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23 January 2016

Year 1 CCA Orientation 2016, 16 January 2016

Hello Guides!! :)

A new year, a new beginning! We kick-started year 2016 with our Year One Orientation last Saturday! Just like the past years, our guides partnered with scouts to construct many amazing structures, as well as put up bedazzling performances all in the spirit of attracting new year ones! There were a total of 5 orientation preparation dates before the actual day itself and much effort and time were put into the success of this Orientation! Basically, we were split into various committees, Gateway, Kitchen Shelter, Mini Games, Gadgets, Outdoor Cooking, 绳桥 and Fireman’s Ladder!

We 集合-ed super early that day at 7am in our Guides uniform to put up the final touches to make our CCA exhibition much more presentable! We then had flag-raising. 



Afterwards, it was show time by the performance committees! Here are personal accounts from members of the performance committees!

绳桥 (Monkey Climb)
绳桥 didn’t disappoint with their eye-widening performance where the agile and graceful climbers swung across the ropes and cheered their way through!

Thoughts from a Year 2...
I was in绳桥, a performance comm. Initially, I found training tough and something to dread as aches and bruises were inevitable. The frequent trainings as well as the unhealed bruises made me demotivated each session. I also could not climb very well, sometimes falling in the middle and not being able to turn properly. However, my seniors constantly spurred us on and reminded us to give our all. Soon, we found that our efforts had paid off as we were able to climb within the average timing. This really motivated me and I had a little confidence that we would be able to perform well after all.

That confidence disappeared as the big day arrived. I kept fretting about the outcomes of the two times we would have to perform. We practised hard in the morning and constantly encouraged each other. The first performance went quite smoothly, which helped calm my nerves as we waited for the next batch of Year 1s to arrive. However for the second, I did not land properly, which was a damper on the performance. I felt guilty, but there was nothing I could do except to aim to do well for the next CCA exhibition. My seniors did not pinpoint the mistake, but praised us instead, keeping up the high morale. Overall, it was a great experience which toughened me, physically and mentally. I learnt to push my limits and achieve more than what I thought was possible, which is a really important lesson in life.

Fireman’s Ladder
They put up a spectacular performance that wowed the audience with their beautiful flips and loud cheers!

Thoughts from a Year 3…
Fireman’s ladder is a performance committee, so the main thing we did during orientation preparation was practice. A lot of time was dedicated to improving everybody’s performance since we must make sure our climbing is fast and our legs are straight so the entire performance will look smoother.

On the actual day, most of us were quite nervous as it was easy to accidentally screw up by getting our legs caught or falling down after flipping etcetera. However we made sure we did our best and gave our all during the performance! All our practice paid off as everyone flipped very well and the whole performance will filled with cheers that lifted our morale. Although Fireman’s ladder is only a very short performance, I hope it contributed to helping attract some Year 1s to our Guides and Scouts family.

As a Year 3 with already one year of experience, I could help out the Year 2s and give them advice. But some of the most important things I’ve learnt throughout being in this committee is firstly, teamwork. As the ladder itself is only supported by the people that 顶脚 the structure, it is crucial that everyone works together to make sure the ladder is stable so the person can flip safely. Secondly, although it was only a performance for Year 1s, we still had to strive for perfection and make sure that the standard of the performance did not drop. I realized that the important thing is to take pride in what we do and make sure that whatever we do, we must practice so that we can do it to the best of our ability.

But of course, there’s more to the orientation apart from the performances! The structures that we built were majestic and fun at the same time as the year ones walked around the tried them out! Here are accounts written by some guides!


Preparation process:
The preparation process was a very good chance for everyone in Gateway to practice their lashes and clarify what we were unsure of. It also gave us an idea on how we would have to work with each other, the allocation of manpower, and more importantly our sense of urgency. There were the ICs from both scouts and guides who overlooked the entire preparation process and ensured that everything was going smoothly and according to plan. During the preparation process, we had to stick to time limits for each lash and also learn to communicate with one another. For example, communication was crucial to ensure that the distance between each of the steps on the spiral staircase was equal. We also had to learn to be flexible in making decisions; like replacing the 白木 on the steps with a 红木,  should the白木be too short or long. Even though time was tight and many changes and decisions had to be made along the way; and we also didn't manage to finish the entire gateway throughout the preparation sessions, the preparation helped us to both mentally and physically get ready for the final building of the gateway. It also helped each and every one of us to familiarise with the structure and format of the gateway in order to work efficiently on the final gateway. 

 Actual day:
On the day of the actual orientation, we were given around 45min to touch up on the gateway ie. make sure that it looks neat and decorate the gateway using decorations from the deco comm. In my opinion, the completed gateway looked magnificent and I was really happy that all our effort from the previous orientation preparations had pay off. The rest of the structures built ie. kitchen shelter, mini games etc also looked really great and i felt that the overall guides and scouts exhibition that was put up reflected the hard work that was put in. Although I was not assigned to be an usher, I still talked to any Y1 that I could find and introduced them to guides and the various structures that we built. I felt very satisfied talking to the Y1s about girl guides and encouraging them to join our CCA, as it brought me back to my days when I was a Y1 and was still curious about guides. I also felt that the response and intrigued looks from the Y1s showed that they were actually really impressed by the display that we had put up, as our CCA had really put in a lot much effort and time into preparing for the orientation than most other CCAs. As I brought the Y1s around, many of them also commented that the food was really good and that the structures built were nice and fun to play on. Overall, I feel that this orientation was a huge success and that it left an impression on the Y1s that they would never forget. 


Thoughts from a Year 2…
I personally feel that the entire gateway process, from preparations to the actual building would definitely be a memorable experience for me in my guiding journey. As a year 2 being a part of the CCA exhibition preparations for the first time, I have realized the amount of hard work, effort and dedication it takes to put together everything just for it to be a success on the actual day for the year ones. For my committee, the Gateway, timing and cooperation was very important. I learnt the important skills of working with another person, not just from Guides but also with the Scouts. I learnt the way they communicated with each other and the way they worked; and this helped me to collaborate with them so as to ensure a smoother execution of the task.  I also learned the importance of planning; for example I had to wait for someone else to tie the particular lash before I could place another 木 on top. And lastly, perseverance and determination are one of the most valuable lessons I managed to get from this entire experience. Many people from the gateway committee previously had said that it wasn't an easy task, that it was tiring -- and I wouldn't deny it. The task to be completed on individual basis was a daunting thought; but it was possible when others was alongside me. I realized that it wasn't all so bad when others were in it with me; and completing the gateway really felt like a sense of accomplishment. We took photographs and all, too. This entire gateway experience left me with many valuable lessons, taught me the importance of teamwork and more importantly, the friendships I'd forged with both guides and some people from scouts. all in all, I think this CCA exhibition bonded everyone closer together both as a , as well as with the other CCAs in UG. 

 Kitchen Shelter

Preparation process
For the orientation, we built a two-storey high kitchen shelter with a slide and a lift. There is a rope ladder for the y1s to climb up to the second floor opposite the slide. The lift is a rafted platform that is attached to a pulley. The y1s would sit on the platform and they can be pulled up from the first to the second floor of the kitchen shelter or go down from the second floor to the first floor. There were also several banners that were hung on the KS to allow the Y1s to understand more about guides.

Experience on the actual day
During the orientation, I was stationed on the second floor of the Kitchen Shelter to guide the Y1s and encourage them to join guides. At first, I was quite unsure and did not really take the initiatives to talk to the Y1s. After that, I gradually started to ask them questions and encourage them to join guides or scouts. Although some y1s might not be willing to talk, I learnt that I can still make an effort to talk to them and let them understand our CCA better so that they would be more willing to join our CCA.


Thoughts from a Year 2…
The orientation preparation had been an enriching process and I have learnt a lot in the short time that we spent building the kitchen shelter. In the beginning, it was extremely challenging as it was my first time participating in OP and the kitchen shelter was nothing like the kitchen shelters we built in Guides since the OP kitchen shelter had a much more complex structure and was of bigger scale. However, after building the structure a few times, I was able to adapt quickly and work at a much faster speed than before. Although it was physically draining, I believe that building the kitchen shelter taught me to work speedily as well as perseverance. Without perseverance, I would have given up as soon as I started. With no knowledge on how to build the kitchen shelter or how the end product would look like, I was very lost on the first day of OP. However, as time passed, I realised that it was too early to give up and that I should press on while trying my absolute best. So, I did that and found that I actually enjoyed building the KS. Of course, building the KS also has its fair share of ups and downs. For example, on the day before the Y1 orientation, we had just begun to build the KS when I felt huge droplets of water falling. At first, we continued tying the lashes more rapidly but soon, the rain was so heavy that I had to struggle to keep my eyes open. The rain was so heavy that the ponchos we had on proved to be of little help in blocking us from the rain. Finally, totally drenched, we were asked to stop. Although it was an exhausting and tedious process, I found great satisfaction when I saw that the year ones enjoyed themselves, playing on the slide and the manual lift. During the day of the orientation, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the year ones. When I asked them whether they would consider joining Guides, some replied with a shrug of the shoulders but some actually answered with a confident “Yes!”. The hard work had paid off after all.

Mini Games:

Preparation process:
The preparation process was both tough and fulfilling, as we only had very little time to practise our lashes and make sure that they were tight and our structure was stable enough for the Year Ones to be able to play in it. In the 5 times we had preparation, we always learnt something new from our mistakes and sometimes even tried to improve the structures itself.

Actual day:
I was very excited and nervous at the same time. I was worried I would mess up and embarrass myself.  However, everything went quite smoothly and the Year Ones enjoyed what we had set up for them. The most successful of the games was probably the Sumotari platform. The Year Ones had fun going up and fighting their classmates of same or different gender, and even a few of the scouts. It was then I met two girls. Both were rather small-sized, but together they packed a powerful punch. I personally witnessed them shoving a scout of the platform in less than 15 seconds! Another popular game was the archery station. There was a long queue of people waiting to get their chance at shooting an arrow.  I sometimes had to help retrieve the arrows they had shot which was tricky as many misfired arrows would often barely skim pass me while a few managed to hit me. I even ushered some of the Year Ones to visit our mini games station and they were both entranced and in admiration at our hard work. We told them about our CCA in general, mainly including our weekly activities during 集合s, our different skills, and the awards that we have won. We even approached some parents who were walking around aimlessly not knowing what to do and showed them our station. All in all, I was very satisfied with the outcome as we had successfully attracted many Year Ones to our station and I hope we convinced them to join our big Guides family too. 



Preparation Process
For our first orientation preparation day, we were still getting the hang of what we were building and were slower and less disciplined than usual with our lashes not up to standard and our lack of sense of urgency, however as the days went by we slowly got the hang of what we were to do and improved on our skills which were rusty from the holidays. Of course, things didn’t always go as planned and it rained on two orientation preparation days. The first time it rained, we had already built most of our structures so the rain did not affect us very much. However, the second time it rained, it was the day before orientation and with the already short time we had to complete everything before the big day, we had to bear with the rain and just continue with our work in ponchos. Working in ponchos was definitely not a good experience and neither was the flooded grounds that we had to avoid but nevertheless we managed to complete most of our gadgets and structures. Despite the rain, I think orientation preparation wasn't too bad and I have surely gained a lot more knowledge on the effort put into our annual CCA showcase.

Actual day:
Being an usher, I was assigned to a class and brought them through our various structures. It was great to see the Year 1s enjoy themselves at the different showcase areas, especially the mini games where they watched their classmates play against each other. Though it was hard to control the crowd, especially at the mini games corner and outdoor cooking area, I felt a sense of pride when I saw how interested and impressed the Year 1s were with our showcases. Not only were there Year 1s, there were also parents who found our CCA showcase interesting and I was more than glad to address their enquiries on our CCA. Orientation came to an end surprisingly quickly and we had to take down all our structures. I admit that it felt somewhat sad to take down the structures since we had spent so much time and effort on them but I knew that they had served their purpose which was for the Year 1s and no one else was going to take them apart for us and we had to do it ourselves. Judging that the structures were quite huge, we took quite a while to take them apart and I feel that we could have taken them apart faster but nevertheless we managed to take apart and keep everything without being dismissed late. This orientation day experience has allowed me to see the effort our seniors put in to make orientation day work and being Year 3 this year, I hope that my batch will be able to do as good a job as our seniors in making Orientation day next year work. 

Thoughts from a Year 3…
Though the preparation went pretty decently, I felt that we could have 报时-ed more often and without the seniors' reminders. We also should have paid more attention to our lashes and ensured that they were tight and secure. We weren't really fast and did things slowly, only increasing our speed when our I/C sternly told us. I think an area for improvement would be our sense of urgency and that if we had nothing to do, we should have asked our I/C for further instructions instead of waiting to be instructed. We could have tied tighter lashes too. However, some positive points were the fact that we had good and efficient teamwork and communicated to one another effectively. 

Outdoor Cooking
Another highlight of the whole exhibition, and something unique to guides and scouts, was outdoor cooking!

At the start of each practice, the guides would tie 3 fire altars while the scouts would set up the tent for us to cook. We had to make sure the fire altars were stable so that they would not fall while we were cooking. After setting up all the equipment, we had to cook the food. We prepared the bread with apple sauce as well as satay. We split up the job of cooking and washing the plates among the OC members. When we had lunch or breaks, the people tending to the fire could not leave as they had to keep an eye on the fire. We had to ensure cleanliness and hygiene at all times by wearing gloves when we cook, cleaning the table regularly and washing our hands after touching raw food. The food had to be fully cooked in order to be of standard to offer to the year ones. On the day before the actual showcase, it rained heavily. The scouts had trouble setting up the tent and were soaked in rain. This slowed down the process of cooking. However, we managed to finish setting up the equipment on time.

Actual day:
On the actual day, we had to start cooking the food before the year ones came. Everyone was busy with the last minute tying of lashes. We were all very excited to present the year ones what we had prepared for them over the past few days. Before the performance started, all of the UG members gathered by the road to cheer for the performers, keeping up the upbeat spirit. Soon after, the ushers had to bring the assigned year one groups to the different sections- Kitchen shelter, outdoor cooking, gateway, mini games and the display booth. Seeing the year ones being so enthusiastic in what we had prepared for them made all of us very happy. We encouraged the year ones to try out the activities and structures. After the year ones left, we had to mass change into our PE attire and chai the structures.

Thoughts from a Year 3…
This Orientation practice really enriched us. During the 3 day preparation during the holidays, we had to work against time in order to complete the structures. We had to be mindful of time and quality of our lashes so that we would be efficient. We also had practices after school started. However, the practices we had after school were only 4 hours, hence we had to work even quicker. On the days that rained, we had to work even faster as they rain out a stop to all outdoor activities. During this preparation process, I bonded with the other year twos and threes and learned more about guides. I have also further develop my teamwork skills as we had to work together to get the job done, especially when we had to chai the structures. Working with guides and scouts of different characters was very educational. People from different committees would help each other once they were finished with their own committees. This OP was very enriching and interesting as it was my first time taking part in such activities. It trained all of us and helped us become a better guides. I hope that next year's OP will be as interesting and enjoyable as this year. Hopefully, this showcase of the activities and structures we built to the year ones will motivate them to join girl guides.

Here are some other pictures! ^^

And of course after all the hard work, we took committee pictures to preserve the memory!


We hope that the Year 1s and of course our fellow guides enjoyed themselves! May the Year 1s be motivated to join our CCA and to this big family of Guides! And may 2016 be a blast!

47th Batch Secretary

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