March 18-19, 2016 were days to remember for our mighty Sparkans! On these days, they left the comforts of the city, their home, air-conditioned rooms, technology and their favorite pizza. :)


March 18 (Day 1)

Day 1 started at the foot of JEST (Jungle Environment Survival Training) Camp.

Sparkan parents, students and teachers gathered for the first discussion about jungle survival. Our instructors, Kuya Ed and Kuya Nomer, are already the 3rd generation of natives who train people on how to thrive in the jungle.

They taught our Sparkans how to identify different useful vines. They were thrilled to know that there are vines for drinking and even for washing your hair and body!

Another thing demonstrated by Kuya Ed was how to make cups, utensils and rice pots out of bamboo. Now that’s resourceful and Earth-friendly!

And according to our instructors, there is fashion even in the jungle! Look at the fabulous 'Peter Pan Hat'.

One of the most important things to know when in the jungle is how to make fire. Kuya Nomer just taught our Sparkans that with the use of dry bamboo.

After the basic how-to's and what-not's, Kuya Ed and four of his friends led the enthusiastic group to the trail going to the campsite.

The downhill trail was no easy task for our Sparkans. It proved to be a test of tenacity and perseverance, but there is no difficult task when you are among good and happy company.

After the 30-minute trek, our group was welcomed by the view of the campsite and the rustling sound of a nearby stream.

The group took no more time to wait. Sparkans immediately refreshed themselves in the flowing water.

After that splash of nature, tents were pitched. And, just before everybody prepares for dinner, Kuya Ed and Kuya Nomer introduced more of the jungle’s flora and fauna.

The excitement in the campsite continues as Sparkan students had a fire-making competition!

The same fire was used to cook the rice for dinner. Application of learning sure happens quick in this kind of environment as Sparkans utilized bamboo rice pots for cooking.

Once the rice is done, the grilling commenced. Students really had a fun time grilling their chicken barbeque, bacons, meat cuts, and sausages! They also were resourceful in being able to cook their noodles and canned goods! And what is camping without MARSHMALLOWS?

After a fulfilling dinner, the group gathered around the bonfire and had a jamming session before a much deserved good night's sleep. (No photos because the batteries were empty at that time.)


March 19 (Day 2)

A cold morning woke up our Sparkans.

And just like what mostly happened behind the activities yesterday, bonding continued as the sun shone on the campsite.

After some time to fix themselves, Sparkans had another demonstration from the junglers. This time, it's all about traps! Kuya Ed and Nomer showed us how to set up traps for intruders, and also for wild animals.

The trapping techniques was the final demo the group had from our master junglers. And at this point, our Sparkans were getting ready to trek back up to the assembly point which was at the pavilion area of JEST.

During the assembly, the organizing committee formed by the BIS coordinators Teacher Francis, Teacher Jeans, and Teacher Rancy in partnership with the JEST management, awarded certificates and badges as proof that each Sparkan who joined has survived more than 24 hours in the jungle!

After the badges, a second round of awarding was done to recognize the outstanding Sparkan campers. The fist award, was given to the outstanding family camper -- The Schmitt family.

The second award was given to the outstanding high school campers, Josh and Zachary.

And the Spirit of Sparkan award which symbolizes curiosity, tenacity, perseverance and risk-taking was awarded to Joaquin Villa of the Grade 2 class.

Finally, as the saying goes, "All good adventures come to an end." But for our Sparkans, it is only the end of one camping chapter. There is always a new beginning and a new opportunity that is also for other Sparkans who missed the enjoyable trip. Until the next camping! Ahoooo!

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