The Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp, 21-24 May 2015 in Pulau Langkawi

A Summary of the Camp by EcoKnights interns, Ernani Rahman and Fazira Kamilan

The first sustainability camp of the year has finally passed. It came and went like the wind. The fun-filled camp took place over 4 days and 3 nights. The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa was the camping ground for the participants. The camp marked the first time EcoKnights and Genovasi joined forces to incorporate environmental education and design thinking in the camp’s modules. The camp exposed the participants to the concept and application in design thinking in addressing island-based environmental and social issues in Pulau Langkawi, specifically for Pantai Cenang. This taught the participants practical ways to design effective and innovative community-based programs to address an urgent environmental or social issue. The sustainability camp was specially designed for youths from the ages of 16 up to 24 year olds coming from secondary schools to universities, as well as homeschooling. The participants are also from different parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

Day 1

The camp began on the morning of Thursday, 21 May 2015. Participants were greeted at Kuah Jetty, Langkawi by EcoKnights representatives, Fadly Bakthiar the Program Director, and Fazira Kamilan, the camp coordinator. The camp began with ice-breaking activities involving all 19 participants and crew, which were led by EcoKnights officer, Andrew Zoromski and Azman Ismail of Genovasi.

The participants were then requested to set up their own camping tents, kindly provided by the resort. Subsequently, Genovasi launched its camp courses with an introductory session to explain the upcoming activities and learning objectives. For all sessions, the participants were divided to 4 groups with a coach leading them.

After an hour break for lunch and prayer, the participants continued to the nearby Pantai Cenang for an “Empathy Session”. In this session, the groups engaged with the residents of Cenang Beach, including vendors, beach boys, and tourists, by conducting informal interviews. The aim of such interviews was to discover how the public felt about the environmental problems faced, i.e. proper waste management, recycling, tourists attitude towards Langkawi Island’s cleanliness, etc.

After almost 2 hours of interview sessions, the participants undertook a “define session” with their teammates and coaches to collate and record their findings and data from the “empathy session”.

This was followed by a focus group session with Giorgio Catucci of DHL. Under Gio’s session, the participants learned the meaning of sustainable living. Last but not least for the first day, the participants attended a film screening, “Sunset over Selungo”.

Day 2

On the second day of the camp, the participants began their day with a breakfast provided by the Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa. An Eco Walk around the resort was also arranged. Led by the resort’s staff, the walk comprised of showing the youths the “green” side of the resort, such as the recycling facilities, waste management, and etc.

The participants then continued to have another session with Genovasi. In this session, called “Ideate Session”, the participants brainstormed in their teams the ways in which they could help the locals in Langkawi with their problems.

Following “ideate session”, they proceeded to have a “prototype session”, where they created objects and products from recyclable materials. These objects act as a prototype for the participants to use for their experiment at Cenang Beach. In this experiment called “Test Session, the participants asked the locals to try the prototypes, and give their feedback on it.

Subsequent to the “prototype session, the “iterate session” was held where the participants analyzed their actions so far, and whether they were approaching the problems in a practical way. The participants also conducted small presentations to update on their progress. For the last activity of the second day, iM4U flew all the way to Langkawi to have a session with the participants to inform of the many ways the youths could contribute and volunteer in Malaysia.

Day 3

The participants kick-started their third day with more practice for their final presentations. Around 11 a.m., the participants had the opportunity to take the Geopark Educational Tour courtesy of Datuk Alexander J. of Tropical Charters Sdn. Bhd. The day was also taken up of a beach cleanup at Cenang Beach as an afternoon activity.

In the evening, Gio took over and had a session with the participants called, “Project Management” which invigorated the youths to create an unbreakable ‘spaceship’ for an egg. The purpose of this session was to equip the participants with skills in project management, leadership, and teamwork.

Day 4

The last day of the camp consisted of the participants finishing up their final presentations, and presenting them in front of Fadly Bakhtiar, EcoKnights’ Program Director, and Mr. Anthony Wong, the Managing Director of the Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa.

The camp concluded with certificates presentations, and a photo group session.

Overall, the KON Sustainability Camp provided 20 youths with the necessary exposure, knowledge and awareness on addressing environmental issues, and the approaches required to ensure that solutions are holistic and integrated with the needs of the communities. More information about how you can be part of the camp can be found on www.knightsofnature.my

 

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