By Chey Jedd
The Scouts and Year 1 Ventures recently took part in the National Mind Quiz 2021 held in July by the Singapore Scouts Association. As the first competition of the year, the Troop was determined to put in their utmost effort, aiming for an excellent showing. It was also a good opportunity for the Scouts to learn more about the scouting movement and refresh their theoretical knowledge.
NMQ was split up into two stages; the Preliminary round which was an online quiz and the Final which was held over zoom. It was further split into the Scout and Venture categories. The Final consists of the six teams with the best scores from the Preliminary round competing against one another. There was a wide range of topics tested from Scouting lore and skills to general history and humanities.
Plan of action
It was not easy learning all these pieces of information by the Preliminary round but with proper manpower allocation and consistent revision, the online quiz was not much of a challenge for our Scouts and Ventures.
To make revising of information easier and more accessible, the Scouts and Ventures worked together to create a compilation of notes. The topics tested were further divided into many different themes and competing members were allocated different themes to research and compile information on.
Furthermore, researching information would have been more difficult without the Troop’s extensive digital database containing years of archived scouting notes. This greatly reduced the workload and allowed them to focus more on revision.
The Rovers gave their assistance by creating their own quizzes to test the Scouts and Ventures. The quizzes tested their knowledge and their ability to make informative guesses for questions they were unsure of. They also learnt new information through unfamiliar questions in the quizzes. Moreover, the test scores helped the Scout Leaders determine the team lineups for the competition.
“A Scout is to be trusted”. Before the start of NMQ, the SLs emphasised the importance of integrity and self-discipline to the Scouts and Ventures. No matter how easy or tempting it was to search for the answers on the internet, they must not do so as that would be unfair to the Scouts from other Troops and would go against the values of the Troop.
After the Preliminary round held on 24 July, the teams for the Final was announced. Catholic High Scout Group managed to get both a Scout and a Venture team into the Final. The Scout team was Tan Jen Yih, Fabian Lim and Lim Jun Sian. The Venture team was Siauw Yu Hern, Chey Jedd and Joshua Low.
On 31 July, both teams participated in the Final. The entire Troop came online to watch and show their support to their fellow Scouts in the Final. Both teams pushed past their mental exhaustion and fought fiercely during the competition. In the end, the Scout team attained third place while the Venture team attained fourth place in their respective categories.
Although the Troop may not have gotten the results they had hoped for, there were many learning points they could take away from this experience. Firstly, the Scouts’ and Ventures’ knowledge of International Scouting Lore was not as strong as other topics. This would be a weakness that they would have to focus more on the next time.
Secondly, the strategies used during the different rounds could have been better. This was especially so for the lighting round during the Venture competition where even if they do not know the answer, they should have snatched the question and guessed the answer. If the answer was wrong, the question would be voided, preventing the other teams from obtaining the point.
Despite falling short of expectations, the Troop would learn from their mistakes and come back stronger in their pursuit of continuous improvement. The Troop’s digital assets were also strengthened with new resources added to the drive. Catholic High Scouts do not let one loss define them. Instead, they would use this loss as motivation to push themselves further and develop into better Scouts worthy of the title.