IT was a BRATs camp of two extremes.
We went from staying at a cushy luxury resort, to riding through the jungle on the back of a truck and shovelling elephant poo.
It was exciting, relaxing, exhausting and emotional, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The BRATs Raub 2015 young journalist camp was one of the most memorable BRATs camps EVER – and we’ve been running these camps since 1993!
Held at the Casabrina luxury resort in Raub, Pahang, the camp is the first of three which R.AGE will be organising this year, and boy did we start out with a bang.
The 34 participants, some of the most talented aspiring journalists from across the country, were sent on unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime field assignments.
They included a truck ride to the Sungai Dalam orang asli village, a behind-the-scenes look at the National Elephant Conservation Centre at Kuala Gandah (where they got to hug some baby and adult elephants) and, of course, a tour of the unique, eco-friendly Casabrina resort.
The journalists that facilitated the camp – R.AGE editor Ian Yee (yours truly), R.AGE journalist Lim May Lee and Star2 entertainment journalist Kenneth Chaw – were each assigned a group of participants, and the challenge for each team was to come up with the best stories, photos and videos to be published here in The Star next Tuesday.
Despite the rivalry, the mood was always positive.
In fact, some of the BRATs were telling us how inspired they were by the talent around them!
Don’t be surprised if some of these BRATs become top journalists some day, changing the world story by story.
To all the participants at BRATs Raub, there’s only one thing left for us to say, and we’ll say it with great pride – welcome to the BRATs family!
You lot are now officially BRATs teen journalists =)
Workshops, workshops, workshops
After registration, the BRATs had a whole day of journalism-related workshops.
Apart from the technical stuff (photography, videography, writing skills, etc.), they also learned how to be responsible, ethical and fair journalists.
Trip to the orang asli village
A convoy of pickup trucks took us through the jungle to the Sungai Dalam orang asli village. We also had a tour of Casabrina’s unique facilities, and interviewed its owner, Felix Tee.
The elephants in the room
We didn’t just get to play and take a whole bunch of selfies with the elephants, we also got to feed them, clean their enclosures, and speak to the people who help rescue and train them.
BRATs for life
On the last day, we made the super hard-working Kenneth an honourary BRAT (he applied in 2007, but his camp was canceled because of the SARS outbreak), and that sparked an emotional final few hours at Casabrina.
The farewell was temporary, of course, because we have a little saying here at The Star: Once a BRAT, always a BRAT =)
Scroll down below the comments for all our photos from BRATs Raub, courtesy of veteran Star photojournalist and BRATs trainer SAMUEL ONG.