Written by Siauw Yu Chuan
On 10 and 17 December 2022, our Rovers held our very first pioneering course, inviting Rovers and Ventures from all across Singapore to participate.
What is pioneering?
The origins of pioneering date back to WWI when military engineers (pioneers) went ahead of armies to overcome obstacles and fortify deployment sites. This involves the construction of towers and bridges, shaping the battlefield in war. It embodies the fortitude to pave the way to advance and overcome any obstacle in the path of Troops.
Similarly, pioneering today embodies this spirit of fortitude. To be brave enough to scale the heights and courageous enough to go the distance. We build the tallest towers and longest bridges to challenge our limits and capabilities.
As part of the pioneering course for 2022, we aimed to build the foundations to challenge the height and distance. It requires heightened awareness of the ground, strong technical skills and well-maintained equipment to successfully build any structures.
MASTERY OF FUNDAMENTALS
During this course, we heavily emphasised on fundamentals, spending half a day on lashings. Ropes and spars are the bread and butter of any structure. Scouts need to master their basic lashes in order to assure the safety and integrity of their pioneering projects.
What is mastery of a lash?
It means being able to tie the lash under the most unforgiving circumstances through of muscle memory. Lashing should be trained till it becomes second nature. Being able to tie a square lash blindfolded under a minute is the ultimate test of one's mastery of their lashings.
The second obstacle our participants faced was overcoming fear. It was the first time they will ever raise a 1-1-1 Flagstaff that is 3-storeys tall.
How do we overcome fear?
With good technical skills and a good selection of equipment. Good selection of spars and rope will ensure the stability of the flagstaff. Technical skills of raising the flagstaff train effective communication between members. It is important to ensure that Scouts control the flagpole and not let the flagpole control them. This builds an awareness that they are in control of their situation.
LEARNING BY DOING
The last obstacle for our participants was the construction of a tower and bridge. This involved many technical skills such as rigging up a block and tackle as well as achieving symmetry of a tower.
There is a purpose in building different structures as there is always something new to learn. The more exposure one gets in construction, the more experience and awareness one would obtain which will aid in the design of new pioneering projects.
This course is a basic course. There are much more skills and grandeur in pioneering. Achieving excellence in pioneering all fall back to the 3 aspects covered in this course;
1. Mastery of fundamentals.
2. Courage to overcome fear.
3. The spirit of learning by doing.
We hope that all our participants enjoyed the course, established new and everlasting friendships, and were able to bring back meaningful insights which they can pass on to their own units and fellow Scouts. Do keep a look out for more upcoming courses in the future!