Tenzin Wangchuk, Thimphu
This year’s Golden Youth Award (GYA) camp comes with a different colour. Not only it is to mark the 10th year of GYA, but this GYA is also to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the President of Youth Development Fund (YDF), Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck.
Similar to the past years, 80 students from 20 Dzongkhag (two males and two females from each Dzongkhag) are contending for the prestigious golden youth award. In a week-long programme, the contestants will participate in various co-curricular activities and the stand-out performer will take home the award with the title ‘the Golden Youth of the year’.
According to the organizers of the camp, the main objectives behind is to render a platform for young students to take part in the leadership training activities and programmes.
“It is also a platform to exchange ideas and perspectives on issues affecting their lives for both rural and urban youth, motivate youth to be hard working, responsible, and consistent and excel in both academic and co-curricular activities,” said one of the organizers.
The winner, he said, will get an opportunity to study in some renowned colleges across the globe.
He also mentioned that the participants of the camp will compete in the fields of academic excellence, literary, general knowledge & IQ, talent, games & sports, and social services.
Talking to The Journalist, Karma Tenzin, a student of Bjishong Central School, said when he was told that he was selected for the camp, he was very happy.
“It is a dream of every student to take part in the camp. Once we get selected for this, the tag of excellence follows us. Thus, naturally my joys knew no bounds when I got selected from our district,” said Karma Tenzin.
Another participant, Sonam Choden of Tsenkharla Central School, said that the competition is very tough. “And it is only going to be tougher as we proceed in the competition. Here, we are thrown out of our comfort zones and hauled into unfamiliar rings to beat other contenders. I am not fond to playing football but here, I have to play to earn points on my scoreboard,” she said.
“Apart from the competitions, I get to make more friends and learn many new things,” added Sonam Choden.
The winner of last year’s GYA, Nawraj Rai, will soon leave for United World College Pearson in Canada but he is present at the camp to help and guide the new participants.
“I see this competition from two perspectives. One, irrespective of our knowledge on certain arena, we have to follow the instructions. The score counts not by how good we are in that given fields but by how adaptive we are at the situations. Two, it is mainly to boost our knack to compete in lives and become a productive citizen,” said Nawraj Rai.
Sangay Tempa , the winner of 2010 GYA camp, said that the level of competition this year has gone up.
“I think this year’s winner will be the most competent one among all the past winners,” said Sangay Tempa.
However, one of the past participants is of the opinion that the selection process will be easier this year. “Unlike in our times, this year, there are many trainers and instructors to help shape up the character in the participants,” he said.
Meanwhile, the golden youth award camp of 2017 began on last Thursday and the winner will be declared on 11th of this month. The YDF initiated the GYA in 2005 to commemorate the 50th Birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, with the aim to motivate and reward outstanding youth portraying excellence in academics, sports, cultural activities, leadership, social contributions and exceptional talents.