By Shu Heng
On the 2nd of April, our Year 1 and Year 2 Ventures went on an 18km hike. This hike was planned by our Year 1 Ventures two weeks in advance. The hike allowed our Ventures to train up their physical endurance, mental resilience, and awareness of their surroundings. Our Ventures also took this opportunity to practice their orienteering skills such as map reading and route sketch.
Planning for success
"Look Wide" (深谋远虑) is one of our troop mottos. Through the planning of the hike, our Ventures reinforced their foresight to plan ahead. Having a practical and well-thought-out plan enables a fun and enriching experience while ensuring the activity runs smoothly.
Our Ventures had many discussions to cover all the possible bases. Each Venture took up a specialised role so that each part of the proposal would be done excellently. They were meticulous and detailed with their work, making sure that the proposal was able to achieve our intended goals, while any risks were counteracted by suitable solutions.
They were particularly careful when going over the logistics and RAM (Risk Assessment Management). To reduce the weight of their rucksacks, only the most necessary items should be packed. Possible dangers were thought up and categorised by threat level. Safety precautions were then made to reduce the risks and were to be implemented if needed.
Of course, nothing ever goes exactly to plan. Therefore, the Ventures were alert and aware of their surroundings during the hike, ready to react and overcome any obstacles thrown their way.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Venture unit was split into 2 patrols. Each patrol was to set off at staggered intervals. Despite the restrictions, morale was high amongst the Ventures and they were all excited to begin the hike.
Before setting off, the Ventures were briefed by their respective PLs and Safety ICs. They were made aware of what to do in case any problems arose, and to be mindful of their conduct in public as representatives of the troop.
Our Ventures plotted the hike route on the topographical maps and prepared a rough outline of their route sketch beforehand. Afterwards, they laid out an inspection to check for logistics. This was to ensure that everyone had their equipment and no one was missing anything.
Our Ventures set off at 10 a.m. and were expected to reach the last checkpoint by 3 p.m. Including the last checkpoint, there was a total of 4 checkpoints.
The start of the hike was challenging for many of the Ventures. This was the first time the Year 1 Ventures had to do a route sketch while hiking. Multitasking the route sketch, looking out for landmarks and road names, while hiking was not easy. Gradually, they got more used to it as they moved from checkpoint to checkpoint. They helped point out the landmarks and road names to one another while looking out for anyone falling behind.
Along the way, the Ventures deepened their friendship and understanding of one another by chatting and joking with each other. Not only does this put their minds off their aching muscles, but they also get to learn more about one another like their favourite hobbies and scouting activities, etc. Through interacting and hiking with one another, a strong sense of brotherhood and unity was forged in the Venture unit
As they reached the last stretch of the hike, they found it to be even more grueling as they progress along. However, they showed their mental resilience and support for one another. They persevered and pushed themselves to keep pace under the hot sun while encouraging one another.
Finally, at 3 p.m., our Ventures reached the final checkpoint at One-North MRT station. The Ventures had huge smiles on their faces as they felt the success of conquering the hike. From this experience, they now better understand their limits and areas of improvement. They also gained new friendships while deepening their previous relationships.
The hike went and ended without a hitch, showing that the Year 1 Ventures are capable of planning effective and safe scouting activities. The Year 1 and Year 2 Ventures also proved their mettle and that nothing is too difficult for them to achieve.