Saturday, 28 March 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Apart from our efforts the whole week to promote Earth Hour and to educate our Cubs and friends on the importance of saving energy and the effects of Global Warming, we've also changed the masthead of our website to remind our visitors that it was Earth Hour Day!
Today, Soaring Eagles Scouts were at the Esplanade Park near the Padang to volunteer for Earth Hour Singapore 2009. From that hot spot, people were able to see the Singapore Skyline. We arrived at 1400 hrs to help World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Coca Cola and other supporting sponsors to set up their booths. The hot favourite was the "environmentally friendly" Chipster vending machine which did not require the use of electricity!
Speaking of which, the entire event was powered by BioDiesel sponsored by Alpha BioFuels. No fossil fuels were harmed in the organisation and running of this event.Soaring Eagles Scouts were later deployed as either the documentation team or to ensure that the security officers in the buildings that have pledged their support, would switch off their lights at 2030 hrs. My job was to ensure that Hong Leong Building's lights went off at the synchronised time.
Hundreds of other people were at the Green Carnival which kicked off at about 1700 hrs with performances by Down Syndrome Association, Lila Drums Djembe Project and Miss Earth eco-fashion show. Also there to entertain were Gold 90 FM DJs whom we have never heard of. Haha...
The Singapore Skyline was from 2030 hrs and during the hour, the entertainment continued with candle lights, sparklers and many birthday celebrations in the park! There was also a mini- campfire without the firepit led by the leaders and Scouts of ACS(I) Scout Troop.

When the lights came back on at 2130, we jumped to work to clear up the place and we ended with a short debrief by Cheetah and Serpent. We all went back home with a happy heart because we knew that we have done a good thing today. The event was covered in the news (see CNA report above)

The event was a success and I'm sure would go a long way to saving our Earth. More photos can be found on Serpent's (Vol 1 and Vol 2), Otter's and Possum's facebook albums.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Earth Hour 2009 Awareness Day

Soaring Eagles is committed to Earth Hour 2009. Today during Cubs Scout Meeting, all Cubs were challenged with a 4-page worksheet filled with fun activities which included cross word puzzles, mazes and word search. Just because it was fun does not mean the Cubs learnt nothing from them!The Cubs learnt about Climatologists, tackling climate change, the effect of climate change on wildlife, conservation, endangered animals species and what children can do to help.

Also, as an additional perk, the best 5 worksheets of each level will win a limited edition Earth Hour Singapore badge.The instructors picked the following winning entries in no order of merit:
Primary 4
  1. Md Fathullah (4-I)
  2. Daryl Ong (4-O)
  3. Dylan Ang (4-T)
  4. Jason Tang (4-T)
  5. Ryan Choo (4-T)
Primary 5
  1. Md Haikal (5-D)
  2. Chua Yong Soon (5-I)
  3. Yong Zonglie (5-J)
  4. Akid Arshad (5-S)
  5. Shaikh Abdullah Aziz (5-S)
Primary 6
  1. Dharshnamurthy (6-G)
  2. Md Zulfadzli (6-R)
  3. Heng Hong Chuan (6-T)
  4. Shaikh Abdullah Amin (6-T)
  5. Wong Liang Chuan (6-T)
Congratulations on a job well done!

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Girl Who Silenced The World For 6 Minutes

As we draw nearer to Earth Hour 2009, here's another video which resonated in my heart.

16 years on, we are still breaking what we do not know how to fix. Let's not let the efforts of these children. The main speaker, Cullis-Suzuki attended Lord Tennyson Elementary School in French Immersion, at the age of nine, when she founded the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues.

After presenting their case from a youth perspective on environmental issues, she was applauded for a speech above made to the delegates. In 1993, she was honored in the United Nations Environment Program's Global 500 Roll of Honor.

Remember: Your light switch is your vote. Flick it off for just one hour this Saturday at 2030 hrs.

We can make a difference.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Soaring Eagles Scout Group is proud to support Earth Hour 2009.

Join us as we power down lights in our homes for an hour on Saturday 28 March at 2030 hrs
or join us at the main event at Esplanade Park where the Scouts will be volunteering as Media and Ground Control.

The main event which includes the coordinated "black-out" of the buildings in the CBD will happen from 1600 - 2140 hrs.

Cubs reading this may log on to this website for some fun activities.

Please also sign up to show your support for Earth Hour:

Sign up for Earth Hour

Monday, 16 March 2009

Taman Negara Day 3

We woke up at around 0630 hrs and washed up because we were leaving for Singapore that day. We got packed quickly and cleaned the room before rushing for breakfast at the restaurant. We were still quite tired as we had hiked the whole of the day before.

The breakfast was what we Singaporeans would term "Shiok!" as the food at the restaurant was really nice. My personal favourite was the rendang. We finished our breakfast quickly and were soon ready to go.Before we knew it and after we had climbed the slopes and taken the long bus ride, we got to the train station. Lunch and card games were the order of the day as we waited for the train. Somehow, I could not wait to get back to Singapore when I boarded the train. This time, we were altogether and had so much fun in the train, I was oblivious to the fact that we had reached the Immigration Checkpoint.Singapore at last. We were glad that Serpent was at the carpark waiting for us. What do you think we did first when we met him at 2100 hrs? Dinner, of course.

Here's a video we made of the event:

More photos in Facebook.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Taman Negara Day 2

After the usual morning routine, we rushed to the restaurant to have our breakfast. We were excited about the next item, the Canopy Walk!The Canopy Walk measuring 3.6 km through lowland dipterocarp forest is the world’s longest canopy walkway, suspended 40 m above the ground (If you've been to SAFRA Yishun's Canopy Challenge, that is a mere 18 m above the ground). Made from timber and suspended wire rope, it swayed as we walked.Then we scaled to the top of Bukit Teresek, unfortunately enroute some Cub Scouts and Scouts fell due to the muddy terrain, injuring themselves slightly. Of course, our first-aiders ran to their aid. We also ran out of water and got very thirsty. It was all worth it when we reached the lookout 334m above sea level... overseeing the vast rainforest, giving us a bird’s eye view of Sungei Tembeling and Gunung Tahan. This is also one of the best bird watching areas in the park!

We headed back to the resort for a short two hours rest before departing by boat to the Lata Berkoh. We had a good time just soaking the whole afternoon until the sky turned dark. We had some difficulty going back because it was very slippery.That evening, the parents of Gongshang Cubs had a surprise for us. They gave us a treat to barbeque seafood dinner at the Hotel Restaurant. We were very touched and decided to give them a treat in return. We bought them ice-cream!

That sumptious meal marked the end of our final night at Taman Negara and we went to bed fully satisfied. :)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Taman Negara Day 1

After having a peaceful 5 hr-sleep, we woke up to a hearty breakfast at about 0835 hrs. The hostel provided us with delicious Mee Goreng, bread and Milo and Teh. We were fooled into thinking that the carrot in the Mee Goreng was sausage! After the breakfast, we checked out of the hostel and loaded the luggage into an old, rickety bus. We were honoured to have the boss of the hostel drive us to our next destination, Gunung Tahan.Just one stop before we hit Gunung Tahan - a "Supermarket". We were all surprised to find a lot of interesting things sold at a very cheap price. All of the stuff there was nice Elfi got presents for his brothers while Seal bought a "MUD" cap. I bought 3 pairs of Nike socks but found out that they were knock-offs only on Day 2!

During the 1 hour 45 minute bus ride, many of the Gongshang Cubs sang songs we never heard before. The songs were new and interesting and we had a ball of a time making fun of each other's names through songs. Sampson too the worse hit.To get to our hotel at Mutiarah, we had to cross a river on a boat (that cost us RM$1), climb up a steep slope before going down slope again. I accidentally fell and injured my knee, luckily it wasn't serious. We were embarrassed when we went into the wrong room - we were supposed to book into the dormitory and not the Bungalow. Unfortunately the wardrobes and beds were slightly damaged. It was fine, though, since we were going to spend most of our time outdoors!First on our agenda was the Rapid Shooters, a fun and thrilling boat ride along the Tembeling River. The boat was so fast that we had water splashing on us and got ourselves all wet! Next we paid a visit to the aborigines "Orang Asli" and learnt about the way they lived. The "Orang Asli" consist of many tribes. They were impressive fire starters and incredible hunters! They can start fire without lighters or matches within 30 seconds. All that was needed were some dried leaves, tree bark and rope.

Their astute use of the blowpipe amazed all of us. I even got a chance to try it. We were told that the "Orang Asli" hunts for the whole village and not just for themselves or their family only. We were also told that the "Orang Asli" do not have a fixed living place and they move around the forest hunting. The two main reasons for moving on is that area had run out of food or a member of their tribe had passed away. When someone passes on, they will tie them up with tree barks high up on a tree where nobody knows. This is because they believe that the tree is the holiest place. They would also hang a knife on the tree as a grave marker. We then went back and had a hot shower.Dinner was Pataya Noodles at one of the floating restaurants across the river. We then went to look at the exhibition near the mini-market where we learnt about the history of Gunung Tahan. Day 1 ended with us curious about how wonderful day 2 will be. Just when we started to miss everyone in Singapore again, Serpent called to tell us about their activities in Singapore. They had completed their stock taking and were on their way to the IT Show, dinner and Ice Cream at Island Creamery.

We are fortunate to be in Soaring Eagles... we never fail to be somewhere interesting, even though we were apart.

Taman Negara Day 0

We bid goodbye sadly to our leader, Serpent and boarded the train. Our train ride to Jeruntut, a one-horse town just off Taman Negara, lasted 7 long hours. The train ride was long and boring, worse of all was that our group was split in half in two cabins. Getting to each other was hard. It must have been a blessing in disguise since we got to enjoy uninterrupted sleep in the train.We finally arrived and rendezvoused with Aunty Kat at about 0155 hrs and checked into the Hostel Eris Ramas, and sent Serpent an SMS. The morning spent there was great. It was as through we were in Singapore. Our room was complete with a toilet with water heater, television and even air-conditioner. We were so excited that we stayed up and about till 0300hrs. Silly Sampson even got scared by Seal and Elfi twice.

Day 0 was great! That was a good sign. We were sure we would enjoy the rest of the trip.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Gongshang Cubs and Soaring Eagles Scouts @ Taman Negara

They left today. They left me behind on the platform at the station. How sad... I wish I was going on the expedition with them, but work commitments come first. Well, at least for now. We were initially early, meeting at 1600hrs at Yio Chu Kang MRT Station, but our dear Sampson forgot his passport. We only managed to get to the Railway Station at Cantonment at 1715hrs with 15 minutes left to buy dinner and board the train.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Yeoman Service 2009 - Part 1

It was three days before the school's 13th Annual Athletics Meet and the Cubs were as usual on Yeoman Service duty. This year, the Cubs had an additional task of packing up the refreshments. It was a tedious task, but it was completed within the 2 hours on Tuesday. This was done while the P4s designed the next game and the others were in the Staff room, soliciting jobs for job week.Of course, the Cub Instructors could not stand by without lifting a finger to help. These "abangs" stuck with the Cubs throughout the process packing, lifting and labelling the heavy bags of water. That was until I suggested going to have a race... I ended up stepping onto a hairpin in the parade square! Ouch!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Walk With Friends

It was a meaningful day as Cub Scouts from both Soaring Eagles Scout Group and MINDS Jaguar Cub Scouts made friends, held hands as we walked the Southern Ridges. This was the first time the Cubs of both units participated in a combined activity. The leisurely "hike" event began with ice breakers in Woodlands Ring Primary School during which Cubs were paired with a buddy.Before we knew it, we were on our way to HortPark where we embarked on a 4 km walk. On our way to the end point at Vivo City, we crossed the Alexandra Arch, Henderson Waves and climbed to the top of Mount Faber.We rested mid-way at Telok Blangah Hill and played a couple of fun relay games while waiting for our tea-break which never arrived. Nonetheless the games distracted us all and we had fun laughing and chatting. Walking the route brought us close to nature as we spotted large spiders, monkeys, butterflies and all sorts of weird insects along the way. Some of us also got to eat the flowers of the Simpoh Air. Nature is really beautiful.Although many were tired at the end of the walk, it was worth it. We managed to learn a little more about our friends from MINDS and appreciate our new friends. After congratulating each other for completing a 4km hike and filling our stomachs with curry puffs and spring rolls, we sadly said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.The cubs began to miss their new friends already on our way back to school and asked when we would be having combined activities with them again. "Soon" was the answer... hopefully. In the meantime, we will wear a badge close to our hearts to remind us always of our new found friends.

Monday, 2 March 2009

World Water Day 2009

World Water Day is commemorated annually on 22 March to bring awareness and attention to the importance of clean freshwater and advocating the sustainable management of clean freshwater resources.

It began as a recommendation at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Soaring Eagles is committed to bring awareness to the scarcity of clean freshwater in Singapore as well, and the theme 2009 is something close to every Singaporean's heart as we link it to the water resources shared between Singapore and Malaysia - how we strive to befriend and maintain harmonious relations while both countries seek to satisfy its own water needs.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of clean freshwater. Visit UNWater Site to find out more.