RAFI's Kool Adventure Camp Site in Balamban Cebu

I've made a short blog post once before on KAC since it was a module part of the Young Minds Academy, another youth, leadership, citizenship, education and developmental program of RAFI. And after 5 years since my 1st KAC-Experience (Activities were mainly held in a camp site in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City), I'm back to witness the inauguration which was attended by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes.

It is a new and unique adventure learning-educational facility nestled in the mountains of Balamban, in KM42 highway of Barangay Cansumoroy, Cebu. The site is accessible through the Transcentral Highway, which is located around 40 kilometers Northwest of Cebu City.

These represent the flight stages and at the same time the 3 C's: Character, Competence and Citizenship

A flagship program of Rafi under its leadership and citizenship focus area, the Kool Adventure Camp is the first and only fully dedicated adventure education center in the Philippines.

“The KAC is a serious attempt to build leadership attributes in the Filipino youth. The center will offer programs that are designed to be fun, but in purpose to promote self-confidence, trust, optimism, positive attitude, courage, respect for others, and the assumption of one’s responsibility for one’s own future” - RAFI president Roberto Aboitiz

Photo from RAFI: 3D Site Map Model of the facility
The new camp, which has been running for a year and three months, can serve 300 participants per day. It has corporate cabins that can accommodate 64 participants and youth bunks where up to 156 persons can stay. It also has a tent area for outdoor camp programs that can accommodate about 50 participants.

Meeting old and making new friends; seeing old and taming new dragons!

A Social Investment:
Private schools and organizations, including local government units, are charged a minimum fee of P6,000 per person per day for a minimum of 10-12 person for the recommended standard 3-Day KAC program (The fee covers the trainings, food and accommodation).

Edvan Loh (KAC Camp Director) said, the fees paid by private institutions will help in subsidizing trainings for public school students.

One of the new ropes courses in the KAC Facility

“The critical first step towards creating real change in the community is the belief and confidence that you can make the difference. Through specially designed and facilitated learning experiences, all our campers experience personal empowerment and breakthroughs in what they believe they can achieve. Our campers also graduate with strong leadership skills and team values which are tested, practiced and developed throughout the course of our programs. This is how Kool Adventure Camp best supports RAFI’s thrust of touching the lives of people we serve.” - RAFI-KAC Camp Director Edvan Loh.

Department of Education Undersecretary for External Linkages Mario Deriquito also said that "the KAC is one of the answers to the challenge of developing an engaged citizenry. And this is an excellent facility to help develop the foundation for good leaders.”

While the KAC caters to professionals and government officials, Aboitiz said its main target is the youth. The camp has a subsidized training fee at P600 per person for public high schools.

Risk Assessment and Safety:
SAFETY in the Kool Camp is the top most priority in the camp. As you walk through its halls, corridors and hilly challenging terrains, you will then see that safety, occupational, personal and biological hazards has been thoroughly thought of.

SAFETY has once again been ingrained in the organizational systems, program rules and the staff, particularly in the compliance with policies, adherence to protocols, as well as benchmarking with international standards and practices of the Kool Adventure Camp program. Local operating procedure and risk assessment and management also guided the programming design to ensure all activities have been approved to be safe for the participants.

That's me, unable to contain my excitement, being giddy all day like a little kid. Lez Do Dizz!
How safe is it? So I tried it myself of course!
Trusting old friends and new (Stanning, Sky, Kuya Bre as support, belayers, spotters and cheerleaders!) #Yehey
The 1st step was the most difficult, the middle part too. But I trusted my support and kept calm to carry on forward. Thanks to Bjorn Bernales for taking some of the action pictures!
On to the next challenge. This is officially my 2nd wall climb but 1st time with full support, & spotters!
I just wanted to reach the top without falling and I did it! The next challenge they say is to reach the top faster and with lesser effort or 'moves'.

The camp’s facilitators and staff went through a rigorous training regimen. The training involved risk assessment and management and first aid and basic life support, among others. A number of senior staff members received training from international institutions like the National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound Singapore and Project Adventure. The Kool Adventure Camp is also a member of the Association for Experiential Education in the US, which helps staff members learn from experts in the field.

If you don't like to stay inside, outside is always a welcome option.

KAC Program Offerings and Amenities:
The Kool Adventure Camp offers a three-day, two-night challenge ropes course program. But it can customize a program to meet the training needs of its clients. The camp features 28 challenge ropes course elements divided in four clusters.

The food was great! I've been spoiled with RAFI-Food and this was a bit nostalgic :D

View from the canteen/pantry area overlooking the Summit, and the accommodation
That looks a really awesome and awe-inspiring accomodation: bunks, regular and executive rooms.

It has training halls, tent areas, trekking trails, a medical center and other facilities. In the Philippines, the KAC is the only associate member of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, a trade organization serving challenge course professionals all over the world.

They have also an emergency medical facility, calling it a clinic is an understatement: 6 beds, with isolation rooms, full medical supplies, standby ambulance and this emergency room too boot!

Ate Sol at the Monitoring Room: Operations Center - staff can monitor the activities in the Camp via CCTVs

KAC’s Youth Development Programs include Character and Leadership Adventure Camps, Land and Sea Expedition Programs, Urban Heritage Backpacking and Eco-Adventure Service Learning Programs.

The Professional Development Programs include Adventure Training and Consulting, Challenge Course Synergy Programs, Leadership and Development Adventure Courses and Corporate Expedition Series. The 10-hectare camp boasts of amenities and training programs designed to make it the premier adventure education center in Asia.

Aside from its regular program offering of a three-day, two night challenge ropes course program, other courses can be as short as a single day program [like the one we experienced during the inauguration] or as long as a ten-day combined land and sea expedition activity with a service learning component. RAFI-KAC can also fully customize a program to meet the training needs of participants and clients.

RAFI KAC will also offer the following courses focused on developing more adventure educators in the country: Outdoor Educators Training Course, Leave No Trace - Outdoor Ethics Trainers Course, Adventure Training Course for Teachers and Games & Initiatives Workshop.

The old dragons (Primary and standard ropes course): High Wire, Pamper Pole and this group Wall climb wall - it certainly looked improved and bigger compared to the one in Punta Engaño, Mactan.
Camping Site down below, definitely away fro the buildings - an alternative accommodation and experience
Other than the climbing wall and sky bridge in which I've tried, there are two other indoor courses: this indoor big ladder, and a pamper jump thingy (similar to a pamper pole)

Reflections and Recommendation:
I know this has already been a very long blogpost, so let's make it a bit longer! :3

I have no doubt that taking the three-day course with Kool Adventure Camp would create many unforgettable experiences for you! The Kool Adventure Camp ropes course was to say the least a nerve wracking experience to say the least. One simple exercise for example teaches you to build trust amongst your peers.

Way back 2009 at the KAC-Punta Engaño Site - Pamper Pole Challenge

For the pamper pole for example, you climb up the pole alone, but once you reach the top, you must rely on others to support you. When your life is on the line, we tend to succumb to fear, to flee from danger. If you relate that to work or management or leadership, if you do not go beyond your comfort zone, you will never learn and experience new things, you will be limited because you are afraid to innovate and is just satisfied with the status quo.

"Fear is not evil. It tells you what your weakness is. And once you know your weakness, you can become stronger, as well as kinder."  - Gildarts, Fairy Tail

Well we can't leave without a selfie of course!! :D

And this is just one of the many experiences that you can get in the KAC program. One simple exercise is to build trust among your peers or it could be as complicated as growing up, meeting friends for life and perhaps many more! I would not be the person I am today if I did not experience KAC, it helps to build one's strength and character. I am who I am because of who I was, I am the sum of my experiences!


About KAC (Kool Adventure Camp):
KAC started in 1999 and has since conducted over 300 adventure programs to a total of over 10,000 participants for both the youth development programs and professional development programs. KAC is a 10-hectare property featuring 28 very challenging ropes course   complete with living facilities like corporate cabins and youth bunks.

It has served some 14,000 participants both in the Youth Development Programs and Professional Development Programs. The new camp features three iconic structures in the shape of birds called The Flight, designed by renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

The dignity of a man is best respected by helping him realize his hopes and by sharing with him the burden of his fears. -Don Ramon Aboitiz
RAFI's Kool Adventure Camp Site in Balamban Cebu RAFI's Kool Adventure Camp Site in Balamban Cebu Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Monday, August 11, 2014 Rating: 5

No comments