Monday, 24 October 2011

Standard Camp + SHAPE Up Camp 2011

21 October - 23 October was the rite of passage for us Cub Scouts moving on to Scouts.  We were not joining just any Scout Group.  We were joining Soaring Eagles Scout Group and to do that we had to attend SHAPE Up Camp.  This year however, was a little special.  We joined the rest of the group for SE Standard Camp which was more affectionately referred to by our seniors as "Tekan Camp".

I was very excited and also curious of what I would do in the camp.  Unbeknownst to me, I was about to be hit by a series of tough and vigorous challenges.  At the start of the camp, Serpent spoke about the two meanings of standard.  The first being to attain a certain standard.  The other is being the same which equates to discipline.  He emphasized the great importance of standardization before splitting us into two temporary patrols at the start point which was an unnamed MRT Station.

We did a quick layout, bought raw food to cook that night for outdoor cooking and set off towards our first checkpoint which was a mere 2 km away.  Easy peasy.  Took some photos and were off to our second and final checkpoint for the night another 1.5 km.  We took less than an hour in all, but nonetheless, I heaved a sigh of relief when the hike was over.  Upon arrival at the checkpoint, we were immediately ordered to do another layout, this time with more standardization. Much to the Ventures’ disappointment, it was not done satisfactorily.  The dreaded followed.  -.-

Humourous Coyote gave us a second chance to perfect our layout.  This time it was slightly better.  Without delay, we dug a pit and searched for firewood.  Starting the fire wasn’t an easy task as noobies, we spent almost 3 hours just to get it going with only 25 matchsticks for the whole patrol.  By the time we started cooking dinner, it was already 11 pm.  

We had a quick powder bath before settling into our tents to sleep for the night.  Before sleeping, Serpent requested that each of us share what we did to lived up the ideals of SE: iSPARED. Unfortunately I thought our responses were quite lame and Serpent looked rather disappointed.
The second day started at about 7:05 am.  We had woken up early to strike our tents before the Ventures woke up.  At the 7:29 am time check we panicked and were told by our PLs to fall in.  Needless to say, we had totally forgotten about standardization.  Our bags were all over the place, so the inevitable happened followed by PT.  Many of us were already on the brink of giving up.  Serpent gave us a chance to.. but we didn't.  We pressed on.

We were given the next set of MGRs and that led us to Seng Kang Recreation and Sports Club, which was approximately 5 km away.  We had bread breakfast on the way but had to make many stops to rest as we were very tired.  We clocked in 1 h 30 mins.  To our surprise we the leaders and Ventures were already waiting for us in the pool.  We were going swimming, one of the criteria for the Standard Camp.  We had a lot of fun as we went down the water slides with one another. 
At noon, we were given our third set of MGRs, this time, 20 km to Endeavour Primary School in Sembawang. When we heard of this, we were astonished and were taken aback by the distance.  It was a criteria, so we had to push ourselves to our limit, walking under rain and sunshine, crossing countless traffic lights and roads, we persevered throughout the whole hike.  

Swift was the first patrol to arrive had hot dinner first and a shower first.  Eagle patrol kicked in at approximately 9:15 pm and had to work a little harder for our dinner.  More layout and PT.  

At 11:30 pm we watched an episode of CSI: Miami (Season 10).  Serpent said it was just shown in the US last week.  The night was concluded with a reflection of the show.  We saw iSPARED in action and we agreed that we had to show iSPARED in order to be the best Scout Group.  We went to bed, still thinking about the precious lesson.
The next morning and everybody woke up and changed into their PT kits for their morning exercise. The morning exercise was vigorous but it was necessary to keep us in shape.  After devouring the breakfast Serpent prepared, we cleaned up and struck camp.  

The camp was fabulously tiring but it was a wonderful experience.  I know we became closer brothers, if not anything else.

~ Seah Yi Hong

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Basic Archery Course

It was an exciting day for us Primary 6s. It was our first meeting after PSLE as official members of Soaring Eagles Scout Group, no longer as Cub Scouts but as Scouts. And our first meeting was in the form of a Basic Archery Course which would lead us to the Master of Arms proficiency badge.

We Met At Yishun Junior College 0745 hrs and the course kicked off with theory of Archery and safety. We learnt that Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow. We learnt the parts of a recurve bow which has tips that curve away from the archer when the bow is unstrung; and how to hold a bow, resting the limbs on our foot when not in use. We learnt how to aim and shoot safely with and without a sight aim.
Of course we had a few rounds of mindless shooting before breaking for a sumptuous McDonald's lunch. After that, we shot at balloons before learning how to construct an arrow, how to fix the fletching with reference to the nocks and finally how to score.

The course ended with a test of aiming stance, holding position and accuracy of shooting.