In the first edition of the Patrol League Gazette, we interviewed Sim Hon Jui, the 2021 Patrol Leader of Cobra. He will be revealing his thoughts on his Patrol's journey in securing the title of Best Patrol of June Challenge 2021.
What motivated your Patrol throughout June Challenge, and how did you maintain your Patrol's motivation?
"Ensuring my Patrol’s motivation throughout the entire June Challenge was not an easy feat. However, I realised the importance of having a solid Patrol morale and worked on building it from different aspects. Setting small goals for ourselves to achieve along the way was one of the ways I motivated the Patrol, and ensured that my Patrol was up to the task and meeting the goals we set together.
In addition, my Patrol’s motivation came from wanting to win the Best Patrol title. We felt that the June challenge was a great opportunity for the Patrol to showcase our abilities to the Troop and were willing to put in the commitment and effort to achieve the results we want.
Lastly, the strong bond that binds every Patrol member together allowed the Patrol to communicate effectively with one another on most occasions, and work towards achieving Best Patrol."
What do you think were the main factors contributing to your Patrol's success in June Challenge?
"Perseverance was one of the key factors that maintained our drive to win the Best Patrol and allowed my Patrol to last through the different challenges at hand.
The Patrol was also guided by one common goal, which was winning the title of Best Patrol and leaving no regrets at the end of the day. This enabled us to stay determined and connected in achieving our goals and remain undeterred in forging ahead even when we did not achieve the desired results for certain tasks.
When times are rough, developing a positive mindset ensured our Patrol spirit remains high. The Patrol remained goal-oriented and was constantly reminded of the ultimate goal. In addition, we never once doubted ourselves despite knowing that other Patrols were just as strong, if not better than us, in terms of scouting skills.
Lastly, consistency was also one of the elements that allowed my Patrol to succeed. From basic things such as physical training, we set realistic goals for ourselves to meet in every session, and ensure that the goals are met after each session. This allowed the Patrol to be amongst the few Patrols to complete many reps of exercises, even after a prolonged period of time. Overall, all of us were also able to sacrifice our time for Scouts, and put in our best for the Patrol."
How did you lead your Patrol during June Challenge? Was there any difference in your style between offline and online activities?
"As a Patrol Leader, I constantly reminded my Patrol of our ultimate goal, which was to win the overall Best Patrol. This allowed the Patrol to stay motivated, and strive for their best in whatever they do to help the Patrol achieve our goal.
In both offline and online activities, I remained focused on pushing my Patrol, and ensuring they carried out the activities to the best of their abilities. I also tried to facilitate a healthy environment that allowed everyone in the Patrol to bond together and bridge the gaps between one another, regardless of their level and ranks.
However, one difference in my leadership style during the June Challenge was to tone down on pushing my Patrol excessively as I could sense that most of my Patrol members were getting mentally exhausted from the excessive number of meetups. To lighten the mood and bond with the Patrol, I usually organise games like Kahoot quizzes such that everyone can learn important knowledge while having fun at the same time. Using certain online platforms to conduct Patrol activities have also assisted me in leading and engaging the Patrol during the June Challenge."
What do you think you could have done better during June Challenge?
"I think we could have attempted more side missions and try to earn more points for the Patrol. This probably would have involved more planning beforehand, which includes letting everyone have a clear understanding of their job scope and standardising the quality of the submissions.
Also, there could have been better communication between Patrol members. For instance, during E-Jihes, some of my Patrol members were passive and did not take the initiative to contribute to the discussions. I could have used a different approach to reach out to some of the Patrol members who were more reluctant to share their views, such as having one on one conversations with them privately and familiarising myself with their personalities.
Another aspect we felt we could have done better was orienteering. We feel that we could have revised more on our orienteering as that is our weakest category, having only gotten 6th place out of the 8 Patrols."
What is your biggest takeaway from June Challenge?
"One of the biggest takeaways I have was learning how to work well with a team effectively and contribute actively as a team member. As the saying goes, ‘No Man is an Island’. A team is only successful when everyone shares a common goal and works together seamlessly as a team.
Cobra Patrol is a Patrol that is united by one common goal- to win the Best Patrol. With everyone putting in a substantial amount of effort and contributing to the best of our abilities, the Patrol was able to take on the challenges in stride, regardless of their difficulties. This allowed us to sustain ourselves through all the challenges and not burn out, emerging as a stronger Patrol at the end of the day.
June Challenge had made my Patrol better understand the significance of teamwork, and how it could be the determining factor of the Patrol’s success. In the coming days, my Patrol would work on developing a stronger rapport with one another and staying calm and collected when tackling future challenges."
What is your next goal for your Patrol after June Challenge? Both short-term and long-term.
"In the short term, I would want to improve on the Patrol’s scouting skills, such as orienteering, first aid, camp development, and pioneering. From June Challenge, we manage to learn what we are strong at and what we are lacking. For example, our orienteering skills could be improved as we placed 6th out of the 8 Patrols. These are all very important skill sets we need to master as Scouts, and we shall work towards that in the coming days.
In the long-term, we would want to achieve the overall Best Patrol. June Challenge is merely one of the many milestones the Patrol needs to cross. We believe that winning the June Challenge marks the start of the Patrol’s success and progress to greater heights.
With determination, we aim to achieve the title of overall Best Patrol and leave a legacy behind for the future generations of Cobra Patrol members. Also, we would want to reduce the gap between the different levels and improve the friendship between Patrol members.
Now that the Patrol has built a solid foundation on its Patrol morale, I would want to cement it further, such that everyone would be proud to call Cobra as their Patrol."