Strength & Dedication: My time at the action camp
(Guestpost by Tenzin Rabsang)
Ever walked into a place where you are immediately captured by the enthusiasm and motivation radiated by people? A place that upon reminiscing, urges a release of emotions, convincing you that the time spent in that place was powerful and life altering. One such place for me was SFT Action Camp in Germany, where friendly and welcoming personalities urged me to be the best I can be. The atmospheric determination that shrouded the camp unified all people from different backgrounds and countries. The constant flow of conversations and intelligent discussions among the participants taught me a lot about the world and the situation inside Tibet. More importantly, being surrounded by such dedicated and experienced leaders such as Pema Yoko, Kala, Kate, Padma Dolma, Ugyen and many others humbled me, as I learned that there was a lot more to know about the world and millions of possibilities, many of which could lead to an independent Tibet. I learned that a Free Tibet will exist, it is just a matter of finding and exploring possibilities.
This belief came through workshops which were facilitated by intelligent and open-minded trainers. To be honest, I think that it is an injustice to call them workshops, to me, they felt more like an exchange of ideas and philosophies between the trainers and participants. The trainers merely initiated the discussions. I learned a lot of skills through the workshops which I have already started to share among my friends back in New York. Skills such as public speaking, media advocating and campaign orchestrating made me feel like a savvy activist. Although it is apparent that I have a lot more to learn when I am placed in juxtaposition with the trainers in camp haha! However, the workshops were not all that made Action Camp such an adventure. It was the participants, their stories of dedications and grit fighting for Tibet, their ideas and personal philosophies and their friendliness encouraged me to be the best Rabsang I could be.
The sense of community forged by the nightly bonfires molded a permanent smile on my face, which I carried throughout the length of the camp and which I still carry now, whenever nostalgia prompts me to. The relationships I built in just the six days of camp will last a lifetime, as we stand together hand in hand against a powerful dictatorial regime that many people think will never falter. Well if those people had witnessed the strength and dedication of future leaders and activists that I had witnessed, they would know that no regime is strong enough to be able to absorb the impact of a movement powered by the youth.