Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
By Cdt. Sct. Stephanie Anne P. Tan
The Friendship Caravan 2008 took off on a good start with a Welcoming Dinner in Xiamen wherein the participants got to know each other with an icebreaker by the name of Human Bingo. We discovered that aside from us, 3 girls from the Philippines, there were also 3 Girl Guides from Malaysia, lots of Girl Guides from Hong Kong and also boys and girls who were a part of the China Juvenile Development Service Center. After the dinner, we all went to the beach and took part in a youth festival or fire party. The festival portrayed the different talents of Chinese people and enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympics can really be felt in the air.
July 21, 2008. The real caravan started. After breakfast, we immediately went to the port and rode a ferry that brought us to the renowned Gulangyu Island. We learned that Gulangyu is famous for its pianos since before only rich people can afford pianos but now over 600 hundred pianos can be found inside the island. We went to a piano museum and saw pianos of different styles and sizes. The island is also well-known for its variety of architecture. Over 13 embassies of different countries can be found there so it also has varying styles and designs. We also visited the Gulangyu Aviary which housed a variety of birds such as peacocks, storks, cockatoos, flamingoes and many other birds. We also rode a cable car to reach the peak of Gulangyu Island. It was named Sunlight Rock. The trek to the top was extremely tiring especially since it was also very hot. But the view at the top was worth it. But of course, we also used the time as we walk to get to know some of the other participants better. We compared our different organizations. I also discovered that while girls from Hong Kong are quite good in speaking English, most of the Chinese girls don’t understand English at all.
July 22,2008. On this day, we were required to wear our official uniforms. It was very fun watching us girls wear our different uniforms. I’ve observed that they seem to like our Cadet uniforms so much. They Hong Kong Girl guides also looked smart in their uniforms, brown for Brownies and blue for the girl guides. On this day, we went to Quanzhou and visited the Quanzhou Maritime Museum. It was said that this is the only museum in China that is dedicated to the history of Chinese overseas exploration. We also saw the religious sculptures and the folk culture of the seaside in the museum. Our next stop was the Fujian-Taiwan Kinship Musuem. This museum exhibits the relationship of Fujian and Taiwan and the similarities and differences of their culture. We saw lots of life-sized statues depicting the lifestyle of the people. Our last stop for the day was Kaiyuan Temple. We saw people there who were praying to very big statues of Buddha. We learned that the statues were not made of pure gold since it would be prone to stealing. Since it was our first time there, we made a wish because they said it could come true.
July 23, 2008. For most of the morning, we rode on the bus and we arrived at Longyan just in time for lunch. The bus ride was entertaining at the start since the girls took turns in teaching a song or coming up with ice breakers. But since the trip was so long, most of us soon slept away the trip. After lunch, our destination was the Gutian Meeting Memorial Hall. We toured the place which is already very old. We cans see the belief of Chinese people in feng shui in their architecture.
July 24,2008 We had another long bus ride going to Yongding to see the Earth Tower of Hakkas. We were amazed by the buildings made of earth which was shaped like a hat, rounded at the middle and with two rectangular structures at the side. The structure of the building was designed so that it is impenetrable and if it is very hot outside, the temperature inside is cold and vice versa. These round buildings are owned by very rich people and it seems that a community can live inside. Another earth building that we visited is shaped like a tiger, just like in feng shui.
July 25, 2008. We visited the TenFu Tea Museum. There, we witnessed how tea is being made and packaged. It was my first time to see tea trees. We also watched a Korean and Chinese tea ceremony and we were able to taste the tea that they prepared. Our lunch was exquisitely prepared with all the dishes made with tea as part of the ingredients. After lunch, we went to a local Chinese school. We displayed our various paraphernalia about the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. We also taught the students from that school how to make bracelets from just tying cords. It was a tiring but fun experience and we run out of cords. After which, we had a program wherein the different participants rendered a number. We, the delegates from the Philippines, danced the Pandanggo sa Ilaw complete with candles and handkerchiefs for exhibition. It was enjoyable seeing the participants perform different numbers. I’ve noticed that the Chinese participants love to perform speech choirs, monologues and such. The Hong Kong girl guides presented a very touching song entitled Proud of You.
July 26,2008. We went back to Xiamen and visited the Xiamen Olympic Museum which is newly built. In there, we learned the history of the Olympics. We also learned that the Beijing 2008 Olympics mascots namely Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingyin and Nini form the words “Beijing huan ying ni” which means Beijing welcomes you. That night, we had our farewell dinner and representatives from the different groups and delegates gave a short message or insights on what they have learned from the caravan. The Chairman Commissioner also gave her message and told us that we should not cry for it is not the end but rather the beginning of wonderful friendships.
July 27,2008. We went our separate ways but of course, we exchanged contact information so that we can continue our friendships despite the distance that will separate us.
As a whole, the Friendship Caravan 2008 was very educational and fun at the same time. It gave us a chance to know girls from other countries. We were also able to know and learn the culture of the Chinese. There are a few things that I’ve learned from the Caravan that I think could be applied to our own system. One example is the program during the bus rides. I think that we should also apply this during our own tours and events since it helps build team spirit and avoids boredom during long trips. I was also able to appreciate the fact that the delegates for the Friendship Caravan were not only Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. There were also students and teachers from local schools and children from the Red Cross. I hope that I could again take part in a Friendship Caravan such as this wherein we are able to make new friends and widen our horizons.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The ship has boarded from Iloilo and fast as the hours passed, we have reached Cebu at around 8am of February 22. During our stay in the ship, we met some of our co-Girl Scouts from Capiz, they were only three, and they were so friendly to us. On the board was also the girls from Antique but it was already when we got down from the ship that we met each other, there were six of them that time. Now, we’re already in Cebu. I can really sense the feeling of the first timers there. I’m so happy to see the Regional Office again and the Titas there as well. I’m so glad that the Titas can still recognize me and so much to my gladness when I saw some friends there. I started to get to know other girls from the different councils. They really are Girl Scouts because of their friendly spirit.
It was already late when we started with the orientation and the opening ceremony but we were still enlightened when we were already introduced with each other. We were only 43 Girl Scouts present there so we must really know the other girls. We definitely started with the sessions after the opening ceremony. First topic that was discussed was about the “Adolescent Reproductive Health” and “Gender Sensitivity”. We really had fun with the topic and the resource person. The topic was really opened on the concerns of Pre-marital sex and knowing one’s gender. So much is to discuss but it still ended well with icebreakers, singing and snacks. It was then so fast and lunch came.
This was one of the best events I’ve ever attended in girl scouting. It didn’t only teach me a lot of new things but I also made new friends. Nothing can ever replace these memories until time fades away. I miss all the girls already! I encourage everyone to join and participate in the different activities and events of girl scouting. Its one event you wouldn’t ever forget as you continue with life’s journey. If the spirit is in you never stop pursuing it. Someday you’ll realize, being a girl scout is worth it!
Monday, March 03, 2008
The RSCC’08 successfully happened last February 22- 24, 2008 at Camp Marina, Cebu City with the theme “ACT TODAY FOR A BETTER WORLD”. Particular recognition is also for the NSCC’07 staff for imparting their awareness in running an effective conference.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Girl Scout? What a bore! Yes, as obvious as it seems wearing that green, heater uniform is really is senseless. But the question, have you ever tried joining the organization? Have you ever attended Girl Scout encampments? Or have you ever learned something from it?
Many thrilling and out of ordinary things happen in Girl scouting that you wouldn’t encounter outside that organization. Things that is absolutely hard to forget. Especially those things that make your heart to arouse into something you wouldn’t do in your whole life.
So, let me give you a glimpse of what is happening during encampment. The basis of my stories is the Regional Encampment we attended last October 20-26, 2007 at Marina Yulo-Vargas Regional Program and Training Center,Lahug Cebu.
We traveled by boat to Cebu. While on the boat we girls don’t have anything to do, so we roamed around. During our excursion we saw guys, good-looking ones to be more specific. We called one “Kuya Brown” because he was wearing a brown t-shirt. There was also “Kuya Blue”, which is a cousin of one of the camper from Cazzandhra.
My other companions wanted to take a picture of those two; in that case they tried hard not to let the guy notice that they were taking stolen shots. We have only picture of “Kuya Brown” who was reading a book, because we didn’t seen “kuya Blue” again.
We checked all the decks just to look for that guy, but we failed. We were like stalkers who had lost their target. We’ve only seen him again when we we’re getting near the harbor.
Another was when we we’re in Camp Marina already. Ate Angie experienced nosebleed, so she was sent to the infirmary. She told us that there were “CUTE” guy nurses. Everyone went excited just to know the news and this was the reason why almost all of us want to have nose bleed and be sent to the infirmary.
A guy at the canteen also caught the daring eyes of the Girl Scouts again. Din- din, the one who first saw this guy, told us about him. Some of us went hysterical again. Sometimes they stalk him, pretending to buy something at the store.
Long Distance Friends
Scouting has contributed a lot to my number of friends. I’m not bragging but having friends from different far-flung places is such an honor.
I thought they will not recognize me but then they were the first one who greeted me. We were really happy to see again each other. Whenever I see them we talked about the last encampment we attended. It was fun remembering such experiences.
I like it a lot whenever someone knows me. But always remember that even if they don’t know you, it doesn’t matter, as long as you know them. It is great to have friends, so treasure them.
Shower Girls and the Boys in the Bathroom
No, no, no, don’t take it the way it is. I’m just talking about the difficulty and at the same time the entertainment we face in taking a bath.
As early as two o’clock we need to wake up in order not to meet the “rush hour” in using the bathrooms. We were still lazy to take a bath but it is much better than not being able to take a bath because there were many users. The lines snaked so long, so far, that it was enough to go around from Leyte to Samar. Okay, I am just exaggerating, but can you picture all of us, lining up, holding our soap, towels, etc.. and then the sun is peeking out already from the sky telling us that another activity is going to happen that day?
All girls should line up before going to the place we were longing, the bathroom. While waiting in vain we find things to do to overlap our boredom. Well, I think the well-known topic was always about “boys”. Sometimes I get tired of talking about guys. I just don’t know with them that it sounds very, very interesting. Anyway, as long as it adds color to the activity of the day which is “waiting”, it would be fine.
When it was the turn of the two girls in front of me, I can hear them talking about their crushes from their school inside the bathroom. It gave me the idea that girls can’t really live without boys.
A Girl scout just don’t mope around whenever she feels nothing to do or whenever she doesn’t have any costume when they need to perform.
You Go Girl!
Just like when it was Extravaganza (an activity wherein each council performs something to represent their council) Guinevere, Din-din and me, don’t have any costumes. Actually we were supposed to be the drummers of our performance. Unfortunately, there was already a tape for the presentation. Instead of just sitting, cry our self out, and to be influenced by our not-so-good mood, we challenged ourselves to unsettle all our tents used by LNHS Girl Scouts in just an hour or at least one and a half hour. It was an accomplishment. “I think we will win if there was a contest for the fastest to unsettle tents”, I thought with a laugh.
See, how girls really rocks? It is not a good idea to stay idle whenever problems, sorrows, hardships and challenges come to your way. Self – empowerment is one of the values Girl Scouts taught me.
My Future Job: Porter
I don’t think so being a porter is such a low class kind of occupation. Honestly, for me it is a noble job (Really.). Helping to carry the bag of people is one of the kindest things to do. Although, in the end you need to pay them, it is still worth it because they have done something for you.
This last encampment, after the closing program, we practiced being a porter. We helped carry the heavy baggage they have. Sometimes it is even bigger than the person who owns it.
You know what, I don’t know but everytime I helped a person I feel more delighted than the person I helped. I really don’t know why. Everytime I see them smile because I’ve helped them, I don’t feel exhausted. I don’t even mind how big or how heavy their bag is and everytime they say the phrase “Thank You”, oh my, I felt that everything that I’ve done was right, an accomplishment, and I think that I’ve made a knew friend. It was even much more worthy than repaying you by means of money. It was really different in a way that it touched not only my heart but also my soul.
Being a Girl Scout is never easy. But then after all those tiring challenges it gives you an opportunity to become a better person.
The memories and values you have earned every encampment is unbreakable. It can never be taken away from you because once a girl scout always a girl scout.
Try joining Girl Scout and be active even in an encampment or not. It might be senseless wearing the Girl Scout uniform because it is makes you sweat, feel tired, or whatsoever. Nevertheless deep inside that uniform is a girl who had become a better person because of that “green- heater” uniform.
When we left camp, I was hoping to see Kuya Brown and Kuya Blue again….
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Marina Yulo Vargas Regional Program and Training Center
Capitol Hills, Cebu City
Patrol Leader's Camp Permit Course
It's all about Learning, the Skills and the heart of a girl scout!!
The senior girl scouts of Cebu Council were personally trained by our very own Technical Assistant, Miss Jo Ann Jayme about the basic and general knowledge of girl scouting. The Links of unity, the GSP Principles and Laws, the Patrol System and most of all, about our dear founder, Josefa Llanes Escoda.
Tita Leah Apao, Council Executive even had a session about camp budget and the preparation in camp. We also had an evaluation on how to do the correct outdoor colors which was for the good of all scouts.
The topics were really interesting and informative to the extent that the speakers involve fun ways in learning everything from A-Z!!
Senior scouts were given the privilege to present their talents and show the essence of each challenge in the Eight Point Challenge. The scouts were very cooperative in all the games and discussions. They even tried to make their own patrol yells and cheers and presented it to their fellow girl scouts.
Like any other girl scouting encounter we also had a Friendship Night where we all played games of introducing ourselves and had fun singing songs. It was a genuine feeling having to share our smiles and laughter with our new found friends.
As girls and young ladies we are always given the awareness to take care of ourselves and especially our health. We should then be physicall fit and so we had our Calisthenics early in the morning to warm up and start the day right!
Who could ever miss a campfire ceremony?! Not us! We had our campfire ceremony outside the multipurpose hall and each participating school showed what girl scouts have, that is the confidence and the talent!
Learning is a very important thing in life. Our daily activities still needs safety preacautions and as our motto claims that we are always prepared, the girl scouts also had their First Aid Session with a professional Resource Person.
More activities came in the following days as we also experience the Scout's Own early sunday morning with the theme Love, Friendship and Service.
The Cebu Council Staff consisting of Cadet girl scouts who are also a part of the Council SPB accomplished their work in fascilitating and guiding their fellow scouts to lead and learn how to follow instructions. It was also a learning experience for them on how to handle situations and be a good example to the younger ones.
A closing ceremony formally ended the training both happy and sad. With heart full of gratitude for the great blessing of being a part of the Cebu Council girl scout family. We ended the camp but for sure the friendship, learning and the new found skills will never fade away. The camp deepened our knowledge and our interest in making good not just in camp but also in our daily activities of life.