Monday, 30 June 2008

Recyclotron Campfire

We had received two invites last weekend for campfire. Since we belonged to Yishun District, the district event had to take priority and CSL Raging Bull, the Ventures and three Scouts gathered the Cubs in school on Saturday, 28 June 2008 at 1800 hrs ready to set off for the Recyclotron Campfire at Yishun Primary.

Upon arrival, the air was filled with good cheer and excitement. Already the thought that this must have been the most impressive District event this year is already on everyone's minds. The decor to the campfire was beautiful and very "Survivor". Unfortunately due to a miscommunication among our own leaders, the organisers did not have any idea we were coming, so arrangements had to be made at the last minute for our seating in the campfire.

But everything went well. It was the Primary 3s' first campfire and naturally their attention span soon wore out. Fiery Serpent and the NDP Scouts arrived towards the end of the night and a sudden excitement ran through the few rows of Cubs who were happy to meet their instructors who told them stories of being at NDP while the Cubs told them stories about going to a haunted toilet.

The night soon ended, much to the delight of the NDP Scouts who were more than happy to lay their tired feet to rest.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Rangers Charity Night

Right after the Hans Art Challenge & Community Carnival, we had a short but interesting Scout Meeting back in Den 39. When Scorpion arrived, we set off on our way to The Rangers Charity Night whose beneficiary was the Singapore Children's Society. It was pretty exciting and it was a lot of fun. It was one of the most interesting campfires we had experienced.

This campfire was unique to me in that it not only used some of the songs which I was not familiar to, it was presented in the form of a night of gangshows. The most interesting segment was an interactive game, Freeze, in which I was volunteered to play by my dear brothers.

The game went like this: Music would be played while the "volunteers" danced. The trick was that when the music is stopped, the "volunteers" had to stop all movement. If they are caught moving, they would be knocked out of the game. I was one of the last five to be knocked out of the game. However, I was glad that I played the game. It turned out to be more fun than I had imagined it to be.Of course the night would not have been complete without the usual Gako the Frog and Flea Fly Mosquito. But the most memorable mst have been Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. You might be thinking, What's so special? It's only a nursery rhyme! Well, what made it special was that it was sung in three different versions (Kung Fu, Chinese New Year and... what was the third version again?) - Ooops.

The performances were awesome and most entertaining. The night opened with Stomp Rangers which was a musical upbeat performance by the Ventures who used damaged chairs, barrels and biscuit tins. Most of the other performances involved Scout Leaders who danced and sang. The best performance award went to the ASL of Rangers who performed Salsa and Jive dances with his partner. Another performance which caught my eye (or should I say my ear) was by the SL who sang "Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton accompanied by two Scouts on the guitar.

At the end of the Charity Night, the audience sat on the stairs along the stage and sang "We are The World". I can only imagine what a success the Charity Night must have been as it ended with the organisers presenting the representative from the Singapore Chidren's Society with the collections of the night. Between the few of us, we contributed almost $70. The other groups must have contributed so much more!

The emcees were also very enthusiastic. But most importantly, the lesson I learnt from today is that a campfire, or any other event is only as fun as we make it out to be. We need to learn to let loose and laugh at ourselves. That is where we derive FUN. Anyway, three cheers for Hougang Rangers! You have a big, big heart!

Partnership Update: Hans Art Challenge & Community Carnival

We arrived at the IMM Shopping Centre bright and early at about 0800 hrs and were briefed on our jobs by the Project Manager, Ms Zoe and our GSL. Beaver then assigned us to our stations. I was attached to the Ballonist with Otter.

Thankfully we had some time to grab some breakfast before the event started. By 0845 hrs the event kicked off. People started to stream into the Garden Plaza, including our Soaring Eagles Cub Scouts and their family members, led by CSL Raging Bull! Since "Uncle Russell", the balloonist had not arrived, we helped Mario and Zabidi at the NEA game stall. It was good fun with a really cool key ring as prize.

Everything went well until it started to rain. It was really cool until the water started seeping into the art competition area where all the children were seated on the floor. The drains were choked and since the water did not get drained off as quickly as it should, the whole plaza started to flood. All the Scouts, some 30 of us, got into a crazy frenzy shifting the tables, books, equipment, chairs into the sheltered walkway. Even the other carnival stuff like the "Bouncing Castle" was cancelled. It was a horrific sight... like people in the past fleeing from actual floods with all their life's possessions! It was so bad the janitors were called in to help unchoke the drains and clear the water. They came with a machine which sucked up all the water.The ballonist and he finally came at 1030 hrs. He told us that all we had to do was to marshall the people, keep them in line so as to allow him to be able to stop for a short break every 30 minutes or so. We thought it was an easy task... but when many people came it was not as easy as we had imagined it to be. There was always more than 30 people in line. We had a hard time stopping the line from getting loner and explaining to people that the balloonist needed to take breaks too. In the end, instead of getting 30 minute breaks, he just took a short toilet break before getting back to the process of twisting balloons into whatever each child demands. The same proccess repeated about three times until about 1445 hrs when the crowd died down and our duty for the day ended.

None of our Cubs won any category of the Art competition, but two of them did win a lucky draw prize. Wonder what the prize was. Oh and did I mention that our AGSL Akita was one of the guest judges? Cool or what?It was such a tiring day most of us slept in the bus.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The Quest 2008 Update

Scorpion, Otter and I met dark and early this morning 0630 hrs. We had breakfast before travelling by MRT to Dhoby Ghaut where we met Beaver.

We registered after they sifted through some glitches in their system at Cathay Open Plaza, got our race passbooks, changed into the event shirts and waited for the race to start. We didn't win anything at the "early bird" lucky draw so we decided to have a quick look through the race passbook.

The Guest of Honour who flagged off the race was Mr Lim Swee Say, the Secretary General of the NTUC and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office. Incidentally NTUC was one of the major sponsors and the questions at the first checkpoint centered around NTUC and the Late President Ong Teng Cheong who held the portfolio of the Secretary General of the NTUC for 10 years from 1985 to 1995. Mr Ong Teng Cheong then went on to become the first elected President of the Republic of Singapore that same year he stepped down from that portfolio.

Our first check point was at the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Before we could get to the first Checkpoint, we were already straggling behind the other teams as Otter hurried us off the bus too early. We had to take another bus just to get there. When we finally arrived, we took a long time to find the ECO park as it was not reflected on the map.

When we finally found it, the task was to search for three particular plants out of the many plants there. It was like finding a needle in a haystack, consequently we spent an hour and a half just at the first checkpoint alone!

The race went on and miraculously we managed to finished all six checkpoints within the given 5 hours. However, when we got to the final checkpoint, most of the other teams had already arrived. We ended the day empty handed, not finishing within the tops.

Well looking on the bright side, we got a goody bag; spent a whole day together and had a lot of fun. There was a coupon for free entry into Escape Theme Park so all of us decided to go and enjoy ourselves after a long and tiring day.

NDP Rehearsals In Full Swing

Time has flown by quite quickly and its CCR3 already before we could even get used to the drill sequence. While some of our brothers were at The Quest, we were at our last rehearsal outside of Marina Bay and we were at Khatib Camp for the last time this year.

The Scouts made me promise that this would be the last time we're sending in Scouts for two years consecutively... so starting from next year, only the Sec 2s will be sent for NDP. That effectively means that we will be sending our next batch of Scouts for NDP only in 2010. :)

More photos coming when we move to Marina Bay. Watch this space for updates!