Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I try to make myself invisible

Many things happened over the weekend. I was at a church camp as logistic support and it was a blast. I enjoyed myself thoroughly making sure that everything was prepared for each session of the camp. The perfectionistic side of me gained satisfaction in seeing that all I had planned for came to pass. It was a fun time of anticipating possible problems and making sure they didn't happen. It might sound like I am making a big deal out of a simple camp, but from my experience, that's the way to make good logistic support - make a big deal out of everything. Look into all the details, try to cover every possible angle, and then add that human touch. Sweet.

I've come up with a list of what you should do to make good logistic support.

1. Know what your logistics are. Make a list and count everything (except disposables) so that you can ensure nothing is lost at the end of the activity.

2. Do not take short cuts in packing or keeping equipment. It pays to pack your stuff neatly and orderly, even if you are going to use them again the next day. This helps cultivate a sense of respect for your equipment and also develop a culture of caring for your equipment among your team. This is especially applicable to wires and audio/ video equipment. You DON'T WANT anything to be tangled up. It will just be a waste of time untangling them.

3. Anticipate, anticipate and anticipate. This could be the one most important word in logistics. You need to always think of what the trainer, activity or session might require and then work towards ensuring that all these needs could be met in the shortest time possible (immediately if possible) and without much hassle. This calls for serious planning.
Eg. When setting up speaker system - How many mikes are needed, are the wires long enough if the speaker wants to walk further out.

Would you need a mike stand? Where do you place it? Would it block someone from seeing the screen?

How many electronic equipment need to be set up? Where is the powerpoint? How should you arrange your extension cords to maximise the power supply available.

Is the table big enough for everything to be place on it? Where would the speaker be standing? How can you place the projector on the table such that he still has place for his laptop and other materials etc.

You probably should be able to think of many more of such questions to ask yourself.

4. Follow your instincts. When you face a situation whereby you wonder if you should prepare for extra equipment just in case something happens, DO IT. Most of the time, it would seem that things would still go on fine... until the dreaded happens and you kick yourself for not being the wiser.

5. Try to be as invisible as possible. Some people don't understand this. The ultimate aim of logistic support is really to provide the support as seemless as possible. This means that when the speaker or trainer or activity leader needs something, it is right there for him before he even needs to ask for it. And when he is done with it, it magically disappears so that nothing gets in the way of him doing his thing. Movement of equipment should be done in the quietest way possible without anybody noticing.

6. Give the human touch. When preparing for this camp, we took the effort to do up the registration counter, even setting up a stand decorated with flowers and with a box of sweets to greet the participants who came in. A small gesture but certainly goes a long way. During breakfast, soft music was played in the background of the dining hall to welcome the campers. Where possible, background music becomes a brilliant way to transit from one session/ activity to the next.

7. Lastly, have fun. If you have a team working with you, give clear instructions so that together with your team's initiative, tasks can be completed in the fastest time possible. Enjoy your service with you team. Encourage them constantly and appreciate them.

As I type this, I am preparing to fly off to Shenyang, China for an overseas Service Learning trip. More on that when I return. I've got to be at the airport at 6am so I've got to rush. Anyways, I am still looking for kind souls who are willing to help find this trip for me. I get to extend fundraising till one month after the trip. Pls help if you can. :)

Joshua Teo


Friday, May 18, 2007

Photo Essay : "A Cake Called Yummylicious"

Chocolate Chip Cupcake from
cedele bakery.


My First Time

I taught my first photography lesson to a friend 2 Tuesdays ago. No, I am not a professional, I don't even consider myself a serious hobbyist, but I thought it would be fun to share whatever knowledge I had with someone who was just starting out.

We spent some time seating in front of the comp looking through photos I had taken before that I considered successful shots and went through a crash course on how to use his Canon 350D. After that, we took off downstairs my condo for some real-time action! It was really refreshing for me to walk around with my camera looking for interesting things to capture. I haven't done that in a looong while, not since GCYC Conference last year I think!

After a while, we were taking secret pictures of people which we termed "candid shots" but I admit if I showed them to you, you would think we were more like stalkers! Ha! There was this one with a VJ boy and his gf though.... now don't let your imagination run wild! They were just sitting on a bench talking! Ha ha. Anyways, back to our pictures. Although the sun was fast disappearing, we managed to get some interesting pictures. Here are some of mine. Enjoy. :)