Friday, 31 October 2008

Halloween's New Guests!

Just a couple of hours ago, we had been a part of an exhilarating party! It was the Woodgrove Halloween Parade! We were at the zoo on Tuesday and our conversation developed into a random idea to participate in the customs of Trick or Treat-ing and made into reality by Curious Hummingbird who coordinated the entire group's participation tonight, unfortunately he was unable to make it due to family commitments at the last minute.

We missed him, and were sure he would have made it much more fun, but we carried on in his honour... We started by choosing our masks and putting together our costumes at Serpent's place before setting-off excitedly to the little American community of expatriates nearby.

As we hit our first house we were feeling a little awkward as it was the first time we went Trick or Treat. We were asked questions about our costumes, told to pat their dogs before we were showered with a whole lot of candy and bubblegum! Before we knew it, we got the hang of it, and met so many other trick or treaters, some with elaborate costumes, along the way.

One of the most memorable spooky house was one with someone dressed up as a clown. As we were about to receive our candies, he would screeeaaaammmmm out of the blue! It shocked Zebra and Zabidi so much they were literally rooted to the ground for a few seconds, screaming!

We finally arrived at the last house at about 9:00pm and everyone had ran out of candies! Of course, we were famished and tired by then, despite having stuffed our mouths with candy and chocolates along the way. Being hungry ghosts, we proceeded quickly back to Al-Ameen for supper before disbanding at about 11:00pm.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain which was a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. It is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year" and traditionally used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for the winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festival celebrations would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.

The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day," which is now also known as All Saints' Day, a holy day of obligation celebrated by Catholics on November 1.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Quest For The Book Of All Animal Knowledge

It has been a long time since we last visited the Singapore Zoo! We came today for Soaring Eagles Cub Scouts' Post-PSLE Programme called "Dr Ooz's Quest". It was a tough challenge whereby we had to scramble all over the zoo, looking for Dr Ooz's sign and to find out some animal facts.

Apparently Dr Ooz's research had been stolen and we had to help him recover the lost pages of his book. The challenge of map reading proved to be too challenging for some, and others, they are FINALLY using their brain! (;
So anyway, we found out that Dr Ooz's full name is Dr Ooz Wai Kit and he awarded the prizes after concluding the competition an hour and half later. Most of us got the nice little bookmark of a Rhino. After the prize presentation, Serpent allowed us to explore the zoo in our own time while his sons went for Ben and Jerry's Ice cream... Hummingbird got on his wild side riding on a Rhino!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shapers & Movers

Finally PSLE is over and we are back in the swing of things in Scouts! First up is our Annual Initiation & Self-Discovery Camp 2008, S.H.A.P.E. Up! This is a very unique camp and it marks the first we are attending as part of our training in Scouts. Each letter that spell SHAPE is also the first letter of the session title, for example, S=Spiritual Gifts. A session that helped us to see that the spiritual aspects of Scouting is in knowing that we are created by God with our own unique set of gifts. How we use these spiritual gifts is our gift back to God, doing our duty to God. This means we need to do our best.

At the end of the camp, we moved Up! to Scouts. We renewed our Scout Promise and our PLs presented our uniforms to us. We put them on proudly with their help, and our Scout Leader, Cong Sheng welcomed us to the troop with a huge pat on the arm, applying our patrol badge on at the same time! Ouch!
Gosh, this is so exciting. We are glad to join:
We are going to be the Shapers and Movers of the troop. Or at least we hope to be!

Ok, next up... Akela Award Interview! Its on the coming Thursday. Wish us luck!