There is a story behind everything. We are no exception.
WHAT WE ARE
We are a social enterprise. Our activities, programmes and events are designed to benefit society. Our commercial activities are integrated with our community service.
We are a continuous work in progress. We are constantly striving to develop activities, programmes and events that will engage communities and enhance the richness of their lives.
We are partners. We are always open to collaborate with both public and private organisations, as well as individuals. We welcome ideas, suggestions and feedback.
In today’s world, there are so many things that we do too much of: we eat too much, play too much on our smartphones, binge-watch too many TV dramas, shop too much online, and the list goes on and on. And it doesn’t take a genius to tell us that these excesses are not only bad for our health but also very bad for our planet.
Well, the good news is that there is one thing that we can’t do too much of — learn. And that is probably the best way to counter the excesses mentioned above. But we don’t mean going to school to get an education. As Mark Twain famously quipped, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
It is said that humans first evolved in Africa. If that is true, then it would be apt to highlight a bit of African wisdom here. First, a traditional African proverb says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Second, an African term points to the interdependence of all things — ubuntu. Actually, ubuntu means “humanity”, but it is often translated as “I am because we are”, or “humanity towards others”.
We believe that this universal bond of sharing not only connects all of humanity but it also connects the entire planet Earth. Animals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects are also Earthlings, and Earth is our home. The natural environment — forests, mountains, rivers, oceans, and everything else not built by humans — is what supports life on this planet.
Therefore, we strongly believe we must learn to live in harmony with nature, i.e. not try to bend it to our will. In order for humankind to flourish, we must work with nature, not against it — which is why I SKOVEN’s core values are as follows:
Everything begins with Mother Nature, without whom we will not be here. All that we do should be in accordance with the laws of nature, and all our endeavours should avoid long term environmental damage.
Far too often we take learning much too seriously and making profits even more seriously. We learned from experience that the best learning takes place when we are having fun, which is why we insist that people come first and they must have serious fun at our campsites.
As young men, we learned that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well; and if it’s not worth doing well, it’s not worth doing at all. Similarly, when it comes to serving our customers and the community, we believe in going the extra mile.
For us, learning is for life; both in terms of duration and purpose. In other words, we believe that the goal of learning should be achieving wisdom that enables us to live harmoniously with nature and peacefully with other people — even if they are different from us. Thus, for us, learning is about edification, not just education.
The story of I SKOVEN actually began a long time ago, way before the name or idea even popped into anybody’s head. (Just so you know, we are talking about the 1970’s.)
It began very simply with a few boys who went to the same school. They actually attended school in different years but, apart from the school, they had something in common: All of them enjoyed camping and the camaraderie they found in scouting.
As they say, “Once a scout, always a scout.” Thus, these group of “old boys”, met and kept in touch with each other after they left school, simply because of their common bond of scouting lessons. That was enough.
One day, sometime in the 2010’s, one of them said, “Why don’t we set up a campsite for scouts and other uniform groups in Kuala Lumpur?” That was the beginning of the Centre for Scouting Excellence. That idea led to the creation of City Camping Park in Cheras.
After camping for many years in Hulu Yam, the old scouts found a nice spot along Sungai Sendat in 2019. Hence, they created D’Haven @ Sendat to expand their endeavour to bring the great outdoors to people in general (not just to scouts or other uniform groups) because they believe that people who are connected to nature have better and more meaningful lives.
Then they realised that there’s a profound need to educate people — so that people can reconnect with nature, other people and themselves — especially in light of the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020.
Thus, the idea of offering a Forest School programme came into the picture. Since the concept of forest schools began in Denmark, one of them translated “forest” into Danish, and discovered that i skoven stands for “in the forest”.
Thus, the seed of I SKOVEN was planted in March 2020, and the first green shoots emerged in June 2020.
We hope that our story will continue to be written in the generations to come, and inspire people to reconnect with nature, other people, their work, and themselves.