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Monday, 05 September 2016 03:43

OBV Camp 2013

an old article..

OBV celebrated the Memorial Day of Hung Vuong

It's time for the finals. The children must be nervous and tired for studying so hard for their final exams. It was a holiday. Since the morning, the management had been planning an unprepared short picnic for the children to relax a little bit. A few ideas were mentioned: fishing, snail hunting, playing in the park, etc. However, none of these were chosen by the majority due to a few constraints. Finally, everybody supported Mother N.'s idea of camping right in the OBV garden. All the tasks assigned must be accomplished quickly, on time within scouting discipline.

OBV Camp Agenda – April 19, 2013
1. Tents Set-Up
2. Group Formation
3. Group Outdoor Games/ Activities
4. Lunch Break
5. Talent Contest Preparation
6. Talent Contest:
a. Eloquence Contest: 2-minute presentation – Topic: "Love until your heart stops beating" – Note: Love within OBV Family
b. Answering to judges' questions
c. Group Singing Competition
d. Creativity Contest
e. Fashion Contest

While sorting out the plastic banners which were used in Father Thong's presentations/ workshops, the children saw one with these words: "Love until your heart stops beating." Wow! This was really a hot topic! Mother N. explained: "The word Love here means the love among OBV family members, not the love in romances between men and women" and she decided to name this camping after this topic. This plastic banner was then used as the background for the performance stage while the others serve as top covers.

When the aunties get back from the grocery stores, the children are done with setting up the tents. The children are divided in two groups: Oc Buou and Oc Gao (1).  In the morning, the children would enjoy a variety of group physical activities and competitions: basket ball, sack race, musical challenges and responses (2), carrying one-another, geographical search, etc. then returned to their own groups to prepare for the talent contest in the afternoon.


An alarm rang at 12:00 PM sharp announcing the lunch time. Everybody enjoyed a delicious lunch with grilled seafood of all kinds: snails, squids, fish, etc. There were not less than 10 dishes. The children tried to grill the eggs but the eggs explode every time they were put on the fire. Grilled eggs then became boiled eggs!

It became so cloudy that we believed it would be raining. Therefore, the talent contest started 10 minutes earlier than scheduled. Everybody was ready. The contest had 5 main parts:

1. Eloquence contest: Each group must select the most eloquent contestant to compete with the other group. This contest aimed to train the children for public speaking, how to be confident before an audience, how to use correct vocabulary and express their feelings about a particular topic, etc. Each group had its own strengths but no one got the maximum score as the children still read their paper from time to time.

2. Answering to judges' questions: The judges were amazed at the fast response of the children to the questions. Both groups gdt the maximum score because of the contestants' skill and partly of the judges' generosity and encouragement.

3. Group Singing Competition: Both groups were very creative in their combination of singing and dancing.

4. Creativity Contest: Not so many creative ideas were noticed.

5. Fashion Contest: Oh my goodness! So many leaves in the garden and newspapers were used to make unique clothing and it was so fun.

To finalize the contest, mother N. had additional questions on the children's feelings for their life in OBV home. Both groups had the same answers. The children said that Father Thong, Mother N, the aunties and the uncles love them so much and take very good care of them. They feel so happy living here. They also learn a lot from Mother N., the aunties and from each other. They feel so safe and confident on their future. However, a few children misinterpreted the relationship among them for being so close to each other.

Mother N. and all the adults in the OBV home expect the children to become more mature in their life style. Even though they admit that this issue still causes a lot of headaches for the OBV management, they do believe that the management of an OBV home can only be successful with love and patience.

We know that a comparison may not be that accurate but if it is needed, we can say roughly that the children behave hundred times much better than they did before coming here.
The holiday flied by with a lot of fun. The next day, everybody in OBV Management would go back to their daily responsibility and their children also returned to their study.

Memorial Day of Hung Vuong (3) in 2013, at OBV Vietnam


(1) Oc Buou and Oc Gao are two kinds of snails that are very popular in Vietnam. They can be cooked in different ways to serve as delicious Vietnamese appetizers.

(2) Musical Challenges and Responses: This game imitates the Quan Ho Vietnamese folk music style, characterized by alternating groups of female and male singers issuing musical challenges and responses. Here is the rule of this game: An initial "challenge phrase" from the known body of songs is sung by one person in group A. Another person in Group B responds by selecting and singing a "matching phrase", which must repeat the melody of the challenge phrase. Once they are finished, the order is reversed, i.e. anybody in Group B now issues their own challenge phrase with a different melody (per Wikipedia).

(3) Memorial Day of Hung Vuong: takes place annually on the 10th of the 3rd lunar month. Hung Vuong was the first king of Vietnamese Dynasty

April 21, 2013

Translated by Le-Anh.  The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Lều Trại OBV"

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