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Achieving Excellence: #ScoutingFromHome and Trek Badge Design Competition

By Damien Kang

Above: Badge designed by Siauw Yu Hern.

Catholic High Scout Group is a Scout Troop with a long history and numerous successes in its name. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a challenge to strive for success when so many of us are restricted indoors.

However, our Scouts have never given up and have exemplified the spirit of Scouting by putting in their best effort in their activities, to bring glory and put the troop at the top. We are proud to announce that 2 of our Scouts have brought glory to the troop.

The Scouts and events are:

1. Joshua Low of Tiger Patrol, winning the Scouting from Home Challenge by the Singapore Scout Association.

2. Siauw Yu Hern of Eagle Patrol, winning the Trek Badge Design Competition by South Area

The Scouting from Home Challenge is a challenge that was organized by the Singapore Scout Association (SSA) to promote continuous Scouting during COVID-19.

The whole process was no mean feat, with our Scouts worked tirelessly to juggle their studies with alongside completing their badges and reports. However, despite the amount of time and effort required by everybody, the Scouts and Ventures always worked with the aim of putting the Troop at the top. After 1 month and a tremendous effort by the Scouts to complete the report, and the Venture Unit to vet the numerous reports, we submitted the reports to the SSA.

In total, 13 Scouts were awarded certificates signed by the National Communications Commissioner, with Joshua Low going above and beyond to attain the National Top 10, having his certificate signed by the Chief Commissioner.

Below are the names of the scouts who have excelled in the #scoutingfromhome proficiency badge programme:

Audric TT Tan Teng Han

Gareth Tan

Law Jia Jun

Joshua Lee

Kaden Teo

Loh Feng Ryan (*with 2 certificates of commendation)

Low Shao Jie Joshua

Ng Chen Fong

Ong Sheng Yang Daniel

Seah Zhang Qi

Siauw Yu Hern

Sim Hon Jui

Below is Joshua Low’s reflection on his achievement.

“In the beginning, I was intimidated as I did not fully understand the amount of effort and research that I would have to put in. The Naturalist Badge was a badge that I was unfamiliar with, but I had to write a detailed report on the uses of mangrove trees, as well as man's impact on Pulau Ubin.

As I continued with the report, I was struggling to cope with the amount of research and time I had to invest in the badge on top of managing my schoolwork. It became exhausting, with the number of hours I had to put into filtering relevant data online. However, the united strength of the troop came to play as Ventures and Scouts worked together. Without the help of Ventures who helped to check the reports, it would have been impossible to produce a high-quality report for the competition. It truly showed how the success of the troop could be attributed to the Ventures who continue supporting the troop, providing invaluable advice and areas for improvements for my reports. With both Scouts and Ventures aiming to put the troop at the top, we put in our 100% effort to ensure Catholic High Scout Group continues standing head and shoulder above other troops. Working with the reputation of the troop in mind, I managed to complete the report.

Despite being seemingly irrelevant for a Scout to study plants and human impact on ecosystems, I soon realized how valuable it was to me as a Scout. As scouts, we should be prepared for any environment, hence by studying about different wildlife, it can be beneficial to learn how to fully utilize natural materials in nature for our survival. For example, the mangrove is an odourless wood and hence ideal as a fuel source for fires. Furthermore, our motto being "Leave the area cleaner than before" can be brought to the next level as we learn how to reduce our harmful impacts on the environment around us. Months later, it was announced that my report had achieved top 10 among other scouts. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment as my hard work bore fruit and I brought glory to the troop.”

The Trek Badge Design Competition is a competition to design a badge based on Scout’s favorite landmark in South Area. It was held due to the annual Founder’s Day hikes being postponed. Yu Hern was very motivated to get his badge done, working to design the badge that best showed his vision and has done well to bring glory to the troop.

Below is Yu Hern’s reflection on his achievement.

“My inspiration for the badge design stamped from the last SLC 2019 when our patrol hiked to Kent Ridge Park. The beautiful sight when we were at the top of Kent Ridge Hill was breathtaking, witnessing the rising of the morning sun, the busy PSA port and far view of Sentosa. The view spans across the ridges and the waters. In my badge design, I have used the iconic landmarks along The Southern Ridges. These landmarks include Henderson Waves, Reflections by the Bay, Tanjong Belayer Point, Labrador Battery and Singapore Cable Car.

The Henderson Waves relate to scouting pioneering projects. As scouts, we design grand bridges and tall towers, the Henderson Waves is the tallest folded three-dimensional bridge that blends seamlessly into nature. Conceptually, both follow the same principles that allow the bridge to stand tall and be stable across the span.

The Tanjong Belayer Point is a point of a compass for orienteering. From the historical perspective, Tanjong Belayer Point means "Land’s End" in Malay and indicated where the southernmost tip of the Asian Continent was. It was used as a navigational beacon for boats approaching Keppel Harbor in the mid-20th century. Ships entering the harbor used the bright red Berlayer Beacon as a visual marker to navigate themselves towards the harbor. It is like our map and compasses. It is an instrument that points us in a direction and lets us identify our location.

The Reflections by the Bay is a gateway and was built as a large-scale replica of the Dragon Tooth Gate that was blown up by the British to widen the Keppel Straits. The Dragon Tooth Gate was marked by famous historical maritime annals and was believed to be the navigational marker for the great Chinese explorer Admiral Zheng He. It was a gateway to welcome traders from far and wide to enter Singapore. A gateway to a Singapore Camp.

To sum up, many tunnels and bunkers during World War 2 were our last line of defense then. Now along the Southern Ridges are NUS, NUH and Research Science Parks. To signify the importance of the Southern Singapore with its deep waters and ridges terrain in the development of Singapore economy in the past and present, elements of historical stories of maritime trade and turmoil of 2nd World War in contrast with the present tranquil waterfront living. These relics of the past are placed right next to Singapore's most iconic building “The Reflections by the Bay”.

Reflections The waves at the forefront, the growing leaves and ongoing cable cars serve to remind us of the struggles Singapore had gone through. The fall of the colony, the rise of independence and the Singapore Spirit to strive together for a Stronger Singapore in line with our national day theme.

I am also happy that I have managed to clinch the spot for having the best design for this Trek Badge Design Competition, putting the troop at the top. However, on top of just getting the first place, I am humbled that I have managed to do my part for the community. My design will be used for fundraising for charity purposes and would be a design for the area trek badge next year.”

Congratulations to Joshua and Yu Hern for their achievements bringing glory to Catholic High Scout Group!



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