by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, newmedia specialist
Photo by rafi.org.ph
As learners put high premium on developing self-confidence, this ironically leads to more and more people talking — and talking only of themselves. This popular behavior outshines the value of trusting and relying on others to help one succeed.
Kool Adventure Camp, a flagship program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. under its Leadership and Citizenship focus area, opens formally last August 2 to further train and retrain more learners on how their strengths, weaknesses and their personal mind maps affect others and their organizations as a whole. Activities simulate real-work scenarios and bring out the natural tendencies of individuals.
KAC is the first and only fully dedicated Adventure Education Center in the Philippines that seeks to equip organizations and individuals with the 3Cs – character, competence, and citizenship to be leaders of change, through powerful learning experiences.
Since it started in 1999, it has already conducted over 300 adventure programs to a total of 14,000 participants for both the youth development programs and professional development programs.
A classic 3-day Youth Adventure Camp, for example, offers fun learning environment that is conducive for personal growth and healthy interaction among peers. Participants learn to identify problems and plan solutions, listen respectfully to the ideas of others and offer their own, give and receive feedback constructively, practice physical and emotional safety, trust others and gain trust from others, take on new challenges outside of their comfort zone, celebrate success and learn from failure, and reflect on experience and how they apply to everyday life.
Mikeala Calamba, 16 years old, of the University of San Carlos High School, shared that her greatest feat so far is winning the 2013 World Taekwondo Championship. Through Kool Adventure Camp (KAC), she said, she learned to face the challenges and realized that anything is possible. “Training hard paid off. And that’s because I applied what I learned from KAC: becoming optimistic, more committed, more focused in what I do especially in my sports discipline. I trust that I can do something. I trust others that they may also help build our success,” she shared.
As for L-rej A. Awit, 12 years old, a Boy Scout and President of the Magis Society of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, he mentioned that his unforgettable experience at KAC is that time they had to budget their money and use it to buy for provision. “We successfully did it and had more than enough left to give to the local community. It was an amazing feeling. My experience at KAC has given me self-confidence. I became more mature, more cautious in decision-making. I have now a broader picture of life.”
KAC Adventure Education Center is located at Km. 42 Transcentral Highway, Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu. It is about 1.5 hours drive to the west from Cebu City via the Central Cebu landscape.
It was designed and built with foremost consideration to creating a safe environment conducive to learning and interaction, on a 10-hectare property that features 28 challenge ropes course elements in four different clusters including the Challenge Hall with nine indoor CRC elements. Facilities include corporate cabins and youth bunks, a community dining hall, administrative hall, conference halls and learning rooms, as well as low initiatives area and reflection area. A medical center with standby ambulance is open 24 hours to respond to any emergencies.
It can accommodate 300 participants per day; the residential facilities can accommodate 64 participants in the corporate cabins and 156 in the youth bunks. There is also a tent area for outdoor camp programs that can hold about 50 participants.
A Challenge Ropes Course (CRC) consists of aesthetically designed series of ropes, cables and wood poles combined in such a way as to simulate challenges that might be found in a natural setting. The CRC is a tool in an experiential education program, offering groups and individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical and emotional risk taking.
CRC programs assure of giving individuals the opportunity to increase their communication skills while becoming more resilient in overcoming self imposed limits and fears, while groups learn to be more interdependent and collaborative. Attempting and succeeding in this type of activity often gives one a feeling of accomplishment, self-worth, elation and recognition that seemingly impossible situations are in fact quite possible.
As for program cost, a three-day two-night CRC program for any public high school is up for a special subsidized training fee at Php600 per person inclusive of food and accommodation. This subsidy, according to RAFI President Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz is a “concrete expression of RAFI’s commitment to making a significant contribution to the public school sector.”
For private schools and youth organizations, different rates apply depending on the kind of program availed. Corporate and professional course fees start at Php5,000 and depends on the program design and duration. Professional programs pay the full cost as the proceeds from these programs subsidize the youth programs.
However, the RAFI KAC Adventure Education Center does not rent out any of its facilities for special events or any corporate meetings or company parties. This is because it is an education center — not a recreation center. Administrators see to it that all activities in the center should be in line with KAC’s mission and vision.
Interested individuals and organizations may contact RAFI KAC at (032) 260-9000 local 1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.