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The Star Tuesday December 16,
Kids learn survival skills

KUALA LUMPUR: Mosquito attacks and cold rivers did not put off 84 children who took part in Kuntum magazine’s one-day Safety Ranger Camp at Hutan Rimba Ampang, where they were taught survival skills. 

“This is fun. It’s more fun than Sunway Lagoon,” said Lucas Teh, eight, of his first trip to the jungle on Sunday. 

“I learned how to set up a tent and boil eggs with bamboo,” he added. 

Another first timer, Raznina Alysha Radzlan, 10, said this was the best part of her school holiday. 

“I’ve never played in the river or been to the jungle before. I want to come again.” 

For Tan Chai May, eight, the experience had taught her many things. 

FUN AS WELL: Campers fanning the fire so that their eggs would be boil faster in bamboo.

“I was taught how to light a jungle torch and this is my first time on the 'flying fox'. I’m going to teach my brother what I’ve learnt and bring him next year,” she said. 

The children, aged between seven and 12, were taught character building and teamwork. 

S.G. Hashvini, 12, said: “If we don’t do things together, it is very hard to get things to work, such as lighting a fire,” she said. 

J. Tharveen, 10, who came from Mentakab, said his father had encouraged him to be brave. 

“I did the flying fox and learned how to leave ribbon trails in the jungle so that I can follow them,” he said. 

For Fan Ray Aun, 10, the camp was a place to forge new friendships.  

Kuntum editor Datin Amelia Kassim said children should be taught how to handle themselves in every aspect, especially safety. 

“Survival skills are important, as you never know what’s going to happen to you,” she said. 

Campers learned how to be more alert about their surroundings and learnt how to tie various knots, set up camp, make waterproof matches and hammock. 

“Today’s kids depend on packed foods. They don’t know anything about survival,” said camp captain K. Balasupramaniam of the Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, which is involved in fire prevention, road safety and emergencies. 

“Some kids don’t know how to light a match and they don’t want to sit in dirty places in the jungle,” he said.  

“We teach them how to give out an SOS signal, to follow the river and find something bright to leave as a trail if they get lost.” 

The camp’s main sponsor was Nestle Products Sdn Bhd which gave away RM7,000 and Maggi knapsacks. 

Co-sponsors were Kimberly-Clark Trading (M) Sdn Bhd, A. Clouet & Co (KL) Sdn Bhd, Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd, Campbell Soup South-East Asia Sdn Bhd and Pandan Metro Sdn Bhd. 

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