school
There are just so many things in university that a freshie is expected to know – from the instructions of module-bidding, to famed modules for easy A’s, or directions to canteens with the best mala, the list goes on and on. You would be able to avoid considerable distress in the first month of your transition to university life with all the know-hows, if you had attended orientation camps to learn about pro-tips from seniors themselves.
Probably one of the greatest concerns of all who worry about being coerced into partaking in sexualised activities would be the lack of opportunity to say no. But this is far from the truth since most camps’ organisers would actively look out for juniors’ wellbeing by asking if anyone was uncomfortable, and if you are, you can always opt to sit out for that activity. Being unwilling to participate in certain games would not be seen as a big deal and dropping out of the camp entirely will always be an option.
FYI: Although rare, there have been cases of students dropping out and their identity are always concealed.
If you’re a camp organiser fretting over logistical issues of having to print, collect, or pack sponsors’ vouchers for your participants, consider partnering up with Snapee to eliminate cumbersome administrative processes. Snapee has worked with 25 camps since 2019 to disseminate their digital discount vouchers to students, helping organisers to streamline their logistical processes as well as reduced 10k paper waste.
With most camps going online this year, it would be harder for organisers to distribute physical vouchers to participants, and this is where Snapee would come handy in your operations. If there are any further enquiries on your side, please feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com or telegram us at Snapee Assistant.
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