Wednesday, 22 August 2007


I meant to blog this for a while. However certain events such as the ‘death’ of a friend, thrown me off my blogging ‘schedule’.

This year Scouts all over the world celebrates the centenary of scouting.

Scouting back in my school was like the coolest extra curricular activities to join. However, I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t join it any earlier, possibly due to clash in time with my piano classes. Anyways, finally when the new school year started in 1995, I decided to join the scout troop.

Ever since then, there is no looking back.

I remember the days when we used to practice marching under the hot sun and at that time it was ‘group punishment’ if something is not good enough/right/up to standards. It built discipline and of course it improved our skills too.

However, as the years go by, many new members of the troop come from daddy’s and mummy’s child background; and plus our school is somewhat considered ‘posh’ with Datuk and Datin’s children; the troop received quite a few complaints on unacceptable ragging or rather disciplining. These complaints come in heaps especially after camping trips.

Camping is probably one of my favourite parts of scouting. Living in the outdoors, going for days not having a proper shower, cooking with fire we built on our own and with limited resources and outdoor activities that comes with it.

I don’t deny that I don’t like all of the outdoor activities. Among those I love were jungle trekking. Once we had to track in the river and even cook our lunch by the river. I don’t really like the obstacle course, especially after raining. The reddish mud always stains the clothes and you just feel so mucky. Of course, looking back, I think I actually secretly would have loved to go in the mud. Then there is climbing over the wall, I think it was about 10ft high, can’t really remember. I hated this because I had always been rather conscious of myself. So I normally cheat and walk around the wall.

The other great thing about camping is going for camps or Jamborees. My favourite was the Goodwill Camp which is held annually between the Malaysians and Singaporeans. From those camps I made some really good friends who are still friends today. I also love the district jamborees.

One of the best experiences I ever had was participating the Asia Pacific Jamboree which was held in on the east coast of Malaysia, Terenganu. It was by the beach, it was extremely hot and the activities were abundance! It was there I had my first taste of abseiling (so cool) and vertical wall climbing (though, sadly I didn’t even make quarter of my way up). We wanted to do the flying fox but I remembered there was a huge queue. It was at this Jamboree we met delegates from many countries around the world including some European scouts as well.

Camping after my schooling days was slightly different then. We used to sleep in cars since most of us drive. Once in a while we would sleep in the open under the stars, which was my favourite since city lights always blind out the beautiful night sky.

After my schooling years, I continued to attend the weekly meetings, even though I was no longer part of the troop, as a student of the school. Everyone was family and it was somehow only natural to meet up.

However, I then went for my Wood Badge Leadership Training. I only did up until level two due to college commitments as well as leaving the country to further studies.

The 21st World Scout Jamboree was held in Gilwell Park in Chelmsford, UK, this year to celebrate the centenary. There were days that are open for visitors only. I was thinking of going for the visitor days but logistics proved otherwise. Too much hassle for me to make the journey down south. Other commitments also hampered my decision of going.

Looking back my scouting years, I’m glad that I took the decision to participate the movement. Although I managed to complete a few badges, I didn’t made it to becoming King Scout, the highest award in Malaysian Scouting. It would have been great but...

Through scouting, I made so many friends from the country and across the sea (Singapore, we still joke about this) and also did so many outdoor activities that had enriched my leadership and life skills.

Of course one that seemed to stick on (to a certain degree) is ‘be prepared’. But lucky for me, being a woman that comes easy.

I love scouting and never had regretted it. I may just pick up where I left and continue one day. And as they say ‘once a scout, always a scout’.

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