Taking the bold step to resign from a lucrative career in banking and finance in 2010 after 22 years in the industry, Sudaryo Osman, 44, decided to pursue his other love, a life of outdoor adventure, which he has clocked 30 years of experience in outdoor training.
Having inherited a large parcel of land along the Bau-Lundu Road near Mount Serapi in West Kuching, Sarawak, through his mother, the youngest of nine siblings decided to form a family cooperative to convert the land into an “eco camp”. The camp, Sumiran Eco Camp, named in honour of his late father, Sumiran Sastrosutikno, was finally established on Valentine’s Day of 2014.
The family cooperative involves 43 other family members, besides Sudaryo, comprising members who are as old as 68 years old to as young as 18, the minimum age allowed. All of them are directly involved in the running of the camp. While the older members are retirees and devote their time to the camp now, the younger ones have their own careers but head out to the camp to pull their weight as and when they have time off from their work schedule.
As for Sudaryo, with his new role as Camp Chief, it looks like he has traded in his suit and tie for tracksuits for good. He said, “I’ve always loved the outdoors and joined the Boy Scouts when I was in primary school. I continued to be involved in scouting even after I left school. Today, I am the Chief Scout of Sarawak and am in charge of scouts from 37 districts in 11 divisions. Sarawak boasts the largest scout troop in Malaysia after Sabah. Outdoor life is my life. It is a natural part of my existence and I can’t be happier running Sumiran Eco Camp.”
Still, the graduate in Finance and Investment Analysis from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) hasn’t entirely returned his knowledge to his lecturers. He said, “I still love banking and am fortunate that I get to talk about finance and sometimes advise my guests on their investments by sharing my financial knowledge with them. I believe that through my passion in training and by sharing my knowledge with the community, a greater number of people can benefit from it and become more successful.”
Sudaryo, who is a qualified trainer of FranklinCovey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, travelled around the Asia Pacific region to conduct courses even when he was holding a full-time employment at a local bank. Now, with his eco camp, he is combining the best of both worlds, having drawn up his own module that includes life skills-based education to be used in the camp, to help guests develop in the areas of school, career, relationship, home, employment and finance, just to name a few.
Course fees that range from RM35 per school-going child to RM55 per university student and RM260 per corporate client cover board and lodging, module and trainer’s fees.
At the camp, guests go back to basics in an ideal environment to develop their life-skills; strengthen the bond among themselves, meet new friends and even discover a new person from within themselves as the module was drawn up to build self-belief and confidence, be forward thinking, understand reality and strengthen faith.
The course, offered in Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Levels, see guests working in groups to create a group identity, go on personal missions, take part in games such as Zumba, futsal and telematch and be involved in more critical sessions in the jungle that require confidence and bravery, either individually or as a group.
Apart from the above in-house leadership training, coaching and team building, Sumiran Eco Camp also rents out training facilities and is also suitable for rest and recreational activities. Within its property are three jungle trails that measure 1.6km, 2.4km and 3.8km long as well as Sarawak’s longest double zip-line at 161 metres in length and which is sited on a hill. A number of trainers are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)-certified and the camp meets the safety standards of Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia.
Sumiran Eco Camp, located about 6km from the satellite town of Mudajaya City (MJC), that sits on a land size of 22.85 acres, with 19.5 acres fully developed, is the only eco-camp in Sarawak. Green initiatives taken include rainwater harvesting and water recycling. Its man-made pool utilised for water activities is filled with water channelled from the Sarawak River that borders the land. Also, no chemical is used within the solar-powered property, leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible.
Note: An edited version of this article [Simplicity at its best] was published on 2nd October, 2015, in the now-defunct The Malay Mail.
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