The clouds mull over at the height of the sky, slightly covering the sun on Monday afternoon. One after another, water droplets finally fall onto the windows of the Troops’ minibus. Quite the timing, the Troops arrive at their destination, a story lies awaiting.
It had been more than a year since we went on our last outing at a villa somewhere in Bandung. In 2021, the company outing at the time we initiatively gave the name ‘Camp Inc.’, with the theme of an art camp in the scout's style. As the year 2023 opened with an outing overdue, Camp Inc. made its comeback. After a year of being quite apart, this year’s Camp Inc. team wondered if it would be nice to rekindle that bond while out in nature.
And so, Camp Inc. Out-Bond hath commenced.
As we settled in, our surroundings can be seen with the Troops (Camp Inc. participants) and Rangers (Camp Inc. committees) wearing clothes that each of us had never seen wear. The scene was an oddity to all of us, it seemed like. One who’s infamously known for wearing all-black wasn’t wearing all that much black that day. Another who’s known for wearing a particular brand of shoes did not wear their beloved pair. From plain to full of accessories.
That late afternoon, it seems that The Matrix has broken, and a glitch happens as the Troop arrives in the new environment. The Troops look at each other, taking in the fact that their very style set of clothes is worn by somebody else. Meanwhile, they are wearing the identity of somebody else. Laughter breaks in the air.
The Rangers called for the Troops into the common hall to share the Camp Inc. Troops Kit, which includes: 1. A Pocket Guide / Activity Book, 2. Colored pencils, 3. A pencil, 4. A knotted cord, 5. A whistle. Troops and Rangers can fill in the activities in the book, such as journaling, nature stamping, forage & stick, group drawing, and more.
The first event was one of Thinking*Room Fashion Week’s (TRFW as we call it) events. This season’s event, “Dress Like Your Bestie” involves bonding with a teammate from the other office, wearing an outfit in their paired-up bestie fashion. To coordinate this, the besties need to plan up days or even weeks prior to their arrival. The results were astounding. To us, at the least. Some of us were so good at it that we even mistook it for the actual person they were dressing up as – simply because of how well it was done.
As the sun sunk into the horizon, the event turned into something even warmer – and at some point, something that fired up our energies. This was Social Bond Inc. the game. The bonding essence of this year’s Camp Inc. came from how the Jakarta office and the Bandung office were apart for some time. With newer faces joining on board, we wondered if we could get to know each other even better this time around, with something competitive to fire them up.
Different locations of the office might call for a (slightly) different office culture. Divided into 3 groups, each team consisted of Troops whom the Rangers knew hadn’t bonded previously in the office.
Little did the Troops know, it was not some random group shuffling. It was a secret work of the Rangers.
But in the end, it turned out we weren’t that much apart at all. At the end of the night, from guessing the office’s most used font of the year, guessing random trivia of all of us, to literally yelling an idea across while having their ears blasted with the newest KPop music (mind you, the game is called Silent Scream), the sparks between us had come warmer. As heard from our on-the-spot event feedback, the Troops who barely bonded before had gotten closer after the game. The secret work of our Rangers worked. The laughter between us became so warm that it defeated the chilly Sukabumi night breeze.
The morning in the Sukabumi region that Tuesday calls for a grey sky. Though it wasn’t as sunny as they hoped, the wind quite luckily doesn’t bring rain as its side guest. The Troops welcome the morning weather, ever so gently, with sleepy thoughts, a raspy voice, and bed hairdos. Although one Ranger willfully strolls off their duty in the hallways as a walking alarm, patiently knocking on the doors of each Troop room.
The day ahead of us awaited a trip crossing the river, walking small amongst the bamboo forest, a visit to the establishment’s cow farm, through walkable gardens of fresh fruits and vegetables. There were 2 pointers to catch. The first one was the second “T*R Fashion Week event: T*RCAMP INC.”, which challenge was to let our Troops’ sense of fashion out by utilizing the Camp Inc. scarf shared earlier as the main fashion item and becoming one with the scene. Throughout our exploration, we knew the focus wasn’t the photos we wanted to take. Amazed by the bamboo tree titans and bamboo shoot giants, we felt small yet serene. As if the wind danced with the bamboo trees, they made the sound you’d only hear when you’re in the middle of a bamboo forest. Nowhere else.
The second pointer was kept secret until we arrived at the gardens. As our Troops learned something new about harvesting fresh produce, an announcement commenced.
This is the only time you’ll get to harvest the ingredients you’ll need, for our next afternoon event: the Farm-to-Plate Cook Inc Competition. The menu will be announced in the open kitchen. Please regroup with your assigned group from last night’s game. Utilize every vegetable, fruit, and herb on the farm. We’ll see you in the kitchen soon,” said one of the Rangers.
Strange enough the Troops weren’t panicking as the Rangers assumed they would. And so our Rangers kicked it up a little with the cooking competition.
The menu was called “The Taste of Nature”, bringing the idea of what nature would taste like on a plate. The judging criteria were storytelling of their menu, presentation, and taste. With the same 4-person grouping from the Social Bond Inc. game on the first night, each team has 60 minutes to cook their dish, with every 15 minutes having to switch the Troop on the station. Panic broke in the open kitchen. The Troops were given 10 minutes to discuss the order of the chef at the station and menu assembly. This was the only time for us to witness graphic designers in a (more) professional kitchen setting.
The results were surprisingly unique and (perhaps, quite) tasty. Each plate had thoughtful storytelling to their menu, and the judges were impressed. But one team took the glory home. The day, though still chilly, ended with a nice bonfire night with smores and conversations by the fire.
Sun approached the last day of Camp Inc. Out-Bond. The last day was loose and relaxed, not filled with plentiful activities. Camp Inc. Out-Bond ended with a closing ceremony and the last TRFW event, T*R Fashion Week: “Urban Slow Living”. The concept is to switch our Jakarta office’s urban looks with our Bandung office’s slow living looks. Simple, but comfortable enough for the trip home. Hearts were as full as everyone’s Pocket Guide Book. The closing ceremony commemorates all Troops with participating badges. Three days of something relaxing yet competitive, restful yet energizing. But most importantly, and hopefully, some memories they’ll never forget.
The sunny Wednesday brings the Troops and Rangers to the end of their adventure. The last bit of the walk is the way home. Only “see you soon”s are said, as “goodbye”s become nothing of relevance. Because deep down, each Troop and Ranger knows that even if the distance does not allow it, time, as kind as it’s giving, will allow their paths to cross again.
Click here to visit Camp Inc. on Instagram to watch the full rewind.
Camp Inc. 2023 OUT-BOND Committee of Rangers: Kezia Josephine, Leonardo Laurensius, Miko Awangyudha, Pierre Ang, Sasqia Pristia, Wanda Almira.
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