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17 March 2011

Pioneering Course 2011

Hi guides,

On the 12th of March, Saturday, the y2-4s had a pioneering course, planned by the company leaders and PLs.

We started off with a lecture on the basics of pioneering, where our guides gained insight into pioneering as a hallmark of guiding. The guides also got to learn about planning a pioneering project, basics lashes and possible pioneering projects. After the lecture, the main part of the activity started!

The theme of the pioneering course was "building a village". Our guides were told that they would be constructing a "village" for our guides company.

Before starting on the "village", the PLs led their patrols in practising their lashes and covering all the common equipment used for pioneering. During this theory and practical session, our guides were able to brush up on their basics to aid them in the actual pioneering later on.

Before lunch, instructions were given for the 10 patrols to erect their patrol flagpoles, as a symbol of their patrols. Then, we broke off for lunch.

After lunch, the buidling of the "village" began. The guides were divided into different groups to build their individual structures, with the help and guidance of their mentors, which were PLs put in charge of the different structures. The structures built are as follows:

1. gateway, representing entrance to the village
2. shelter, representing the town hall
3. tower, representing the watch tower
4. company flagpole
5. kitchen area, consisting of fire altar, kitchen dresser and dustbin
6. living area, consisting of table, chair, shoe rack and baggage rack

The guides worked on their structures for 2 1/2 h. A debrief was then given on each of the structures and the village as a whole.

The mentors and OIC feel that the pioneering course was a good chance for everyone, be it y2s, 3s, 4s or even the mentors, to brush up on and revise their pioneering skills. The mentors believe that everyone has learnt and taken something away from this pioneering course, in the course of learning from one another. For the guides, I'm sure many of you learnt anchorage with arthurs and excaliburs for the first time and gained insight into many pioneering structures. As for the mentors, it was a good chance to revise many pioneering tips and practise leading a group of juniors in pioneering. As said, a leader functions in times of uncertainty, while a manager funcions in times of certainty.

Some learning points to take away from this pioneering course: Firstly, there may have been many hiccups throughout the pioneering course, be it the lack of manpower for the spar structures, insufficient time, problems with logistics, etc, but overall, the improvisations made and flexibility shown by our guides is commendable. In addition, all of the guides showed eagerness to learn and enthusiasm.

However, guides, do take note that your sense of urgency needs improvement. While things take time to do, there was a lack of sense of urgency-you trying to be the fastest you can. For example, when tying lashes, your actions should be swift-a good lash is one that is quick and tight. On the other hand, when dismantling structures, you do not need to remove every lash round by round. Do improve on this. Guides 不是跑就是飞, wherever you are going, whatever you are doing, be the fastest you can, do the best you can.

In all, it was heartwarming to see our guides work together to build the village and hand in hand, learn more about pioneering. Hope that everyone will continue to challenge themselves in pioneering and have fun with it. Good job guides!

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