By Alex Chien and Lucas Loh
Today's training activity was the Venture Obstacle Journey for Scouts. VOJ is one of the hallmarks of scouting as it involves a series of stations designed to test and challenge scouts holistically.
The first type of stations were awareness stations. Awareness is a very important quality for scouts to possess as it is the basis for good judgement in both scout and non-scout contexts. One station included moving in the direction of the sound, where scouts had to listen attentively and work as a patrol to minimise noise. Another involved replicating a drawing in under unsound mind. Scouts were told to spin around until they were dizzy, then made to memorise a picture. Afterwards, they needed to recreate the picture on the seperate pieces of paper.
Next, there were intellectual stations. Knowing how to work smart and think on your feet is especially vital to scouts as it helps them make the best decision. One such station included the river-crossing puzzle, which although known by many, still posed as an extremely hard challenge, with only one out of seven patrols able to solve the puzzle in the given time. Anotehr station was the unscrambling of caeser ciphers. Even though these ciphers are arguably the easiest amongst all ciphers, it takes true ingenuity in scouts to decipher the entire message, with only one out of the seven patrol creating an enigma machine to decipher the code. Another cipher was in Han Yu Pin Yin, which was very demanding as scouts needed to have a good grasp of the text structure in order to identify which language the cipher was in.
As the scout motto goes, "Be Prepared". At Catholic High Scouts, our training is not centred on just tangible skills, but also focused on bringing out unmeasurable desirable qualities in scouts, such as awareness and intellect. This will ensure that our scouts will not only know how to solve a problem in theory, but also be able to do so in practice.