C. Abineshwary, who is now 21 years-old, shares her experience participating in a Maharani camp in Kepong, Selangor seven years ago.
“I was 15 years old when I joined the first phase of the Maharani camp which was held at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in Kepong. There were many girls from schools in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur who attended the camp. We all came from different backgrounds, I came from a government school, some came from private schools, some from international schools and there were even girls from orphanages,” she began.
The girls, despite their differences, learned to make friends and enjoyed the camp activities for the next three days two nights.
“I would highly recommend girls who are introvert to join this camp because the coordinators can help them to step out of their own world and be more confident.
“Extroverted girls will be able to adapt wherever they go but the introverts may not find it so easy to survive. The camp can definitely help them to be bold and learn new skills and make friends,” she said.
She recalled the night walk as something that helped her to overcome her fears.
“We were taught how to overcome our fears, for example, if we feared something, then the camp coordinators would hold an activity to help us to overcome it. I used to be afraid of the dark and insects. The night walk helped me to overcome both the fears. It may be small to others, but to me, it was very significant especially as I grew older,” she said.
Among others, Abineshwary said the camp experience helped her to be more confident when speaking to others and improve her leadership skills.
“In one of the activities, we were put into groups and I was chosen to lead one of the team. That was my first time leading a team. The experience made me feel good about myself and I began to have the confidence to talk to people even strangers.
“The most memorable thing from the camp was the people that I had met during the camp and the bond that we built during the days we spent together. It was very special to know that you have someone to talk to,” she added.
Abineshwary said she would love to volunteer for the Maharani programme if given a chance.
“I want to give back to the girls what was given to me through this programme,” she added.
This article is part of the series to share the journey of Maharani’s 10th anniversary celebration in 2020.