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12 November 2012

6th to 8th November ATC!

Hi Guides!(:
From 6th to 8th November, we had ATC, which stands for Annual Training Camp. ATC is a camp held by the Year 3s (counsellors) for the Year 2s and Year 1s (trainees) to test and improve their various Guides skills:) Our ATC theme this year was Dream, tagline: Dream As if You'll Live Forever, in order to inspire our trainees towards a single dream for our company. We had our ATC at Camp Christine!:)

On Day 1, we assembled at DHS foyer with all our logistics for Admin Matters and Goal Setting from 0730 to 0815. During this period of time, we took attendance, followed by breaking up into our own ATC patrols to discuss our goals for ATC, both individually and as a patrol, for example develop leadership skills and have high morale, etc. Most patrols were quite quiet, but after someone got the ball rolling, all the patrols had their goals written down in their camp booklets by 0815:)

After Goal Setting, we had to move all our logistics into a big lorry to transport to Camp Christine. It was quite hectic, but we managed to fit everyone's logistics into the lorry:) Then, we got onto the buses provided with our bags to set off for Camp Christine:)

After reaching Camp Christine at 0930, we had to move out all our logistics from the lorry and assemble with them to the Camp D I/Cs. Then Camp D Part 1 officially started!:) Camp D stands for Camp Development, and is an integral part of camps for the trainees to set up their campsite and build the gadgets required for use later on in the camp, specifically Kitchen Shelter, Fire Altar, 1 8-Men Tent (from our 团部), 1 Camp Christine Tent, 1 Emergency Shelter, Dustbin, Shoerack, Banner Gadget, Patrol Flagpole, and Baggage Rack. The Year 2s were briefed on how to pitch the Camp Christine Tents previously, so it was up to them to lead their Year 1s during Camp D.

A Brief Introduction to Camp Gadgets...:)

The Kitchen Shelters were shared between patrols, i.e. 1 Kitchen Shelter was shared between 2 patrols, so the trainees' coordination with other patrols was tested. Its purpose is to provide shelter for the trainees to take refuge, other than the tents, and also as a shelter for their Fire Altar. The Fire Altar is a gadget for the trainees to have their Outdoor Cooking on:)

The two tents -- to provide shelter and space for the trainees to sleep in at night:)

Emergency Shelter -- to provide shelter for the trainees' logistics, for example their gadget poles, styrofoam boxes, and 配备:) Things underneath have to be elevated to prevent the logistics from getting wet due to contact with the ground when it rains:)

Baggage Rack -- to provide a platform for the trainees' to put their bags on in the tents

Dustbin -- to throw away trash:D

Banner Gadget & Patrol Flagpole -- for the trainees to attach their patrol banners and flags respectively. :)

Camp D Part 1 lasted from 1000 to 1230, after which was lunch for 1 hour!:)

Then Camp D Part 2 lasted from 1330 to 1700, halfway during which it rained!:(
So we assembled at Olave Hall for Patrol Corner and discussed Campfire Preparation:) After the rain stopped, we continued Camp D....until 1700, for dinner!:)

A Year 2's thoughts on Camp D...

           Camp-D was the first and also one of the most important activities for ATC. My patrol started off quite slowly as we were not very clear on where to build what. We spent quite a lot of time moving our logistics around and when we finally settled down, we also had difficulty trying to pitch the Camp Christine tent, mainly because it was quite confusing with the different layers of the tent.

           While some of my patrol mates went to build the kitchen shelter, the rest of us stayed to pitch the Camp Christine tent first. A lot of time was delayed trying to unfold the tent and find a good spot to pitch up the tent, and when we were finally able to pitch the tent up, the tent kept collapsing because the ground was very soft and the tent pegs kept coming out. After much effort, we finally managed to pitch the tent without it falling.

            Overall, I think my patrol’s sense of urgency during Camp-D was not very good at first, but we improved after awhile, especially during the second part. Although there were quite a few problems, this only made us have a better sense of urgency and spurred us on in order to finish building everything on time.

After dinner, it was time for.....Night PT!:) PT stands for Physical Training, in which the trainees were tested on their physical and mental strength through gruelling exercises at 6 different stations. It is a chance for the patrol to bond together via encouraging each other on throughout the PT and also to build up their physique.

The theme of this Day 1 PT was 'Bed of Roses'. This theme was chosen we want to let the trainees know that the path to achieving their “Dream” may be filled with hurdles and obstacles which they have to overcome. :)

No specific order of the stations was given to the trainees. The I/Cs flashed the stations (Written in Guide’s Code) and immediately they had to proceed to their respective stations. Each one station could only accomodate one patrol, so if there was already another patrol present, they had to move to whichever venue was free. The number of stations they cleared affected their overall score as well. Thus, the trainees had to quickly decide the order of the stations each patrol was going to, or it would become chaotic, testing them on their inter-patrol communication:)

A Year 1's thoughts on PT...

               The physical training during camp was much tougher compared to normal physical training but I must admit that with the support of my patrol mates, it was manageable. This physical training made me realise how important patrol morale and encouragement was.

A Year 2's thoughts on PT...

                Night PT was probably the most tiring activity during the whole camp, but at the same time also very fun and interesting, because many of the stations were quite special. As our patrol went from station to station, we got more and more tired, but we didn’t stop cheering and kept our morale high. Through this, I finally realized how important it was to cheer, because it gives each other energy as we cheer each other on, and remind each other that the whole patrol is doing it together, thus we should really give in our best. PT gave me a really great sense of accomplishment, and whether or not my patrol did well in it, it did not really matter because we all knew that we gave in our best, supporting each other and not giving up no matter how tough the station was.

After the entire PT was over, the trainees were given 1hr 15mins to bathe and do reflections:), followed by........Night Games!(: Night Games is another component of ATC in which trainees moved around to 6 stations to see 6 scenes of an overall storyline, followed by answering some questions about it. Its purpose is to allow the trainees overcome their fears to become more courageous and see if the trainees take care of their patrolmates, as the stationmasters will attempt to snatch away some people if the trainees aren't careful...:)

The 6 stations each depicted a scene from the protagonist's nightmare. The plot of the nighmare revolved around the protaganist’s fears of isolation and having no friends and also the regrets of her and the people around her after her death in the dream. The plot showed some of the common fears teens have to deal with. The plot highlighted how precious life is and encouraged the trainees to treasure life and to live it full without regrets. The highly interactive stations immersed the trainees in the protaganist’s scary nightmare, and truly tested their courage.
A Year 2's thoughts on Night Games...

            This year’s Night Games was rather fun and quite special too. Other than just listening or watch the different scenes and try to unfold the plot, there was also some “interaction”, such as the station with the skipping rope, the ball, and also the one which required us to play scissors paper stone. I feel that the Night Games helped my patrol to know each other more as we got to know what they were each afraid of. We also learnt to take care of each other more, and help each other by overcoming their fears.
After Night Games, the trainees had supper!:) followed by Lights-Out:D
Day 2!

At 0700, we had Morning PT for 25mins!:) It was carried out in circuits consisting runs around Olave Hall, jumping jacks, pumpings (Girls' Style), and sit-ups, which were repeated until the time was up. Afterwards, we had breakfast!:D

After breakfast was In-Camp Inspection at Olave Hall!:) The difference from Pre-Camp Inspection is that this time, the trainees had to layout their personal belongings instead of patrol logistics:) The purpose of this was to air their items, as well as test their communication within and between patrols!:)
The trainees were given 10 minutes to layout their belongings for the first try, but halfway through they had to report to the I/Cs as the layout wasn't up to standard:( Then, they were given 10 minutes to layout their belongings again, followed by the counsellors going around to check on and grade their layout on a rotational basis according to the criteria given to them:)
P1&P4 –- Attire and Standardization
P2&P5 -- Neatness
P3&P6 -- Completeness
All patrols – Sense of urgency & Inspection of campsite

A Year 1's thoughts on In-Camp Inspection...

              Being our first in-camp inspection, we, as Year 1s, did not really know what to do as the scene was very chaotic with plastic bags thrown all over and our bags were in a mess. You could put your belongings in front of you but the next second, BAM! it disappears. I felt very lost and bewildered as I could not find a lot of things during inspection and there was a lack of time to lay out all our belongings due to the messy surroundings. The Year 2s were very nervous but they managed to lay out their things neatly. From this Inspection, it clearly shows the need for a sense of urgency in Guides and for us to listen to our Year 2s' instructions.

A Year 2's thoughts on In-Camp Inspection...

               For inspection, I was the PL. When we laid out the first time, we were quite slow, especially since it was the first time the Year 1s were having Inspection and they were quite blur and confused, and also because it was the first main activity for the day. After that, when we laid out the second time, we realized that we lost one of our groundsheets, and we also forgot to distribute the ponchos earlier before Inspection. Thus, the layout ended up rather messy and there were many gaps in between. As the PL, I think I was unable to communicate and give clear instructions to my patrolmates, and instead only focused on laying out my items. During Inspection, it is important to have good communication not only in the patrol, but also with the other patrols as everything should be standardized. However, we missed out this point and our counsellors had to keep reminding us on what to do. I feel that we could have prepared better for the Inspection by memorizing the layouts properly, and standardizing everything among the patrols so that less time would have to be spent on adjusting the layout.

After In-Camp Inspection, it was time for Outdoor Cooking (OC) and Lunch from 1030 to 1400!!:)
For OC, the patrols had to send some trainees to Pax Lodge to prepare the raw food, e.g. marinating, getting the seasonings, while the rest of the patrol members went to the Fire Altars under the Kitchen Tents to do preparations for cooking, e.g. setting up the zinc plate, taking out the kindlings to start the fire. The trainees were given 3 hr 30min to cook and eat their food, but at 1245 they had to move some food to Pax Lodge for grading:)

The food given to them per patrol:)
  • Raw chicken thighs (2 packets)
  • 2 cans of Campbell Cream of Mushroom soup
  • Instant noodles
  • Xiao Bai Chye (1 packet)
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • Oil & Oyster Sauce (to be shared among patrols)
  • Oranges
This OC was to test the trainees on their fire-lighting skills and time management:)

Correct fire-lighting method!:)

• Spread sand on top of zinc plate, followed by placing 3 bricks to form the three sides of a rectangle
• 木麻黄 placed in the shape of a wigwam inside the space created by the bricks, with a hole in the middle. Thin twigs placed around it.
• Light the 木麻黄 and allow the twigs to catch fire.
• Add larger and thicker twigs to sustain the fire.
• Two short and one long breaths to sustain the fire.


The presentation of the food to be graded was up to the individual patrols, but it had to be linked to the theme of 'Dream'!:)

A Year 1's thoughts on Outdoor Cooking...

            Outdoor cooking was one of the least strenuous and more fun activities in ATC. I had a tough time trying to start and sustain a fire. However, my seniors aided me along and made this task a lot easier. We also managed to bond as a patrol while we were busy at the kitchen shelter. It was hard not to let ashes get into our food but we tried our best toremove most of them and in the end when we ate them, the whole patrol ate from the same plate and this made it seem like the food was very delicious instead. I could feel a great sense of achievement eating the food that my patrol cooked together. We may not have been the one cooking, but it seems that without any one of us, it would not be possible to cook out such great food. I feel more bonded with my seniors and batchmates and I've managed to learn better skills in sustaining a fire. Outdoor cooking has indeed been a wonderful experience!

A Year 2's thoughts on Outdoor Cooking...

For outdoor cooking, my patrol took a very long time to start and sustain a fire. In the end, we even ran out of kindlings and had to borrow from other patrols. I feel that we have a lot of room for improvement in our firelighting skills, because it was mainly always the same few people trying to start and sustain the fire, whereas the rest just stood around the fire altar without anything to do as they were mostly unsure of how to sustain the fire.  We should also have prepared more kindlings, and as the counsellors said, “There is no such thing as too much kindlings”. After this activity, I realized that I am not very experienced in outdoor cooking and that there is a lot I need to improve on in it.

After OC, it was time for OJ at 1400!:)

For OJ, there was a total of 6 compulsory stations and 2 bonus stations:) The theme of the OJ was 'Journey to Dreamland', in accordance to the central theme 'Dream'. Like Night PT on Day 1, the order of the stations was not decided for the patrols:)

Station 1

For station 1, it was the Acid River station:) The patrol had to cross one mattress from one side using the logistics provided to them: 2 黄木, 2 红木, 1 黑木, 8 麻绳 + the 青木 they had to carry for OJ. They were not allowed to let their feet touch the mattress, so they had to tie a structure using the logistics to get all the patrol members across in 10 mins. The suggested solution is:

But some patrols had other ideas.....!:O

Station 2

Station 2 was the Fire-lighting station!:) The patrol had to boil 2 messtins full of water, one using kindlings, and another one using 原子炉 and 原子蜡 in 5mins. Afterwards, they had to walk along a route allocated to them without touching the floor. As there was a gap in the route connected by a wall with a rectangle space in the center, they had to tie something to get across the gap and continue the route. They were given various 木 to do so, and all the patrol members had to finish the route within 12 minutes:)

Station 3

Station 3 was the First-Aid and Emergency Shelter station:) The patrol had to treat two members who 1. had an open fracture on her right leg and is in shock, and 2. fainted. They were given 10 minutes to do so.

Correct treatment:
Right leg (Open fracture)
  • Loosely cover wound with clean, non-fluffy pad or sterile dressing. Apple pressure to control bleeding, but do not press on a protruding bone.
  • Carefully place clean padding over and around dressing
  • Secure dressing and padding with bandage. Bandage firmly but not too tightly as it may impair circulation. 
  • Immobilize injured part (bandage injured part to an unaffected part of the body/ stiff, straight object). Arrange to transport casualty to hospital.
  • Treat the possible cause of shock (in this case right leg open fracture)
  • Lay casualty down on blanket to insulate her from cold ground. Constantly reassure her.
  • Raise and support her legs to improve the blood supply to vital organs. Take care as there is a fracture in her leg.
  • Loosen tight clothing at the neck, chest, and waist to reduce constriction.
  • Keep casualty warm by covering her body and legs with coats or blankets. Dial 999.
  • Monitor and record vital signs (level of response, pulse, and breathing).
  • Lie the casualty down. Kneel down, raise her legs, and support her ankles on your shoulders. This helps to improve blood circulation to her brain.
  • Make sure she has plenty of fresh air.
  • Advise her to sit up gradually. Repeat if she feels faint, until she is fully recovered.
After treating the casualties, the patrol was given 10 minutes to build 1 Emergency Shelter big enough for the casualties to take shelter under and transport them to it. Everyone other than the PL was blindfolded. The advised method was to transport the casualties via a stretcher and make use of the surroundings for any structures to which the ponchoes could be attached to.

Station 4

Station 4 was the ladder and modified 夜里行军 station:) For the first part, the patrol had to build a ladder using the logistics given to them: 10 白木, 2 红木 in order to reach some Post-its pasted high up on a wall. They had to recover the Post-its with their patrol number on it, decipher the word in Guides code on it, then form a message using the words they had. Afterwards, everyone except the PL was blindfolded. The PL had to guide the patrol without touching them, around the area where balls are scattered randomly to 'cure' the patrolmates of their 'blindness'. Every 1 minute, one patrol member was taken out. The patrol had to do this until all of the balls were picked up, thus they had to work fast!:D

Station 5
Station 5 was the Electric fence and Fireman's Ladder station:) Firstly, the patrol had to surrender all their logistics except for their 配备, which were then put on a platform at the top of the stairs. Raffia string was strung all over the stairs leading to their logistics and some obstacles were placed on the steps as well. The patrol had to do Girls' Style pumping position while 1 person went up the Electric Fence to get back the logistics, avoiding the fence and the obstacles on the way. All the patrol members had to go up the fence at least once, and they were given 10 minutes to do so.

Afterwards, using the logistics given to them, the patrol had to build a Fireman's Ladder and get all of their members to flip over it in 5minutes:)
Station 6
Station 6 was the Catapult and Survival skills station:) Using the logistics given to them, the patrol had to build a Catapult and shoot some red birds pasted on the wall, while avoiding the yellow bird in the middle. They were given 15 minutes to do so. Afterwards, they had 5 minutes to caterpillar walk near the area to look for slips of paper with survival skills questions written on them, answering the questions as they went along:)

Bonus Station 1!
This station tested the trainees on their knowledge of Guides. Two pails were placed behind Our Cabana, and the patrol had to sort through the pails to find slips of paper with questions pasted on them. They were not allowed to discuss the answers with their patrol members. Questions ranged from information about World Thinking Day to the 10 patrol names:) The patrol had to answer as many questions as they could within the time limit:D
Bonus Station 2!
This station tested the trainees on their Animal Attacks! There were a total of 4 animal attacks:
● Bee Attack → run 10m straight away from the beehive
● Boar Attack → run in zig zag motion
● Hornet Attack → crouch down and cover yourselves with ponchos
● Bear attack → Lie down and act dead

A Year 1's thoughts on OJ...

              For this year's ATC our OJ was more on the creative side where we had to use more of our skills and brains rather then our physical fitness. I personally preferred this kind of OJ as it was more fun :) although it was not really based on our physical fitness, but there was still a station where we had to do some PT. But it was very little and it was very manageable. Because of that, I think that we really had persevered throughout that station and our morale was very high :) basically this OJ was very different from our normal OJs. The seniors were very creative in thinking of every stations.
A Year 2's thoughts on OJ...
               OJ was also quite unique because it was different from the standard OJ we usually have. This OJ required us to think out of the box and required a lot of creativity. For OJ, I think that patrol morale definitely could have been higher. OJ has taught us to be more responsible and take care of not only our belongings but also our other patrolmates even when we are busy with the task. At the same time, other than just completing the task, we also have to be constantly reminded that safety is always the first priority. However, I feel that many of us missed out this point, and thus the structures that we built were rather dangerous. Overall, I think that this OJ was very fun and enriching, because it made all of us think out of the box and it was much more different from what we expected for OJ.
After OJ, it was Flag Lowering, followed by Dinner, Bathing, and Campfire Preparation for 2hr 15mins:) Then it was Campfire time!!(:
For this year's ATC Campfire, as it was raining, we had our Campfire indoors at Olave Hall, with kerosene and electric lamps replacing the campfire pit. Everyone had a great time during the Campfire!:) We sang the campfire songs, while having the patrol's campfire performances in between. During the Year 3s' performances, the trainees found out who was their Angel in the Angel and Mortal game.....:D We also had Campfire Yarn with Mdm Tan conducting it, and learnt more about our fellow Guides in the process!:)

A Year 1's thoughts on Campfire...

               Campfire was one of my favourite activities during ATC. It was very very fun. Although we didn't have a real fire as it was raining, they still tried to make the campfire as memorable as possible. The song leaders made the whole campfire interesting. They sang really nicely and danced. Everyone started following the actions of the songleaders. It was very very fun :) at first the Year 1s and 2s were not as enthusiastic as the counsellors, year4s and YALs but soon everyone started following the actions and the mood was lifted up :D then it was time for every patrol to perform their campfire item. It was very enjoyable and amusing to watch the campfire performance by each patrol. We had a lot of fun singing and dancing along to the guides song. Overall Campfire was awesome! ;)

A Year 2's thoughts on Campfire...

Campfire was probably the most fun activity during camp for me, because it was when all of us came together, including the year 4s and YALs. It felt very heartwarming for all of us to be gathered in the Olave Hall, singing and dancing to the songs together. Although it is quite regretful that there was no real fire, I think the atmosphere in the Olave Hall was still very good as everyone was being very enthusiastic, which made everything fun.
After the Campfire, it was supper time!:) Then we had Lights-Out at 2330:)
Day 3
At 5am, the trainees were awakened by the counsellors for Morning Activity...
For this Morning Activity, the main objective of the trainees were to piece a jigsaw puzzle with their patrol mascots on it. While the trainees were reporting to Elizabeth, the counsellors scattered pieces of the jigsaw puzzle all over Olave Hall. They then had to find all the puzzle pieces and piece the jigsaw within the time limit. They were only allowed to use their torchlight in the Olave Hall and 2 drawings of the Jigsaw design was given to them. Several times, the trainees were put into planking and pumping position as only a small group of people was assembling the puzzle while the rest stood around doing nothing, when the manpower should have been allocated more evenly.

How the completed puzzle looked like:)

After Morning Activity, it was time for breakfast, followed by Strike Camp Part 1!:)
During Strike Camp Part 1, the trainees were given 30 minutes to 拆 everything except for their tents. They also had to roll up the tent doors as well as move all their logistics to Olave Hall.:)
After Strike Camp Part 1, it was time for Company Games!:D
We played a total of 4 games!:)
Game 1: Gate Keeper

• Patrols merged to form two teams, such that P1, P3 and P6 forming 1 team, and P2, P4 and P5 forming the other, and both teams played against each other.
• Each patrol sent out 2 people to be the gatekeeper
• The rest of the team stood in one line along their side of the court.
• The aim of this game was for team members to pass the gatekeepers and reach the opposing team’s side safely without getting caught
• If caught, they had to return to their own side and try again.
• Both teams aimed to have more members on the opponent’s side before 10 minutes was up.

For the first time, we played it alone, but for the second time, we had to cross in pairs!:O

Game 2: Dog And Bone

• The company was split into two groups, P1, P5, P6 and P2, P3, P4

• Each group stood in one neat row on their side of the hall, with the opposing group standing opposite. For each round, the I/C will read out certain criteria (eg. Year Ones with spectacles) to signal the specified team members to come forward to participate in the game
• Four balls were placed equally distanced from each side, spreaded out across the area for the team members to grab.
• Meanwhile, the rest of the team not involved is to remain in the neat row.
• The aim of the game was to grab as many balls as possible to beat the opposing team.

• When a team member got hold of the ball, she had to run as fast as she can back to her side without being touched by the opposite team members. If she was touched, she had to surrender the ball to the opposite team.
• This continues until all of the four balls have reached the sides.

Of course....the losing team had to do a penalty!!:) The penalty was Chek-Chek this time!:D

Game 3: Egg, Chick, Chicken, Super Chicken!

• The company was split into two teams: Patrols 1, 2, 3 in one team, patrols 4, 5, 6 in the other team
• Each team had half of the space in Olave Hall.
• Everyone started as an “egg”. [ Rock = sitting position, Egg = squatting position, Chick = kneeling position, chicken = half standing position, Super chicken – standing position ]

• The aim of this game was to become a super chicken and the team with the most number of super chickens wins.
• To get from an egg to a chick, one had to play scissors-paper-stone with another egg. The winning particpant got to become a chick, while the losing participant becomes a rock. Rocks could not participate in the game until they are saved by their teammates. If it is a draw, both participants can become chicks. Likewise for the other stages as well:)
• To save a teammate, a super chicken had to become an egg again so that their team member who was a rock, could become an egg again.
• The team with the most number of super chickens in 10 minutes wins!

Game 4: Ice and Water!
•  The company was split into two groups, the 'Ice' and the 'Water'.
•  The 'Ice' had to run about 'freezing' the 'Water's. For the 'Ice's to win the game, their goal was to 'freeze' all the 'Water'. Once 'freezed', the 'Water' could not move and stayed in their position until another 'Water' 'unfreezes' her by touching her.
•   For the 'Water's to win the game, their goal was to prevent all of the 'Water's from being 'freezed'.
•   This continued on for 10 minutes!

After Company Games, it was time for Mystery Games~~~:)

After Mystery Games, it was Strike Camp Part 2!:D
This time, the trainees were given 1 hour to strike all the tents, fold them properly, and return them and the tent pegs to their original places)

After Strike Camp Part 2 finished, we had Prize presentation at Olave Hall.:)

Afterwards was travelling back to school and unloading all the logistics to 团部!:D

Then, finally.....HOME SWEET HOME!:D

A Year 2's thoughts on Day 3 as a whole...

              The third day was mainly strike camp and company games. All of us generally enjoyed the company games a lot, interacting with other patrols and batches. However, I think that we can improve on out sense of urgency during strike camp.

              Generally, ATC was a very memorable experience for everyone. Although it may have been tough, I really enjoyed bonding with my patrolmates and I'm very proud of my patrol! :)

A Year 1's thoughts on ATC...

I think that ATC was very tough and tiring but still manageable for me. I can understand that every activity was for our own good and that spurred me to persevere on to improve myself. I actually quite like ATC now that I talk about it:)
Generally, everyone benefitted from ATC:) After going through this camp, each Guide, be it junior or senior, learnt many things from the activities to take note not just for the camp, but for the rest of their Guiding journey. We hope that everyone has managed to improve themselves, as well as make many precious memories and bond within and inter-patrol in the process.:D We also hope that all of us who went for camp do not forget these memories and new skills as they can be applied in the normal Guides activities as well! :)
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