Thursday, 1 June 2017

1 Jun 2017 THU

^ The Silver Arrow Task Booklet
The Cub Scouts had to complete a number of tasks to the expected standards before he/she could be awarded the Silver Arrow progress badge.

The Navigator Proficiency Badge
The Navigator Proficiency Badge requires Cub Scouts to complete 4 of 5 tasks. The tasks could be incorporated into the activities of the Silver Arrow test/hike.

The Scout Promise and Law
Before embarking on the day's activities, the Cub Scouts recited the Scout Promise and Law as an affirmation and practice of Scouting values.

^ Volunteer Adult Leader
Mr Seah Kia Wee, a Woodbadge Scout Leader and former pupil of Nan Hua, volunteered to assist the NHPS Cub Scouts in this endeavour. We are indeed grateful for his service!

^ Safety Briefing and Kerb Drill
The Cub Scouts did a 'water parade' and practice of their Kerb Drill before venturing out for the hike.

^ Out of school and towards the first traffic light crossing.

^ Papaya Tree
The Cub Scouts learnt about the differences between the flowers of the male and female papaya trees along the route.

^ Curry Leaf plant
The Cub Scouts caught a whiff of the curry leaf plant by crushing and sniffing a leaf. Some of them were surprised that the curry smell came from this plant.

^ Post Box
At Clementi View, we stopped for a picture with the Post Box and had a discussion about the physical posting of letters versus the increasingly dominant usage of electronic mail (e-mail).

^ Overhead Bridge Crossing
The Cub Scouts were surprised to discover that each overhead bridge had its own number.

^ Stopping at a neighbourhood park to discuss the flora.

^ Young and old leaves
The Cub Scouts learnt that the light green leaves are the younger/newer leaves of the tree. Some of the even newer leaves could be light brown or pink. As the leaves grow older they turn a darker shade of green.

^ An abandoned trolley
We spotted an abandoned trolley near Clementi Avenue 6 and some of the Cub Scouts exclaimed that it was a supermarket trolley. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that it was a trolley from Ikea! We were really puzzled as to how the trolley could be abandoned at that particular spot as people do not usually wheel the Ikea trolleys home.

^ The Hairy Caterpillar
At a void deck, we came across a black, hairy caterpillar trying to save itself by getting out of the way of our trampling feet. One of us had nearly stepped on it!

^ The Cub Scouts learnt that such spiky or hairy caterpillars could be poisonous and touching them may cause one to have an itch or even rashes. In the end, one of us picked up the hairy caterpillar using two broad dead leaves and placed it on the grass patch out of harm's way.

^ The Barking Dog
As we made our way through the void deck, a dog from the second floor started barking at us. We were afraid that it was going to jump down (as the windows were open and it did not look like it was on a leash). We hurriedly and quietly left the area in order not to further antagonise the animal.

^ Obikes
We spotted two Obikes parked behind a lift landing. This led to an impromptu discussion of how to use the bike-sharing system as well as where were the correct places to park these bicycles so as not to inconvenience others.

^ Residents' mini-Eco-garden
We came across a small eco-garden which was being looked after by three different parties (as stated on the gate), one of which was the Sparkletot PCF kindergarten at the block next to the garden. The garden was well-maintained and the few residents hanging around it were friendly towards us.

^ The power of observation
As we moved closer into more vegetation, the Cub Scouts became more observant and their curiosities were piqued - from the white lichen growing on the tree to flora in the short distance.

^ The Jurong Railway Track
The Cub Scouts were very excited to discover that there was a railway track running through the path that we were walking on.

^ The Cub Scouts learnt that this railway track used to carry cargo and supplies to the Jurong Industrial area and connects to the main railway track at Bukit Timah. Some Cub Scouts exclaimed that they had seen a railway bridge across the Ulu Pandan canal when they used to park connector track.

^ The Community Garden
We visited a community garden which was rather large. A few friendly (and elderly) gardeners waved at us to enter and explore the place. Some of the Cub Scouts were intrigued by a caged bird and decided to 'talk' to it.

^ We were astounded by the variety of edibles grown in the garden - bananas, papayas, passion fruits, egg-plants, okra, etc.

^ Why were the fruits wrapped?
The fruits were meticulously wrapped by the gardeners to protect them against being eaten by birds or other animals before it was ripe for harvest.

^ White Fungus
A few Cub Scouts were excited to discover white fungus growing on the sides of cut tree trunks. There were some very large pieces.

^ Lemongrass repels mosquitoes
The Cub Scouts learnt that lemongrass (besides being used in cooking and making nice drinks) was also a repellent plant for mosquitoes. A few of them started rubbing the lemongrass leaves to retain the smell on themselves in order to keep mosquitoes at bay.

^ United we stand (on cubes)!
The Cub Scouts also counted the number of playgrounds they passed by (just for fun).

^ The Bridge to Sunset Way
We visited the bridge for a 'panoramic view' of the Ulu Pandan canal area. The Cub Scouts were able to see the 'railway bridge' (which has been closed to public) as well as the park connector beside the canal.

^ Inhabitants of the murky waters
We spent some time on the bridge as the Cub Scouts were excited to see different animals in and around the canal. We spotted a gigantic catfish camouflaged in the mud near the shallow bank and a heron catching fish. The scouts also tracked the movements of a few terrapins which they described as 'huge'.

Spreading the 'Joy of Learning'

^ Clementi Community Centre
We stopped at Clementi CC for a washroom/water/snack break as well as to complete one of the sketching tasks.

^ Some finished the task faster than others...

^ The Cub Scouts were fully engaged and engrossed in their task.

^ See, Think, WONDER!
We spotted two ferns growing out of a pipe-connection to a gutter at a sheltered-walkway. How did it end up being there?

^ Clementi Bus Interchange
We arrived at Clementi Bus Interchange to begin the second leg of our trip, which was to take a loop bus service 285.

^ The Cub Scouts pored over the map to check out the route and streets. Is this considered 'map-reading'?

^ Thankful for Bus Guides!
Luckily for them, Tower Transit had provided the public with niffy 'bus guides' which contained all the information the Cub Scouts needed to complete their task. No wonder they were so happy!

^ Reflection and Consolidation
Upon reaching school, the Cub Scouts tried their best to complete the task booklet and requirements. Only 3 out of the 8 Cub Scouts managed to so do satisfactorily and were awarded the Silver Arrow progress badge and Navigator proficiency badge that day. The rest of the Cub Scouts needed more time to complete it at home and would re-submit their work for review when school re-opens in Term 3.

It was indeed an exciting and fun trip/day for all!

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