The idea of an outdoor camp was initially proposed by our girl guides who wanted to experience what outdoor camping was like, away from the usual camping-in-school-grounds setting. We decided on Sarimbun Scout Camp because despite it being a camping area far away from civilization, the camping ground is also equipped with facilities and ammenities, making it convenient for everyone, especially for those who are new to camping outdoors.
The combined camp of Unity Scouts & Guides as well as Dunearn Scouts saw a total of 59 participants as well as 8 leaders and teachers. The V & R were also having a concurrent camp, Zeus Lite, ran by VSL Tan Zhengxing and ARSL Mike. This time round, the camp committee was being headed by the sec 3 scouts and guides. We assembled at school by 8am on the 14th of March, doing some final preparations before heading to Sarimbun Scouts Camp.
[1st day – 14th March]
Scouts and Guides from both schools were then mixed and separated into 8 different groups. This time round, as we are only having a 2D1N camp, we decided to do away with camp development and focus more on activities, hence everyone got to sleep in dormitories instead of under tentage. After flag break, we commenced on our first major activity, outdoor cooking. Every group were given the same ingredients and were told to cook up a few dishes which will be judged later as part of the cooking competition. Some groups were pretty successful in getting their fires up really quickly, while there are groups who struggled to light a proper fire for the next 2 hrs. You can imagine what kind of food the judges have to taste during the judging!
The next activity was supposed to be S.R.I.T. (Self Reliance Initiative Training) games but as the previous days, the heavens opened up and poured heavily. We were unable to commence our activities due to limited sheltered area, and also having to share the campsite with 3 other groups of people. The rain did manage to let up around late afternoon and we managed to squeeze in a few mass activities. We played two outdoor activities before the rain forced everyone indoors again. This time round, SL Noel managed to come out with an impromptu activity adapted after a chinese game show. This game, which requires the first person in the group to act out a given subject to the next person, and carries down the line till the last person who will finally tell everyone what he/she thought the action meant. Everyone was laughing at the hilarious acts by the various groups.
The next activity wasn’t really an activity at all, but it caught everyone’s undivided attention. Remember Zeus Lite? VSL ZX prepared a big surprise for his ventures. They were to kill live frogs and have them for dinner! VSL ZX did the first demonstration on how to kill a frog survival style, as well as the correct methods of preparation. It might seem cruel to some, but we are not talking about domestic pets here, but livestock which were breed for food. In fact, the way of killing the frog was quite humane compared to what happens in restaurants where they just chop off the frog’s head and let the blood squirt everywhere! Anyway, it was a good eye-opener for everyone, especially the ventures who have to kill and prepare their own food. I think they’ll never be able to see frog leg porridge the same way again.
Dinner this time round was catered for and after wash-up, we commenced on our final activity of the day, the campfire. Every group have to come out with their group cheer and item and there are groups who did pretty well, given the short frame of time everyone was given to think of their performances. After supper, it was lights off for most except for the camp committee who were given a debrief on the day’s activities.
There was actually a final surprise in store for just the Scouts. At 1am, all the Scouts were being woken up and made to change into their full uniform and assemble at the Field Dining Area. Under the guise of a firedrill, we conducted our promotion ceremony for PLs and APLs. Congratulations to the following who assumed their new roles:
Lion: Wee Keong
Tiger: Xiao Ming
Asst. Patrol Leader
Bear: Chen Lu
Panther: Joel / Zhu Zhi
Lion: Kah Kien
[2nd day – 15th March]
The morning of the 2nd day started off with 5BX. Breakfast followed before everyone assembled in their most rugged clothing for 2 outdoor activities. The first activity was a nature hike just outside the camp premises, beyond the SOC ground. The groups were taken through a short nature trail leading to a small river. From there on, everyone got a chance to hike through the river. It was exciting and a new experience for everyone, since we don’t have many streams or rivers in Singapore to wade through. After a short hike, we came across this fallen tree trunk which was lying across the river. Now came the challenge. ASL Jerome demonstrated by swimming underneath the tree-trunk and emerging over the other side. The whole process didn’t take more than 10 seconds. Every Scout and Guide had to go through this obstacle. Everyone made it through, even those who were afraid initially. A big thanks to Ms. Hamida who volunteered to go through the obstacle, giving courage to all those who were afraid to go through the obstacle at first. We hiked a short distance more before getting out of the river and heading back to the camp ground. Along the way, we came across this pool which contained brackish water. As part of the activities, everyone had to get in and get themselves wet and dirty! Those who wore yellow or white t-shirts got them turned blackish.
After the nature trail, it was down to our next activity, clearing the Challenge Valley. The Challenge Valley actually comprises a series of obstacles. Our GSL, Kenny, gave a brief walkthrough of how to clear each obstacle along the way. The first obstacle has tires lined up in a row, and you have to crawl through the tire tunnel and emerge out of the other end. Sounds easy but lots of hand and leg strength is required to push yourself through. The next obstacle also involves tires, but this time, the tires were suspended by chains a metre off the ground. The objective is to use the tires as stepping stones and move from one end to the other. Requiring lots of hand strength and steadiness. The 3rd obstacle is the favourite mud crawl. Everyone has to crawl through a stretch of mud, around 5 metres in length. No objectives except to get yourself dirty and muddy. Now you know why our Unicorn group t-shirts are brown! The final 2 obstacles requires you to climb up a cargo net. Since there are no harnasses, we were unable to do the tightrope walk. Instead, the participants have to climb down the ladder before moving on to the final station, the slide. Once up the slide, participants have to don the lifejacket before sliding down a 2-storey high slide into the pond below. That effectively completes the whole circuit.
Everyone managed to complete the obstacles by noon, just in time for a quick wash-up and lunch. After lunch came the tedious part of area cleaning and tidying up. We finally got to do a quick flag-lowering ceremony. During this time, the prizes for Job Week were also presented. Top Prize goes to Weihao, who won himself an ipod shuffle after earning a total of $636.10, beating Weiyuan’s 3 year record of $555.10 by $81! Group 6, comprising of Siti, Samantha, Zhu Zhi, Erwin, Clement Tang, Marvin and Chao Yan also got the best group based on their outdoor cooking and campfire performances.
I hope all of you enjoy the camp, even not all, but part of it. Camping is always part and parcel of Scouting, and those who attended would have made memories which you can share with your friends and juniors for many more years to come.