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penang free school
8th georgetown (south) sea scout group

Present Range Of Scouting In PFS And Causes To It ( Part 1)

Hey everyone, I am the current 8GTS ATL and also the Combined Scouts Council Chairman. I am here to share and acknowledge all of you on the present condition of scouting in the Grand Old Lady. As we know, Penang Free School is well-known for its scouts which have part of the School's traditions and it came along with its developments too. However, scouting is getting very passive and the Troops are left out. I assume that a number of you who are reading this would probably say that irresponsible leaders and their slackness are the main factors that have brought this to the scouting environment. However, this is not 100% true. There are many other reason that has lead to the partial demise of Troops is PFS.
GSMs' or SMs' are individuals that play a big role and carry a big burden of their shoulders to lead the Troops and bring on the right track with the help of  the Troop Leaders. Unfortunately, the Scouters have failed to perform the task as adults and guiders to the scouts. For instance, whenever the EXCOs' plan and try to organize a camp for the scouts, the Scouters will give feedback such as " I wont be around on those dates" , " I have some other task to do " and so on. What are we are asking for?? A lifetime commitment  with  Troops? No, we are only requesting for a few days and it is because the School Rules says so or else we would everything by ourselves. In that case, the SM are reluctant to spend their time with us or support our event or activities. Whenever, they are questioned they who answers that do not make sense. Next, there aren't any co-operation among the SMs'. A Troop is assigned to have 2-3 teachers who are the Scouters. However, none of them are willing to take charge whenever there is an activity. This is not only applies for them to be on duty during camps or activities but also when we ( EXCOs') ask them for their signature to acquire permission for the school ground to organize our events. A few weeks ago, I myself went up to the SM of 8GTS to get his signature so that the ASSTC could be organized. This was the feedback from him " I'm not the main person incharge, how can your GSM push everything to me??  He is the head and he is suppose to deal with all this, we are the assistant and we only help if the condition needs". I told him that the condition that he is very much needed for now as the GSM wont be around during the tentative dates of the ASSTC. He resisted to sign by giving the same answer and asked me to leave. Is that how, things work??

Troop Take Over '13 ( TTO)

Troop Take Over was held yesterday after a hectic schooling for all the Sea Scouts. Some were very tired and might not have got it clearly.....so I thought of posting the results on the blog :)

Prob ATL(s)
 :  Lim Boon Yeong                   
 :  Chew Chin Chai

Prob  VUL    
:  Sheikh Hanif
Prob  VUS    
: Fuad Ahmed

Prob SPL      
: Lim Chin Hai

Prob SPS    
 : Joel Lim

Prob PL(s)    
: Derric Lim (Beaver)                
 : Dylan Lim (Otter)                      
: Melvin Lee ( Dolphin)

Prob PS(s)    
 : Lee Jack Ian    ( Beaver)
 : Sharveen         ( Otter)
 : Kye Yen         ( Dolphin)
To those who are not elected , strive hard!!


Greetings Sea Scouts,
The Penang Free School Annual Sports Day is just around the corner. It will be held on the 22nd of June 2013. Best of luck to all the 8GTS scouts who are representing their Houses for events. Those who are not participating, dont worry you still can contribute something during the big day through many other ways.Last years, champion was Sirajudin the one and only Sirajudin who stopped Wu Lien Teh from being champs for 8th time. See you there!!! Adios Amigos


Congrats to Probationary ATLs' Lim Boon Yeong and Chew Chin Chai for leading the  Troop to the CGL Campfire. They tried at their level best to achieve something. And guess what??? They got 2nd Runners Up. Even though we have lost to maintain our previous victory but we should be happy to bring back the 1st trophy for the year 2013. So......lets see what happens next year. Adios.

Scouting Knowledge

It has been at least 4-5 years since I contributed to this blog and it feels good to share my thoughts once again to the new members .Well , I actually do have lots of ideas and ways to improve the troop but I have been questioning our new member's attitude and whether are they up for new challenges I might have for them.

Ever since I left in 2008, my biggest regret or what I would say ,my mistake was not to focus on scouting knowledge and passing down it down to my juniors . When I was appointed as Troop Leader ,my primary goal was very clear which was to better than the previous batch of leaders in the past, in terms of performing better in Annual gatherings/campfires , having more members , and mostly trying to organise the 'best' Combined Training Camp up to date. Everyone wanted to emulate the success of the batch from 1998-2000 if I am not mistaken and it became a benchmark for all future scouts from that year onwards .Everyone was only looking forward to the end year camp because we know there will be 50 over girls attending our camp and having practically 4 months to plan and organise that camp was a complete waste of time.

If we had used that 4 months to teach knowledge to our juniors ,I believed we could have been the sole producers of King Scouts in Penang on a consistent basis .Let me get straight to title , scouting knowledge is GOLD ! Let me list out a few knowledge or skill that every scout should know :

1.Fire Building.
Yes, fire is easy to produce with matches and lighters no doubt .When I left the troop , the knowledge on how to build fire was there and I hope it still exist up to date .Now here comes the tricky part .How do you build one without matches and lighters?

a)Flint and Steel .
If I am not mistaken flint is made from magnesium , and when you scrap it against steel (Use 'Parang') it produces lots of spark to start off your fire .Estimated time ~ seconds if you are good at it .

b)Friction with wood and bamboo
This is obviously the hardest of them all.This could take forever as a proper technique is required .I would love to go back school one day and experiment this method out .Tell me if you are up for it .

2)Compass & Map reading
Well everyone has an iPhone and other smart phones to navigate us to our locations. So why bother using a compass right? Well  navigating using a map and compass requires skills and precision .There is no way I will be able to teach it here .

3) Building gadgets.
No surprise what we are famous for ,Bamboos & Teikkos which made Ah Chun (Probably the sole provider of bamboos in Penang) a millionaire = )  What happened to chopping them down ? Well , I once tried to chop down some along Cheeseman Road and the bamboo weren't as straight or equally as good quality than those being bought .So I hope that explains why this isn't practice anymore .

Well the thought of spending $$$ to buy bamboos yearly doesn't bother me .What bothers me was us spending to beat the other patrols  because we were being evaluated by the Exco's to decide the Overall Champion. Building a big gateway or fortress isn't survival ! I remember being asked by Mr.X during a horseshoe

Mr X: Your fencing and gateway isn't strong enough to protect your members from wild animals.

Being a good member, I never like to question my leader because the fear of taking more pumps during horseshoe.

Let's face the facts that if an elephant came charging towards our gadgets ,how could any fencing withstand such pressure?

Therefore, there are no reasons to build such mighty gadgets and sky scrapping towers .Impressing the crowd leads to waste of money and it contradicts with our whole idea of building gadgets for survival in the wild .

4) Fishing 
How about making a fishing rod made out of bamboo or making a spear and dive in to the sea ( I would never recommend this though) .Fishing was never taught in scouts sadly during my entire time in scouts . Fishing was easy for me cause my dad taught me but it was with professional fishing rods .Any ex-scouts would like to step forward and teach the current scouts?
Hooks !


There are actually so many more knowledge that our scouts don't practice any more such as morse code, climbing ropes , backwoodsman , and the list goes on and on .The fact we replace them with banner competitions , drilling ,miniature ship building ,mascot , spending weeks on dances and sketches , doing logbook , all  makes us looks like girlguides when you come to think of it .That isn't scouting . If I could turn back time , would have never involve my members in such waste-of-time-activities .

As for the scout car, I believed it is a tradition but why involve our scouts for so many months to build one when they literally don't even have any of the basics of scouting .If I am not mistaken , there were some classes done last year and my question would be :Where is the scout car in the end? .

Current leaders and members ,I only hope you don't repeat the mistakes of past leaders including mine .Do what you think that is essential to scouting .Only then , I believe more students will join scouts in future .

My conclusion is we need to revive back the lost scouting knowledge and it is never too late .No point involving the troop members in activities which has no purpose in scouting.

Present scouts if you are willing to learn any of the above , I would gladly like to help .

Let me know your thoughts and that includes you too , ex-scouts =)