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10 May 2011

PLTC 2011

Hi guides,

last week, the y3s have completed their PLTC. Below are the reflections of 2 guides on PLTC. To the y3s, good job for completing PLTC as a batch and the y4s and seniors hope that this camp has spurred all of you on to be even better guides and leaders! Remember what you all learnt during the course of pre-camp and camp and apply them (:

1st reflection:

We year threes have just completed our Patrol Leader Training Camp and these are some of our reflections for each individual activity of the camp. On the whole, we really feel that PLTC has been a great learning experience for us and we will definitely remember this camp for the rest of our lives.

We started off with camp development. We were given about 3h to build all our necessary structures and gadgets, however, some of the patrols were not able to complete them due to poor time management. I think we should also have planned the usage of our logistics properly, as there were many last minute swaps in the logistics which resulted in the waste of time and other problems. As for our lashings, I feel that there is much improvement that can be made. In all, the time allocated for camp development was really more than enough and we should have planned our time appropriately instead of facing the problems on the spot and panicking.

We had our KYB at 7.30pm. I think that KYB was more of getting our patrol to bond together and to know each other better, instead of just knowing oneself better. Most of the stations required effort as a patrol, instead of individual strength. I think our morales were very high during KYB thus we managed to put in our utmost best for each station.

During PLC, we reflected on our good and bad points. A senior also told us that we should not blame our logistics for any problems, instead we ourselves should think about why there were such problems. To me, Day 1 was not very fulfilling due to our slow actions in camp development.

There was inspection on our personal belongings on Day 2. I think our actions were still rather slow and we over-relied on our PL because we had not memorised the inspection layout. We should have done so and not have the mindset that only the PL was responsible for this.

For PA, our actions were slightly faster than during camp development, but it was still quite slow. Also, because our PA proposal was regretfully done last-minute, we did not have the time to foresee any problems and their solutions. Also, for my patrol, our manila ropes were all entangled thus much of our time was spent disentangling them. I think we should have done so before PLTC to maximise our time given for pioneering activities.

After lunch, we had OJ. To me, this OJ was quite similar to the OJ we had during last year’s ATC, in that they both focus on application of skills in practical situations. Our morale was very high during OJ and we did care for one another. However, we did not really consider the possible solutions for each station and we again over-relied on the PL in instructing us. We should really have brainstormed ourselves the possible things we could have done at each station instead of just waiting for instructions to be delegated to us.

Soon after, we had our PLTC campfire. Due to bad weather, our campfire was held in the hall with kerosene lamps instead of firewood. However, despite so, the atmosphere was still there and we did sing along and danced along with our songleaders. Also, Ruiyang’s yarn was really inspiring and I think that that was the crux of the camp. Being a leader is definitely not easy, but I believe that our whole batch of year threes will try our best to become a good leader.

In the morning of Day 3, we had a lecture on patrol structure. Through this lecture, we learnt that every role was important, be it PL, PS, or P3. Many people think that the role of a PS is not important, but that is not the case. Each role shares equal amounts of responsibilities thus we should not see PS in a different light. Each role is significant.

Then we had our Pioneering. Each patrol built different structures and at the end we could see each patrol’s design. In all, our structures were generally very stable, which was commendable. We were given the chance to learn from other patrol’s structures, so I think we really benefitted a lot through pioneering. Guides seldom have pioneering so we really cherished this time in PLTC to build structures using spars.

In all, I feel that throughout PLTC, although our morales were quite high, we should have put in more effort into each activity. I think that the efforts we put in were increasing throughout the three days but we could have done better. Our patrolmates gave us the motivation to move on and we really did cherish them. We have many points for improvement, especially in leadership, and I trust that all of us will try hard to improve upon our flaws.


2nd Reflection:

PLTC started on a Friday afternoon, after school. All our practices, trainings and rushing of proposals boiled down to the next 3 days. We were not exactly sure what to expect, despite hearing numerous stories from our seniors.

At first, we started out rather blur and unsure of what to do. We lacked a sense of urgency and panicked at the slightest problems. We faced the consequences, of course, but that jolted all of us up and we promised ourselves as well as our seniors that we will strive even harder for the rest of PLTC. We moved faster and learnt how to remain calm even in unexpected situations. After all, flexibility and on-the-spot thinking are essential for us to solve our problems quickly and move on, instead of being so rigid all the time.

Many a times, we have been told that as a jie and patrol, we are only as strong as the weakest link. We kept that line in mind and it reminded us to help one another even in the toughest times. It was important that we remained unselfish throughout the camp and understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses, in order for our whole jie or our whole patrol to reach our maximum potential, together as one. This same line also taught us not to be complacent- we may be exceptionally skilled in one aspect, but there are other aspects which we are weaker in and thus have to learn, or even depend on others to guide us along.

PLTC taught us a lot. It taught us how to persevere on even when we were on the verge of giving up and further reinforced in us “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. Yes, it is through these harsh and seemingly unmanageable moments that we learn how to endure all the way, only to emerge stronger than before. Also, we cannot achieve this without the help of our jie and patrol mates. Teamwork is crucial for us to be able to overcome all these challenges and complete PLTC. It is an undeniable fact that without the communication and cooperation within a jie and patrol, it would have pretty much been impossible for us to “survive” PLTC. The satisfaction we get when we have completed a task together is simply indescribable.

Now, we finally understand what our seniors mean when they told us PLTC is going to be one of the most memorable camps in your life, and that you will have to cherish every moment in the camp because before you know it, it would have ended. The 3-day journey we have been anticipating for the past 2 years flashed by. It certainly bonded us, both guides as well as scouts, and gave us an opportunity to work with one another. We might have made mistakes along the way, but what is important is that we learn from them and improve on them, instead of committing the same mistakes again. PLTC made us grow, both physically and psychologically. It did make us tougher and we realise that many things which we thought was impossible to complete in the past might not be the same way now.

Looking back, I really miss PLTC, being together with my patrol mates and the never-ending encouragement we get from our course leaders. Thank you teachers, seniors and all duty personnel, for putting in so much time and energy to plan this camp, and for ensuring the smooth-sailing of PLTC throughout the 3 days. Thank you for giving us the most exciting adventure and learning journey of our lives.

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