Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Australian Scout (March 2008)

This came fresh in the email from Jules Rikkers, International Commissioner of the Western Australian (Branch) of Scouts in Perth. Its an article published in a magazine known as The Australian Scout. It showcases the 3rd Cub Scout Camporee held there in November 2007.

1- and 2-Star Kayaking Course

The weekend was burnt, literally. Most of the Scouts and our GSL are now recovering from sun burns as our unit undertook the 1- and 2-Star Kayaking Personal Skill Award Course. A grueling two days have passed and six of our Scouts and a Venture Scout is now 1-Star Certified! They are as shown in the photo below.Click here for a list of the skills covered in 1-Star.

I was from the 2-Star Course and we did many exciting new things over and above refining on our 1-Star Skills. A summary of the new skills we learnt over the last two days are:

Low Support Recovery
Hitting the water with your paddle when you are losing you balance.

High Support Recovery
Hitting the water with your paddle when water is as high as your waist and you are losing your balance.

Stern Rudder
Used to steer your kayak left and right

Sculling Draw
To glide the kayak left or right.
On day two, we learnt the following:

Deep water T-X rescue
It is something we had learnt in the 1-star but this time round we will have to do it alone. Meaning we will have to empty the victim's kayak alone. This is very tiring.

Eskimo bow rescue
Used to rescue people without the victim coming out of the kayak when capsize.

Sculling draw with edging
Edge when drawing to reduce water residence.

Low brace turn
It is turning with edging and it is used to turn sharping and quickly.
We have one more lesson to go, during which we will be planning and executing a 6 km Kayak expedition. We're all roused up for that (and to announce that we are 2-Star Certified)!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Welcome To Our Family!

The Leaders and Sixers' Council have been looking forward excitedly for this day. Preparations began last week when everyone was tasked to make welcome cards/bookmarks for their soon to be new little brothers who would join us today.A total of twenty-nine P3 Cubs, two P4 Cubs and four P5 Cubs joined us today from 3:45pm. The meeting began as usual with what seemed like the loudest, most lively Grand Howl we have heard in the last few weeks. After the flag break, the Sixers taught a few songs while Serpent gave a welcome speech and began on a short but quick introduction to Scouting and the Law and Promise.

This was quickly followed by a game called "Confused Promise" whereby the new Cubs recapped the Scout Promise which they had just learnt. After a short break, the Sixers took over again with yet another game called "Law-Hunt" which took the Cubs on a serious treasure hunt in every corner of the school. The game then helped the Cubs recap the five Scout Laws which would guide their lives from today.

Finally, the day ended with the first traditional game which we would be using on the day of the Prime Minister's visit, Kabbidi. This was a traditional Indian game which required no equipment. It was however quite rough and we had to modify it a little for safety reasons.

The day ended with the distribution of the Admission Booklets to all the new Cubs and them writing down the contacts of their new found friends.

With the new members, we have reached our maximum membership cap at one hundred!Berry Nice!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Air Flown

Just in from Malta and Egypt, following the Chief Commissioners' Visit...
A letter of thanks and Malta District badges from Mr David SchembriA calender printed on real Egyptian papyrus from Mr Ahmed Abdellatif!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Exploration Hike

Its our weekly unit meeting again.. Very Nice! This week was kinda special, instead of having our regular meetings in our Den, we went off for an Exploration Hike. Almost all the Scouts were caught off guard. Great Success!

Anyway, you won't be able to catch us in our den for the next few weeks as we'd be away for One/Two Star Kayaking Course as well as training for the NDP'08 Scout Marching Contingent. Alright, shan't hold you back any longer, will let the pictures do the talking!

Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly! However, we also hope that through all these activities, we had reminded our Scouts about our Promise and Law, and nurtured them to live a purposeful and responsible adulthood, always prepared to serve God, country and humanity. We do our best!

Today, we also invested the Proficiencies owed -

  • Scintillating Owl
  • Zabidi Kamsani

Rescuer/Life Saver:
  • Scintillating Owl

World Friendship + Conservation:
  • Scintillating Owl
  • Zabidi Kamsani

  • Scintillating Owl (APL, Eagle)
Oh and by the way guys, a piece of good news... GSL Fiery Serpent just received notification that he will be conferred the Chief Scout's Commendation this year! Congratulations bro!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Standard Camp II - Day Three

Time really flies and with a blink of an eye we have came to the end of the camp. I believe that our boys have grown and matured during the course of the camp and because of that, it was a great success. Through the activities in Standard Camp II, our boys have learnt to be more self-reliant, more responsible for their actions, having more courage in difficult situations (they are on the brink of giving up the hike), the importance of working together as a patrol and troop, and the importance of effective communication.

Although it was agreed that it was a tough camp, we know that the Scouts would be able to tackle situations or problems that they face in life in a more effective way and be able to make use of the skills that they have learnt and teach them to the Cub Scouts and future younger Scouts. As leaders, we think it was very nice to see the boys developing into better persons.

The following were awarded at the end of the camp:

Advanced Scout Standard:
  • Spirited Scorpion
  • Vivacious Otter
  • Danger Mouse
Scout Standard:
  • Mario Thng
  • Astute Possum
  • Koh Zhe Jia
  • Loo Yu Yang
  • Maverick Zebra
  • Zealous Seal
  • Kenny Ng
Proficiencies owed -

  • Spirited Scorpion
  • Vivacious Otter
  • Danger Mouse
  • Astute Possum
  • Loo Yu Yang
Rescuer/Life Saver:
  • Spirited Scorpion
  • Vivacious Otter
  • Astute Possum
  • Loo Yu Yang
World Friendship + Conservation:
  • Danger Mouse
  • Zealous Seal
  • Maverick Zebra
  • Loo Yu Yang
  • Spirited Scorpion (PL, Eagle)
  • Maverick Zebra (APL, Swift)
The short ceremony was held at a very significant end-point of the camp, the steps in front of Syonan Chuerito - the World War II Memorial at Bukit Batok.

Remember that at the very start of the camp I told you guys that this camp would surely pay off yeah? You guys have given whatever you got and we believe that you should be rewarded. Yu Yang thinks this camp, while tougher was more fun than Standard Camp I. That's my pay off.

So the camp has ended, THEN HOW?

Standard Camp II - Day Two

Day Two was VERY NICE since Day One had been a great success. The main agenda of the day was the Hike which took us across from Woodlands to West Coast Park, via Bukit Timah and Clementi. Power! We hiked more than 12 hours in the sun and rain! Then how?

Pictures speak a thousand words, so I'll just leave the photos to speak for the day.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Standard Camp II - Day One

Today, Day One was a GREAT SUCCESS! The original forecast was "Thunderstorm" yesterday, today and tomorrow, but thank the Heavens for nice hot weather. As usual the camp's purpose was to up the standard of the skills acquired thus far.

Unpack and pack, unpack and pack your bags... was the first agenda after we were started with the analogy of the weakest link in a chain. Too cheem to explain... but by now everyone should be really good at layout by now. Target time: 1 Minute.

Next was pioneering but that didn't quite work out the way we had intended. The knots were rather weak although everyone tried their best. The push ups should do its job of motivating us.

This camp must have the worst meals at camp ever in our lives. It was the first time we've had to cook all our meals.

After a whole lot of activity and exercise, finally the day ended with supper and us resting under our personal bashas. It was also the first time, we've had the opportunity to construct and use a field toilet.Day One is over, Day Two is coming... "Very Nice!"

Monday, 10 March 2008

Field Trip to the Mint Museum Of Toys

32 Cubs, 3 Scouts and 3 Teachers returned to Woodlands Ring Primary School after a field trip to the MINT (Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys) Museum of Toys just minutes ago.

We were warmly greeted by Mr Randolf Chew, the Senior Operations Manager of the Museum when we arrived. Within minutes we got our tickets and were on our way up to the top level of the museum.

It was on the fifth level - "Outerspace" where we started our tour. Mr Randolf introduced the history of the toys, and the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. We were told that the museum housed toys from over 25 countries, manufactured over the last 100 years. The display accounted for only 10% of the owner's entire collection of toys! The other 90% of the toys are kept in his warehouse. Some of the exhibits are rotated every few months.

The fifth level consisted mainly of robots, some from as early as the 1940's. They were generally made of Tin and a highly flammable plastic, Celluloid painted with lead based paints, creating a rich bright colour on the toys. Lead based paints were later banned from use, as they had caused poisoning in some cases where children handled the toys with their mouths. We also learnt that the word 'robot' was first used in a play in 1924 in the play "Rossom's Universal Robots". The word was derived from a Czech word, 'Robota' which means 'forced labour'. Years later, the world came to know robots as mechanical beings.Naturally, we worked our way downwards... on the fourth level, we Marvelled at toys of many famous characters such as 'Popeye the Sailorman' and 'Batman'. The most interesting toy on this level is the battery operated 'Popeye Rollover Tank' which is one of four known to exist in the world! The owner was said to have paid over US$14,000 for it.

The third level was special since it was the biggest level and featured a glass floor. The Cubs stood on this and looked down at the five-foot way in front of the main entrance to the museum which was, three levels down! This floor housed all the stuffed toys, ranging from the biggest Teddy Bear collection, to the biggest "Door of Hope" Dolls Collection to the Biggest Michael Lee Doll Collection in Asia, if not Asia, outside of Japan.
It was also on the third level that GSL Fiery Serpent met the owner, Mr Chang Ming Fa and they spoke briefly. Mr Chang reminded us that while there is a child in everyone of us, we must remember that we all have a social responsibility and that we need to give back to society, especially to those in need. That was why he housed the biggest "Door of Hope" and Michael Lee Dolls. Michael Lee was not well to do, but the proceeds from the sale of the dolls were given to the less fortunate. The Mint Museum also holds the first and second doll he ever made with his bare hands in 1946 and 1948 respectively.

We left the museum at about 1230 hrs after having a snack on the third level, and completing our worksheets. What a fun-filled day. We have learnt much, indeed. Today's visit was to fulfil one of the requirements of the Collector's proficiency badge which would also hopefully inspire many more Cub Scouts to take up collection as a hobby. The other two requirements were to be completed by the Cubs in their own time.
contributed by Zealous Seal and Afif Mushowwir

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Visit By International Chief Commissioners - Sunday

Us with Commissioners from Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland (L-R)
With the blink of an eye, day three came and went. After breakfast some delegates were shuttled off to their optional tours. Some went to various Churches for Service / Mass while the others had the chance to hop on learning visits such as Culture and Heritage Visit, Heartland Visit, Educational Visit and Nature Visit. After a nice lunch at the Regent, delegates visited some Jamborees activities sites such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Science Centre Singapore.

International Commissioner of Ecuador having fun at Science Centre Singapore!

Presentation given by Staff of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Dinner was hosted by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Second Minister for Information, Communication & the Arts at Burkhill Hall located in Singapore Botanical Garden. A very beautiful garden setting.

Presenting a Scarf to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
All good things must come to an end and I believe this was an enriching experiential experience for both GSL and I. We hope that we will be able to meet up with our new found friends during this event soon and may our Association win the bid to host the 2015 World Scout Jamboree.

We are pretty sure we've secured the votes of the commissioners who came, since they all said "See you in 2015!"

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Visit By International Chief Commissioners - Saturday

The first part of Day Two was the Site Inspection of Coney Island (Jamboree Site) and Outward Bound School as well as a visit to NEWater Plant. However before that, there was a presentation and briefing by The Singapore Scout Association which gave a general overview of why and how Singapore was planning to host the 25th World Scout Jamboree in 2015. The second part of the day was a dinner hosted by the President of Republic of Singapore and our Chief Scout, Mr S R Nathan at the Istana.

Transfer to OBS

Chief in action at NEWater Plant, speaking to Commissioners from Columbia,
and the Caribbean Islands (L-R)

Friday, 7 March 2008

Visit By International Chief Commissioners - Friday

WSJ2015 banner hung up high in Changi Airport
The most anticipated day has arrived. The Singapore Scout Association and the Singapore Tourism Board was to host over 120 Chief Commissioners who were visiting Singapore to understand more about the Singapore Scout Association's concept of the 2015 Jamboree, Hands Across the World. GSL and myself were involved in the hosting of these very friendly Commissioners. The job on the first day was pretty simple to the bystander, but in reality it was far more complicated. Upon touch down, the delegates were greeted by us Singapore Scouts as well as the airport's passenger welcoming service at the aero-bridge and transported by drivers in shiny Beemers to the Regent Singapore!

Receiving our Delegates

International Commissioner of Ecuador

International Commissioner of Thailand & Mr Bonn James from Liberia

Very nice - Commissioner of Malawi

Some delegates had several transits over 3D 2N just to reach Singapore! See jet lag written on their faces :s

Mr Andrew Chua and Mr Yeo KC having a good time
It has been a long day for most of us, especially those who have been working for at least the past 24 hours round the clock. However, I'm sure that our efforts would pay off. Stay tuned for more on their visit! As I bring you updates on what we'll be up to in the next two days...

Oh by the way, delegates had dinner hosted by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Asian Civilisation Museum.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Annual Job Week 2008

Oh by the way, here are the objectives of Job Week.

Annual Job Week Car Wash 2008

Are they washing Cars or Cubs?

Wa Wa Wa Wee Wa... Scouting just never stops. Just three days after the District BP Challenge, its time for our Annual Job Week! We kicked start our Job Week with our Annual Car Wash. Today the P5 and P6 Cubs, under the careful supervision of CSL Raging Bull and the Cub Training Team, washed a total of 15 teachers' cars from 1500 hrs to 1830 hrs raising over $180. The first 5 car owners who responded also had their radiator water topped up. All this too place while the P4 Cubs raided the Staff Room and General Office scavenging for jobs. Alright enough of talking, let the pictures speak instead!

Making sure that the rims shine! Its the GSL's car after all...

Need some vacuum service? We dance too!
As usual after every meeting it was dinner time!

Say Sa Sa Satay!
Watch this space over the coming weekend for updates on Job Week for Scouts as well as on GSL and ASL's involvement in hosting various Chief Commissioners visiting Singapore in preparation for the WSJ2015 Bid.

Soaring Eagles Scout Group supports the Singapore Scout Association's Bid for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree 2015 "Hands Across the World"!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Our Weekend (Part V)

After sending everyone off, it was time for a group photo. Well, it had been a rather long weekend but we had a good time away from our usual unit meetings. This weekend was special because there was bonding and friendship between Scouts of our unit, as well as with the other Scout Units. Scouts from different backgrounds working together was really a sight to behold.

We work together for our common goal, even though there were hiccups, but hey, life is full of ups and downs. Eventually, we did work together to pull it off quite well. If teachers themselves face a problem controlling the large group of Cubs, I think we deserve a pat on our backs. This is a feeling that can never be found in school based troops. We're not merely Scouts from different troops, but we have become good friends. Friends who help each other in times of need.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our DC, Mrs Vara, GSL Fiery Serpent, SL Black Weasel and the fellow Scouts from Soaring Eagles Scout Group, A.I Warriors, Manta Ray Sea Scouts, Chung Cheng Peregrine 1326 as well as all the Cub Scout Leaders from the various participating schools, the participants and Scouts who have contributed to this event.

Thank you very much. Kindly forgive us for our shortcomings and rest assured that this event has been a big lesson for us.

Oh by the way, we had some games among ourselves after the event and here's GSL giving the prize to the winning team.

Things don't look quite good for the other team do they? This was their forfeit!

Our Weekend (Part IV)

Our final briefing was conducted at 0645 hrs before we proceeded to Sembawang Park. With much excitement we arrived at Sembawang Park and its showtime! The event kicked off with the Scout's Challenge and we sent a patrol of six Scouts for Scout's Challenge: Kenny, Calvin, Zabidi, Dominic, Alvin & Syakir.

So much fun! SLURRP!

Kenny having fun with his new found friends in his challenge patrol!
It was around 0900 hrs when rain started to fall yet again. We were like "Oh no, not again?!" Luckily our District Commissioner Mrs Vara was very supportive, she encouraged us to continue with the event despite the rain. With her enthusiasm and encouragement, we were renewed with a fresh dose of excitement and pressed on!

Look at the Cubs go!

One of the toughest challenge for the Cubs was the Chariot Race!
And we did it! Thank God he heard our prayer and was willing to stop the rain just for the few hours from 1000 hrs to 1330 hrs. Exactly the time we needed to run the event.

Our Weekend (Part III)

Almost loaded
Remember our District BP Challenge? Right after supper, it was time to to get cracking! We returned to our den and loaded up as much equipment as we could to be transported to Sembawang Park. Very exciting, I tell you... riding in a van full of equipment... and the terrible driving of Fiery Serpent made it even more exhilarating!

Once we were there, we sprang into action unloading and setting up. In a matter of two hours, we were ready for the Yishun District BP Challenge! Ready for every bit of it except that about an hour later, it started to pour.

Doesn't look quite good, yet... but things are certainly looking up!

Otter & Coyote showing some man-power!
As soon as we are done, we headed back to our den. It was about 0300 hrs then. Had some watermelons and went for a nap. We asked for permission to sleep in the van... wah cool la, there's a first time for everything, there are many firsts for most of us as we organised this BP Challenge.

Told you we love every squeak of it!

Not even the driver's seat was spared!