Written by Bryan Quan, Edited by Kaden Teo and Chey Jedd
From 18 to 20 November 2022, Catholic High Scout Group conducted our Scout Leadership Camp. This was the first in-person overnight camp that the Troop has had since the pandemic started, and we were determined to do the best we could.
For the Level 1 and 2 Scouts, the camp aimed to test their scouting skills and inculcate leadership skills, while also preparing them for future leadership appointments. For the Level 3 Scouts, the camp was an evaluative camp, to seek out potential candidates for ventureship to lead the Troop to greater heights.
Scout Leadership Camp
The camp itself was packed, always keeping us busy and on our toes. Day 1 started with an inspection to ensure all Patrols had prepared their equipment. Then we proceeded with camp development before plotting our routes in preparation for our hike on Day 2.
After lunch, it was Wide Games where we explored the Bishan community while accomplishing a variety of tasks. Then, after dinner, we listened to a ventureship talk by the Rovers and played Night Games like Murder Mystery and 追踪.
On Day 2, we embarked on our hike at 9.20 a.m., following the routes that we had plotted beforehand. The distance differ based on Patrols; around 25km for Level 1s and 2s, and at least 35km for Level 3s.
After returning to school and consuming dinner, we had our campfire. During which, each Patrol performed their own Patrol skits based on the theme “looking wide, 深谋远虑”. Everyone had fun, especially the juniors who finally got to experience a real Scout campfire.
On Day 3, we were suddenly woken up at 5.30 a.m. for an evacuation drill. This meant clearing out the campsite in preparation to move out within a very short duration. The purpose of this exercise was to evaluate how we would react in unexpected high-pressure situations, and the Troop did not disappoint. Despite waking up to tear down the whole campsite, facing the ground, and running around the track in the dark with our rucksacks on, we refused to let fatigue take over, and more importantly, refused to give up.
Following our final inspection to ensure all logistics have been cleaned and accounted for, we went through a series of SRIT stations, each testing our leadership, reactions and a range of scouting skills.
To end off the camp, we had a Troop debrief, learning what we did right, what we did poorly, and what we must continue to work towards to ensure that we are ready for the upcoming year.
The Best Patrol of SLC 2022 was also announced and I would like to congratulate Patrol 2 for achieving this remarkable title! Below is the list of Scouts in Patrol 2 during the camp:
Raphael Tham, Cobra Sec 2
Jonas Lok, Cobra Sec 2
Caleb Ng, Cobra Sec 2
Caleb Tan, Rhino Sec 2
Zachary Lau, Rhino Sec 2
Beldan Sng, Cobra Sec 1
Kaiden Chan, Cobra Sec 1
Kang Yi Hun, Rhino Sec 1
Li Jia Yang, Rhino Sec 1
In no time at all, 3 days had passed, not only testing us on scouting skills, but at the same time allowing us to improve our leadership and decision-making skills while fostering stronger inter-Troop bonds.
Although the camp was not easy, it was definitely a rewarding one for all of us, one where we can all say that we walked away as better people than before. Below are some of the reflections written by the Scouts who had participated in the camp.
Kang Yi Hun, Rhino Patrol, Sec 1
'SLC camp was a tiring yet meaningful experience. It has trained me to be more resilient both physically and mentally in order to face challenges. The games organised taught me the importance of teamwork in a Patrol. Although I made mistakes throughout the camp, I learnt from my mistakes and moved on.
During gadget building, I learnt that holding the bamboo still while my Patrol members are tying it might sound like something trivial but it actually has more significance, ensuring that the bamboo is tied at the correct position and that the structure is stable, allowing us to hang our clothes dry for a more comfortable camping life. The hike has also taught me the importance of high-quality work in our map sketches and route maps, such as the accuracy of the size of buildings drawn in a map sketch.
When dismantling the gadgets, we kept exceeding the time limit as we worked too slowly, resulting in us getting scolded. This lesson has taught me to have a sense of urgency and prioritise my actions appropriately to the situation. I also learnt that inspections must be standardised and neat in order to easily identify missing equipment.
Overall, the camp has strengthened me physically and mentally. It has also taught me important values and lessons such as teamwork and having a sense of urgency. I felt that the whole experience was tiring but purposeful.'
Josiah Chia, Tiger Assistant Patrol Leader, Sec 2
'I found this year’s SLC a great lesson on leadership. It allowed me to learn 2 key lessons: the importance of clear communication and the importance of stepping back.
On the first day of SLC, when I was the standing SPL, I was unable to communicate instructions clearly during the inspection, as my instructions were vague. For example, I would tell the Troop to move something to the left, but they would not know which left they had to move the item to. As a result, a Scout Leader advised me to use landmarks to make my instructions more clear. So, I started telling the Troop to move something towards the fitness corner instead of just saying "left."
During camp development, I also learnt the importance of stepping back to see the big picture. When we were building pounders, I thought that all the pounders were aligned. However, a Rover got me to step back (both literally and figuratively) and brought me to the staircase beside the den. From there, I could see that the pounders were not aligned perfectly, which allowed me to make amendments.
Overall, I found this SLC experience an extremely enriching lesson on leadership, as it helped me greatly in becoming a better leader.'
Bryan Quan, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Sec 3
'This SLC is one where for some of us Level 3s, we will call our first and last overnight Scout camp. Although some of us will take up ventureship in 2023, some of us will also decide to step down from Scouts, hence this would be our last camp as a batch.
Throughout the camp, although we were constantly being pushed to the limit, we displayed excellent brotherhood, camaraderie and teamwork as a batch, something that I am truly proud of. Despite being split into 3 Patrols, we were always looking out for one another which can be seen through us working together as a single unit instead of 3 separate Patrols in our camp development and more to make sure that no Patrol was left behind.
I am also proud that before we stepped down, we were able to show the Troop the true meaning of brotherhood and camaraderie, something that we managed to develop through our 3 years together. From pushing through during punishments when all of us were ready to give up, and always giving a resounding “No Sir!” to our seniors asking if we were tired, or wanted to drop out; to proudly shouting our Troop cheer at the top of our lungs, these are the special moments that might seem insignificant to others, but will be etched in our minds for years to come.
This brotherhood is also the reason that we were able to pull through the camp, as I am sure that none of us would have been able to complete a 35km hike without encouragement from one another.
All things considered, I am extremely proud of my batch’s performance throughout this SLC, and I would not have wanted to experience this with anyone else.'