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Patrol League: June Challenge 2021

By Rayn Tan and Sam Li Jie

Updated: 29 December 2021


Due to the increased safeguards caused by the current COVID-19 situation, the Troop was unable to hold our annual June Camp. Despite the setback, Catholic High Scout Group would not let the virus dictate our ability to train and would adapt and innovate our premier training so that the Scouts would still flourish even at home.

June Challenge

June Challenge was held over 3 weeks from 31 May to 19 June. June Challenge provided a platform for the Patrols to foster their Patrol spirit. This leads to them being self-motivated to learn the required skills for the challenges as they want to put their Patrol at the top.


June Challenge mainly consisted of two parts. The Home-Based Assessments which the Scouts were to complete in their own time by the given due date and E-Jihes held over Zoom every Saturday morning. During E-Jihe, Patrols would compete against one another in different challenges.



Throughout the entire June Challenge, Patrols rack up points based on their performance in the assessments. The Patrol with the most points wins the title of the Best Patrol of June.


June Challenge was also a test for the Venture unit as this was the first time the newly appointed Secondary 4 Ventures had to run such an extensive programme. Other than having to plan the different challenges which were mostly restricted to online-only, they also had to ensure each challenge would be fun and engaging for the Scouts. As being stuck at home may cause the Scouts to lose some motivation, the Ventures needed to be able to engage and motivate the Scouts to put in their best effort during the challenges.


PT and Side Missions

Besides the HBAs and E-Jihes, Patrols had other opportunities to gain additional points.


Patrols were given points for doing additional reps of exercises after finishing their weekly PT. The higher the number of reps, the higher the rank, thus the more points awarded. Patrol Leaders encouraged and led their Patrols in doing the additional reps, with some Patrols achieving more than 1000 reps of squats per person in a single week.

On the other hand, Patrols showed their creative flair in the side missions. There were a total of 8 optional side missions, split between individual tasks and Patrol tasks. The harder tasks which required the entire Patrol to take part together were worth more points compared to the individual tasks. These tasks range from designing a Patrol Zoom background, Patrol skits, and learning flag signalling, etc.

PLs took the initiative to schedule meetings with their Patrol members throughout the weeks. During these meetings, they would complete their side missions and the extra PT challenges while spending more time together to bond as a Patrol.


They took this time to get to know their members better and strengthen their Patrol spirit collectively. A strong Patrol spirit is the sturdy foundation of a Patrol with a strong work drive and the commitment to achieve excellence. This in turn becomes the building blocks for a strong Troop, allowing the Troop to achieve success.


Episode 1

The first episode of June Challenge tested the Scouts in their orienteering and first aid skills.


The Scouts did a first aid test for their HBA, consisting of MCQ and open-ended questions. During E-Jihe, the Ventures went through the common mistakes the Scouts made in the test, explaining the first aid concepts and reasoning behind the answers.


The next activity was orienteering battleships. Patrols had to pinpoint the hidden "bases" of the other Patrols on the topography map using the clues prepared by the other Patrols. Patrols also had to identify the false clue from each set of clues. The bases and clues were already done beforehand during HBA.


This activity tested the Scouts' orienteering skills and knowledge of Singapore's landmarks. Proper manpower allocation and communication were important for the Patrols to work efficiently and discover as many bases as possible within the time limit.



Each members' knowledge of Singapore was crucial for the Patrol's success as everyone lives in different areas, hence their knowledge of landmarks differ. Therefore, the activity tested the PL's ability to facilitate discussion amongst the entire Patrol to gain the knowledge and opinion of each member.


The last activity was a first aid VOJ. Scouts had to plan and present four different first aid scenarios. Not only were they judged on their responses, but the Ventures in each breakout room also took into account the level of discussion in each Patrol.


Patrol members were encouraged to contribute more ideas to their PL to promote communication and engagement in the Patrol. Furthermore, the PL's ability to delegate tasks to his men while knowing when to take charge or take a back seat was important for the challenge to progress efficiently and successfully.


Episode 2

The second episode of June Challenge tested the Scouts' understanding of pioneering and camp development, two core scouting skills.


The Scouts first did a fun Kahoot quiz to review their pioneering and camp development knowledge. Despite no points being awarded, Scouts tried their hardest to snag the top spots to show off their scouting knowledge to the rest.


Next, the Scouts had to analyse a video of the CHS NPC X team building a tower. They had to come up with nine points related to three categories: notable structural features, safety precautions, and maximising efficiency.



This activity not only tested the Scouts’ pioneering knowledge but also their observational skills, especially with the smaller details, along with their understanding of safety protocols and maximising efficiency.


As Patrol members had adapted to this new norm of discussion, they were fruitful, lively and constructive. Many members were willing to pitch in to give their observation of the building process which brought about many insightful and interesting points.


Following a short break, Patrols got ready to take on the challenge of planning out a campsite plot. While Scouts were taught how to construct bashas and gadgets in past Jihes, most Scouts still had little experience with campsite planning due to the lack of camps caused by COVID-19. Thus, to let them gain an idea of what a campsite planning session would be like, Patrols had to plan their ideal campsite layout while designing and listing down the specifications of their proposed gadgets.



As this was the most ambitious challenge yet, manpower allocation and teamwork were imperative to the smooth planning of the campsite. The Patrol should be split into small groups with the PL facilitating discussions and helping out where he sees fit. Patrol members should be assigned to groups where they can help out the best. Harder tasks like gadget planning should be given to the more experienced seniors while easier tasks like campsite layout should be given to the inexperienced juniors to make use of everyone efficiently.


Episode 3

The third and final episode of June Challenge was fairly laid-back as it replicated the campfire session held during June Camp. It comprises mostly of fun games and activities, giving the Scouts a chance to relax after three busy weeks of activities and challenges.


The Scouts learnt the many campfire songs, Scouts hymn, Troop cheer, and Patrol cheers for HBA. A fun Kahoot quiz was then held during E-Jihe to see who remembered the most, including the other Patrol cheers. There was also a code-breaking challenge where Patrols compete to see who can break the different codes the fastest correctly.


Next, the Scouts watched the skits prepared by Cobra and Shark Patrol. The theme was 'Patrol identity' and each Patrol portrayed it wonderfully in their creations. It was also interesting and hilarious to watch the unique production of the skits as the Patrols had to overcome the challenge of 'no real-life interactions' to film their videos.



Afterwards, the Patrols were challenged to come up with a satirical presentation on why they felt their Patrol deserved the title of Best Patrol. The process of planning was made interesting as Scouts came up with various ridiculous and humorous ways to put their message across with the use of inside jokes that bonded the Patrols even closer. Each Patrol then presented their say, trying to convince the Troop with humorous logic and jokes.


Overall, this was a more fun experience for the Scouts, allowing them to deepen their bonds with their Patrols. A tight-knit and bonded Patrol leads to better teamwork and unity. This in turn creates a strong cohesive Patrol, capable of overcoming any difficult challenges they come across as one Patrol.


Best of June

After three weeks of challenges and competing with one another, the results had been tallied. We now move on to the prize presentation.


The best Secondary 1, 2, and 3 Scouts of June Challenge 2021 are Darren Goh, Josh Goh, and Sim Hon Jui respectively. As for the Best Patrol of June Challenge 2021, it is Cobra Patrol with an outstanding performance. Congratulations to all the winners of June Challenge 2021.



Conclusion

Through June Challenge, Patrols were able to strengthen their bonds and foster Patrol spirit. They were also able to challenge and test themselves, identifying issues in their Patrol which they need to improve on in their pursuit of glory for their Patrol. PLs also gained more experience in leading and engaging their Patrols, fine-tuning the style which best suited them.


Truthfully, programmes like June Challenge take months and years to plan. Our fast planning time and success can be attributed to two main factors. Firstly, our Troop's strategic foresight to build up vast digital assets over many years in our online databases accelerated the preparation of learning material. Secondly, our Ventures' experience with TCP last year helped them plan more interesting and engaging challenges to optimise learning. June Challenge showed that even when restricted at home, Catholic High Scout Group is still able to adapt and come up with fun and engaging training methods to train our premier Scout Troop.


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