By Ryan Lim and Ian Chien
Every winning team requires the support of many others. National Patrol Camp (NPC) is the pinnacle of all Scouting competitions, and for Catholic High Scout Group to sweep the competition and attain Best Patrol status required extensive trainings, planning and the eye for excellence. It took many months of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and a fighter spirit. Everyone in the troop played a part in preparing for NPC in one way or another.
Ryan Lim, Venture
Ryan Lim is the Chief QM in Catholic High Scouts Group. He plays a crucial role in supporting the wide array of logistics scouting demands, from knowing how to maintain and fix a kerosene lamp, to helping the troop procure various niche supplies that often don't even have a formal name. He helped to propel the troop forward by being ever-ready and always adapting and improvising to any situation that may arise.
I was involved in NPC 2018 primarily as the Logistics Head. Supporting the team logistically meant commandeering a team of Scouts to provide for the competition team’s needs. NPC 2016 saw the addition of a “Recycling” theme. This posed a new challenge to the team logistically, as not only did the campsite needed to be of Gold standard, it has to be done so in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
The Logistics team worked closely with the Leaders and Ventures designing the campsite to procure materials required. Constantly working on Saturdays, the Logistics team brought the designs alive using only recycled materials. Relying on experience, I would recommend various changes to the team’s assets to better equip.
Even something as simple as ensuring rope of the right quality was used was crucial to the successful completion of pioneering structures. To ensure that design and functionality was at its peak, I worked very closely with the competition team to finalise the designs of the actual day structures. By the end of the preparation phase, the Logistics List had grown to a sizeable amount, and yet again it was up to us to find a suitable storage method to allow easy transport, neatness and accessibility.
However, my job did not end at the preparation phase. During the moving days, I took charge of the troop and coordinated the smooth transfer. Logistics has always been a support role whose presence is not seen, but felt. It is our drive to put the troop above all, to bring back glory and honour that keeps us going.
Ian Chien, Venture
Ian is the Chief Secretary in Catholic High Scouts Group. However, his role often extends beyond his secretarial duties. With a caring and nurturing heart, Ian usually takes up the role of guiding and leading our scouts, being a patient and kind figure that is always willing to help scouts along the way. He is key to the troop's success as a persistent and reliable source of support for the troop and the scouts.
As for me, I led the decorations team. Essentially, the impact of proper decoration played a paramount role in setting the ambience and mood for any event. I took the secondary one scouts and brainstormed with them various projects that we could embark on. NPCX had the goal of sustainable camping. This led to us starting the collection of empty drink bottles as well as bottle caps. During the following weeks, we had done up different decorations, such as utensil mats, streamers and bottle flowers. The end products of our labour, though impressive, wasn't the real takeaway from the weeks of preparations. It was the process of how these decorations were made that was all more commendable. How the secondary one scouts learnt on safety, being creative and being efficient was the ultimate goal which led to the decorations successfully being made on time, all the more enhancing the effect of our pioneering projects.
On top of settling the decorations, we were also constantly improving on our pioneering structures and gadgets. The shoe rack was planned and pioneered by our leaders and a few of us ventures before we decided to teach them to the scouts. On top of that, we also did many revisions on other gadgets such as the clothes rack, as well as the layout design of the kitchen as the measurements has to be precise. In order to win a battle, we had to know our terrain firstly. As the previous NPC taught us that the Sarimbun grounds would be extremely muddy after rain showers, we made sure to prepare ahead this time by ordering plastic mats which would act as the flooring of the kitchen tent. We also had to know our own men and their capabilities.
Through the many weeks of training and preparations, the scouts were trained extremely hard and everyone was pushed to their limits, ultimately leading to the success of the troop in winning NPCX.
Troop above unit, unit above patrol, patrol above self. This is how a winning team must be supported.