Written by Rayn Tan and Chey Jedd, Edited by Lucas Loh
If there was one quote to embody our spirit for the past year, it would be to "Never let a good crisis go to waste".
On 22 January 2022, the Troop gathered to celebrate its 74th anniversary, for our annual 团庆. While many other Scout groups may see such an event as a birthday celebration, 团庆 to us is far more than a commemoration of our age and survival as a Scout group. Just as every past 73 iterations, 团庆 is an event where we challenge ourselves and prove that we, the Scouts of today, are worthy of carrying the legacy that rests upon every one of our shoulders.
Raising the Stakes
One such challenge is the annual raising of the 五层旗杆(Five-Storey Flagpole), roughly 13m tall. This year, however, we upped the ante even more as a poetic defiance to the belief that COVID has made us weaker or softer. We decided to raise a 七层旗杆(Seven-Storey Flagpole), towering at 18.34m.
In truth, many of us were daunted by such an absurd challenge, since it had almost been a year since we had even raised a 3-storey flagpole. But Catholic High Scouts only lift each other up, and with intense preparation and teamwork from everyone in the Troop, we came together and accomplished the task.
When all was said and done, there stood our flag flying high and proud, taller than even the neighbouring classrooms. Many of us were honestly astounded at its sheer height, being even taller than we had expected.
In truth, we see ourselves in this flagpole in many ways. Brazenly defying the odds, outperforming our own expectations, built on the innate strength and spirit of Catholic High Scouts. The reach of its guylines stretching far and wide, just as the number of lives Catholic High scouting has impacted.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish our GSL a very happy belated 92nd Birthday, serving as our Troop's unwavering anchor through his many years of experience and wisdom.
Catholic High scouting has been around since 1948; the concepts are not new, yet still very relevant in today's context. While keeping to our traditions and practices, we did not depend on yesterday's weapons to fight the battles of today.
A good example of this was June Challenge, an inter-Patrol competition where Scouts were tasked to learn the scouting modules themselves and come together as a Patrol to overcome fun scouting-related challenges. This was an improvement to the TCP-based modules in 2020 as the Scouts got more opportunities to interact and bond together as a Patrol despite being heavily restricted from meeting each other.
Our Webmaster Council had also been very busy that year, managing our online and technological resources while establishing new online platforms. Our Troop Instagram was established early that year, working alongside our Troop Facebook as a tool to keep our community up-to-date on the Scouts' activities and show the wider public what Catholic High scouting is. New software was created in-house, such as MARGO, a hike deliverable generator thought up and created by our Lead Rover Lucas Loh with assistance from VC Ryan Loh that would streamline and improve how orienteering training would be done in CHSG.
As CHS Scouts, we believe that there is always room for improvement. This includes previous online scouting tools done by us like the Interactive Topo Map which was upgraded to be more interactive with new functions that would greatly benefit our Scouts during hikes. Our Venture unit also took the time during the holidays to create new scouting notes and revamp existing ones, ensuring the content is relevant and up-to-date.
Although the number of scouting competitions was drastically reduced amidst the pandemic, CHSG still gained many new achievements to our name. We saw 8 of our Scouts achieve the Chief Commissioner's Award and 7 of our Ventures the President's Scout Award, the greatest milestone in their scouting and venturing journeys respectively.
These talented Scouts not only brought pride to the Troop, but had also left a legacy that inspired many junior Scouts in the Troop to set their sights on reaching their level.
Hence, the Troop gathered on this day to celebrate our success in 2021, reflect on what we can do better, and welcome new opportunities available in 2022.
After 升旗, we proceeded with the games comprising of 追踪 and Tug-of-War. These games allowed Patrols to work together, promoting values such as teamwork. Moreover, they also allowed the Scouts to bond with their Patrol mates and others from the Troop, fostering Patrol spirit and a sense of Troop identity. The games also inculcate soft skills like awareness and leadership, important skills needed in a Scout.
This was followed by a photo-taking session as well as the distribution of the cupcakes to celebrate 团庆. Finally, we ended things off with 降旗 lead by our 2021 SPL Law Jia Jun. As the Scouts proudly recited the Scout Hymn and shouted a harmonious "公教" during BERSURAI, this marked the end of our journey in 2021 and paved the way to a new exciting year in 2022.