Saturday 24th April 2010
[Cubs had a treasure hunt at the Botanic Gardens. Our scribes, Brenda and Jeremy were in their elements and wrote a brilliant account of the days events]
How many attractions are there at the Botanic Gardens?
We love Chopin
We found it! We found it!
Eh! Not sure leh. Any clues???
Snacks, delicious snacks
Do you think we still have enough time?
No problem! I've been here before
I think we'll come in first, right?
By Scribe Brenda Wang
When I first heard that we will be going to the Botanic Garden for a treasure hunt, I was exhilarated! The memories of last year’s treasure hunt still lingered fondly in my mind. I was looking out for a fun and exciting time.
The first thing I did when I opened my eyes this morning was to look out of the window to check on the weather. Phew! It was a bright and sunny morning. On the way to school, however, when the radio DJ made the familiar warning to expect rain in certain parts of Singapore in the morning, the glee that I had on my face turned into a weary one.
Upon arrival at school, my worries gradually disappeared as I listened attentively to the “clues” that may be embedded in Akela’s briefing. After the collection of our ration, we set off for our Adventure this morning!
The “treasure hunters” arrived at Botanic Garden in no time, thanks to the clear traffic. Hopefully the rest of the morning will be smooth sailing too. A series of 29 questions were given to each team and we were supposed to find the answers to these questions which can be found in different parts of the Garden.
We looked at the questions and scratched our head in frustration. How were we supposed to answer these questions? What is the name of this tree in the picture? A flurry of unknown questions rushed into my head. We decided to try out the easier ones instead. [A clever strategy]
As we were walking towards our destination, we met a few passers-by who smiled kindly at us, probably wondering what this group of young girl scouts were doing in the park. When some cute and furry dogs passed by with their owners, the younger cubs in my group would always reach out to stroke the little dogs.
Along the way, two members in my six tripped and fell. However, they never gave up and continued the hunt after some treating their wounds. That’s called good sportsmanship! Of course, we took some water breaks in between and a sip of ice cold water from the water cooler to quench our thirst. [A Scout whistles under all difficulties. Way to go!]
On several occasions, my six would bump into other sixes which were also finding answers to the questions. Once, we met a six at the notice board counting the number of attractions in the map. We heard a boy say “ 21! 21!” So, we put ‘21’ as our answer. (We later realized it was the wrong answer; serves us right to copy.)
After answering most of the questions, we hurried back to our meeting place- we certainly didn’t want to be the last team to arrive. Fortunately, only one or two teams had reached the meeting point. We handed in our answer sheet and started to munch on our snacks. What a great reward! A few sixes came in late and had to be penalized for doing so.
When everyone had finished having their snacks, the results were announced. All of us were astonished to hear that no six had gotten above 200 marks out of 500. The first 5 sixes were given some points. And guess what, my six won first! I was taken by surprise. Well, this is what I call “Girl Power”! We congratulated each other excitedly.
Next, we boarded the bus and made our way back to school, our backs dripping with sweat. The air-con in the bus was a great present after hours under the hot sun.
When we reached school, we were given information on the two new proficiency badges: The Youth Olympic Games Interest badge and Water badge. I look forward to taking these badges- there’s room for two more badges on my shirt.
It was a great day today, learning new things, such as the Singapore’s native tree (Tembusu) and the importance of teamwork. And I also got to see some amazing sculptures like the ‘Swiss Granite Fountain’ and ‘Passing of knowledge’. Last but not least, when you encounter challenges, do not give up and keep the spirit going!
We were also told that there would be no meeting for the next three weeks due to the exams. Well, it’s down to the sweat and toil we have to put in for the exams! Sigh!
By Scribe Jeremy Tan
It was a noisy start to the day although it was only 7:15 in the morning. Besides HPPS Cubs, there were other groups assembled near the Koi Pond to ready themselves for their planned activities.
Sitting in Indian files in our Sixes, we chatted softly amongst ourselves while Akela conducted administrative matters. Akela had to ensure that all Cubs submitted their consent forms. Our hearts skipped a beat when all but one Cub was left standing as he had no consent form but his “missing” consent form was soon resolved.
Akela next reviewed the Scout Logs. He praised the Cubs for their effort and high standard in writing the log. He awarded 10 points to Sixes who were not the top three. Wombat 2 was 1st, Kangaroo was 2nd and Echidna was 3rd. The girls (Wombat 2) were creative and had a cute puppet they learnt to make last week pasted on their book. One Six group however, had not submitted their book for 2 consecutive weeks as the Cub was on sick leave.
Akela then gave us a sneak preview of what was expected at the Treasure Hunt. A map and a set of 29 questions would be given to each Six. However the map would be returned before the start of the hunt.
Before we set off, Akela conducted a headcount. This was important as safety was Akela’s top priority and he wanted to account for every Cub when they returned to school. Little did we realize the headcount exercise turned out to be stressful and nerve wrecking! Each Cub had to shout out a number beginning with the number 1 till all Cubs had shouted a number sequentially. We heard 73, 74, 75 and then Akela ordered a recount as a Cub had blundered in his number call. Each time a recount was ordered our hearts sank and we had to do 5 recounts. The noises created by other groups nearby and the lack of concentration of the Cubs were reasons for the recount. We jeered each time a recount took place and cheered when the last Cub shouted “99”. Including Senior Sixer Samuel Chin, 100 Cubs trooped into 3 buses which brought us to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Before we left, we were given a package of yummy snacks to snack after the hunt.
After a 15 minute ride in the bus, we alighted at the drop off point and assembled near Burkill gate. A final briefing was given before the hunt started. We had to move as a Six Group and we could not pluck flowers no matter how attractive they were. As this was a public place, we were to put on our best behavior. The Scout Law immediately came to my mind, where a Scout is disciplined and considerate. [I'm sure all of you did HPPS proud]
Each Sixer was given a map and a list of 29 questions. We were given 10 minutes to look over the map. There were so many details and so much information on the map that 10 minutes evaporated in a flash and we had to return the map. The Treasure Hunt was for two and the half hours and we were to return by 11:00 a.m to the ending point, which was the Garden House Gate, opposite Gleneagles Hospital. Those who returned after 11 a.m were to have points deducted.
The 29 question were tough but challenging. Sample of the questions were (i) How many attractions (in Botanic Gardens) were there? (ii) How many gardens were there? (iii) What was the picture (sculptures), where was it located and what did it symbolize? We were all so excited and tensed that when we read the last question we had forgotten the first. We all wanted to come in first in the hunt as it carried 200 points.
For my Six, Emu, we went to the Evolution Garden at the Central Core section. It showed us how the earth transformed 45 million years ago. After that, we went to Swan Lake. When we were admiring the swans and pigeons, the pigeons suddenly “attacked” us! They thought we had food for them. It was quite a frightening experience. Next we went to Tanglin Core section and saw the sculptures. They were a Girl on a swing, a Girl on a bicycle, a Lady on a hammock and Swing me mama. At each attraction we visited, we read and learnt information that we never knew before.
Lady luck smiled at us. There were many tour guides with groups of tourist visiting the Botanic Gardens. As they explained the history and the meaning of some of the attractions, we gathered around them pretending to do our stuff but were actually stretching our ears for answers to some of the questions. Some Groups of tourists found us cute and asked us which school we were from and which Scout group we belonged. They told us they were once a scout like us and seeing us brought back fond memories for them.
Some of us took pictures of the map with our handphones but this did not help as we could not read the small image off the phone. Along the way, some of us needed to go to the toilet. We lost time as we had to wait for them since we had to move as a Six. We too lost time at some of the attractions, as we spent too much time at these places.
Soon it was already 10.45 am, and we started to run to the ending point as we did not want to lose points. Almost every other Six was already there. Two Sixes arrived late.
We then had our well deserved break. We rested and ate our snacks while Akela and the Adult Leaders collected the lists of 29 questions, checked the answers and tabulated the results. Following this, Akela announced the winners of the Treasure Hunt.
Wombat 1 was first. Platypus was 2nd and 3rd was Kangaroo. My Six , Emu was last but we still earned 75 points.
After a tiring day at the Botanic Gardens , we started our journey back to school. We were all exhausted but happy.
The Treasure Hunt was the Sixes show. It was entirely left to each Sixer to plan, strategize and mobilize resources to emerge the winner. Like wolves in a pack when they hunt, we found out that the winning Six was well organized, had a well thought plan and members were committed to execute their plans well. Strong leadership and co-operation amongst members also ensured the prize catch. [What a brilliant discovery!]
On reflection, my Six could have better prepared ourselves. We were the first to sprint off in search of the “treasures” whilst others were slower to start. From hindsight we now know they were planning and strategizing. [Like a CEO]
There were 29 questions and we had two and the half hours to find the answers. We now realized that we could not find answers to all 29 questions and that we should have prioritized the questions. Like sitting for exams, we should have given more time to the difficult questions and spend less time on the simple ones.
We should have covered the ground from the farthest point and moved inwards towards the ending point so that we don’t have to tire ourselves running to the ending point.
We also learnt that all members of the Six must be committed. They must participate and contribute instead of being just followers as they tend to lose focus, their sense of urgency and accomplishment. We also need a time keeper so that we don’t spend too much time at one attraction. We could also do research on the Singapore Botanic Gardens from the internet before the Treasure Hunt day.
Like the Scout Motto “Be Prepared “ EMU will be better prepared for the coming June 10 Amazing Trail and next year’s Treasure Hunt. [You have lived up to our Cub Motto "Do Your Best"]
[Both accounts were very well written. Indeed, we chose the right Cubs to be our Scribes, a very important position as they are responsible for maintaining an interesting and accurate account of our Cubs activities. I especially like the sharing of emotion and the reflection. We find gems in lessons learnt from these reflections. Well done, Scribes. We are so proud of your great work!]