By Daniel Ong
Today on 17 July 2021, the Troop began intensive training with regard to foot drills. This was in response to the Scouts’ lack of ability to perform in this area. This is especially true for activities like 升旗, where the Troop wished to display their discipline and determination through the clean execution of foot drills.
Unsurprisingly, the Troop wishes to regularly perform and execute a flawless 升旗. Thus, the Troop decided to try their hardest to hone their skills in this area.
As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Scouts were split into smaller groups to reduce intermingling. A blessing in disguise, it allowed for the Ventures to better teach and correct mistakes as well as personally guide the Scouts.
While all the time and sweat spent on foot drills under the hot sun may seem completely arbitrary and useless, the truth is far from it. Foot drills serve a multitude of purposes, all honing the mental and physical capabilities of the Scout as well as reinforcing a sense of pride and identity.
Foot drills are not simply a skill or task done for the sake of doing but are instead an expression of discipline. While there is undoubtedly an element of performance and display, it would be narrow-sighted to only focus on this one purpose of foot drills.
Foot drills hone awareness by ensuring that the Scouts are kept sharp at all times. Despite the heat and physical demands from executing the drills, the Scouts must be alert and ready to respond immediately to commands. Hence, foot drills simultaneously train mental and physical resilience.
Foot drills reinforce the importance and difficulty of working in a team. In drills, every turn and every step must be done in sync. Therefore, timing is also a crucial element for the Scouts to take note of. They should not rely only on the timekeeper and should keep track of the timing in their head. It is also important for them to be aware of those around them during drills like marching so that any minor adjustments could be made to ensure unity in the drills.
Foot drills is a difficult and trying activity. Due to the lack of physical training for the past month and more, as well as the lack of intensive foot drill training for the Scouts, they evidently struggled to execute them properly and perfectly. Nonetheless, the Scouts soldered on. Their pride as Catholic High Scouts does not allow for anything but perfection.
The Scouts were also reinforced with the importance of discipline during foot drills. For example, Scouts were reminded to stay still during 升旗 and to have the self-discipline to do so.
The Scouts went through foot drills such as Sedia, Cepat Jalan, and Hentak Kaki Cepat Hentak. While the Scouts struggled with the last 2 commands, there was no shadow of a doubt that the Scouts pushed themselves to perform better in their pursuit for success.
The Ventures broke down the last 2 drills into simpler steps so that the Scouts could easily absorb what was being taught. For example, the Scouts learnt to march by first coordinating their footsteps without the need of swinging their arms. When they got used to it, they proceeded to practise marching while swinging their arms.
Towards the Future
By the end of the session, the Scouts have learnt all the common commands and can execute them albeit with room for improvement. As the Scouts continue to train, we are confident that the Scouts will push themselves even more to reach greater heights and ensure the constant execution of a perfect 升旗. To glorify the Troop as well as to showcase their discipline and determination, nothing can stop Catholic High Scouts.