Written by Joanne Koong, Sixer & Scribe Leader
We headed for the campfire site with lots of excitement. The campfire circle was abuzz with chatter and laughter as the Japanese scouts, scouts from Ahmad Ibrahim and Edgefield Secondary School and the Black Knights were already there. When we were seated, we were given glow sticks which we cracked with much gusto. We soon realised that we were surrounded by tall trees and darkness. There was only a lamp at the campfire circle but it went off intermittently.
Before long, the campfire started. It was declared open by Mr Matsuda, the adult leader of the Japanese scouts. We started with “Campfires’s burning” followed by various performances by the different groups - dances, songs and cheers. When it was our turn, we took up our positions enthusiastically and could not wait to show our friends the dance we had practised in the afternoon. We danced to two K-Pop songs: “As if your last” and “Likey”. We got to perform our dance a second time, after inviting our Japanese friends to join us. During the performance, we could not hear the music, but all in all, it was still fun.
One of the cheers we did was rather funny. We had to shout louder and louder in order to make an imaginary curry puff bigger to fulfil the emcee’s hunger. After the cheer, we did the thousand-legged worm. Edgefield Secondary School scouts put up a skit based on Pókemon. I thought that their skit was quite entertaining.
The highlight of the campfire was the Japanese scouts’ skit. The skit was based on a Japanese folklore called Momotarō which means Peach Boy. Momotarō sets off to fight a demon on a faraway island. On the way, he met a dog, a monkey and a bird who agreed to help him. Together they defeated the demon. The scouts wore a picture of the animal on their foreheads to show which animal each person represented. Our Japanese friends had made an effort to translate Japanese into English so that we could understand the skit. I feel that it was very gracious of them.
The campfire soon came to an end. Instead of the usual scout hymn, we were taught something different. We were instructed to go near the fire and stretch out our right hand with the scout sign. Then, when given the cue by Mr Wee Jin, everyone said “woosh” as we lowered our right arms to declare the campfire closed.
Although we were exhausted after spending the whole day and night at the Sarimbun campsite, we were thankful for the unique and invaluable experience – Backwoodsman cooking, lunch, gift exchange and campfire with the visiting Japanese cubs and scouts. I had met a few of them during the Camporee in Japan last December. I was delighted to see them again! I am sure all of us had enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. What a memorable event!