The first ever Tzu Chi Still Thoughts Life Camp in Bohol- the 20th Tzu Chi Youth Camp in the Philippines- marks a significant step to all youths toward becoming Tzu Ching (Tzu Chi Youth).
Around 180 Tzu Chi youths in Bohol, supporting youths in Ormoc City with volunteers from various Tzu Chi satellites in the Philippines convened at Mercedarian Retreat House, Poblacion, Dauis, Bohol on June 1-2, 2019.
In an opening ceremony, house rules and words of motivation were discussed by the camp heads and task personnel. Topics on cultivating blessings, Tzu Chi etiquette, water repentance and the like were shared thoroughly and comprehensively by the Tzu Chi volunteers. Halfway through the gathering, acquaintances and field games ignite the spirit of the youths and volunteers. They learned the importance of trust and camaraderie as fundamentals in achieving success in all their undertakings.
Tzu Chi etiquette, as taught by Volunteer Loreta Chua, teaches the youth on the proper way of behaving, eating, talking, and walking. Presentable in its manifestation yet it enhances the spirit of beauty and goodness as we cultivate life in our daily routines.
Meanwhile, Rejean Ligue, a beneficiary and a current scholar of Tzu Chi Foundation, inspired the youths by her story as one of the Scoliosis patients. Rejean’s involvement in the foundation serves as a reminder to the youths on how to cultivate the blessings being received. Today, she is one of the determined Tzu Chings to count.
“Thank you so much to Tzu Chi and Master Cheng Yen for accepting me as a scholar after my operation. You give me chance to continue my studies and participate in various activities which gave me a lot of learnings”, Rejean said.
Camp participant Janelyn Getigan, who was estranged from her mother for a long time, was moved by the message during the Lessons on Filial Piety.
“The first time I said I love you to my mother was during the time I was accepted as a Tzu Chi scholar. I was not that close to my mom. When my step-father died, she went back home to live with us. I am grateful to Tzu chi for paving a way to mend my relationship with my mother,” she emotionally said.
Janelyn expressed her love to her mom through a message
“Ma, we both know our situation. I know it’s hard but I’ll make sure that I’ll finish my studies. We can do this together, ma.
The night of the first day concluded with an activity called Starry Starry Night which filled the atmosphere with emotions as the youths shared their life stories and experiences. By the end of the activity, the participants realized the values of determination, hardwork, persistence, and trust in their group affinity with the value of filial piety.
Brother Alfredo Li, one of the Tzu Chi volunteers, shared his sentiments on how to inspire others with great love. “Do not think that nobody is watching you. Every little thing changes you,” he said.
A hand-in-hand to one another serves as the foundation in every activity to fulfill its mission and goal. Good thoughts and positive outlooks to a certain gathering fill the gaps of doubts to the success of the activity.
“I’m so happy that we we’re able to succeed with the help of the personnel, committees, and volunteers. I’m really looking forward that this camp will not just end here but will extend and expand to other nations and that the Tzu Chi Foundation is not just a foundation in itself but it extends its hands to the community,” Engr. Ronald Calamba, Camp Head, narrated.
The two-day activity ended with the awarding of gray uniforms to the Tzu chi alumni. Their new uniform made them an official Volunteer of Tzu Chi.
The 2-day youth camp ended by a closing program, awarding of various groups.
The youth camp aims to strengthen the spiritual enrichment and unite the hearts and minds of the Tzu Chi Youth in every endeavor in life. The event was made possible through the efforts of Tzu Chi volunteers, task personnel, and Tzu Chi scholarship alumni.