By JASON LIOH
SOME 3,000 scouts from around the country and their fellow members from Bangladesh and Indonesia gathered at Tan Chay Yan Scout Camp in Bukit Katil for the 7th Malacca World Heritage City Jamboree recently.
The five-day event was packed with 17 scouting activities, including a tour of the Malacca historic city.
Jamboree chairman Tan Beng Siang said the gathering forged closer ties between the scouts and honed their outdoor skills.
“The participants were required to complete five activities of six activities and one of two tests to receive activity badges as a token of participation,” said Tan.
He said the six categories were scouting skills, science and handicraft, customs and cultures, adventure, Malacca day tour and amateur radio operating skills.
“They also had to choose between visiting an exhibition at the campsite and answering a series of questions or performing community services for the tests,” he added.
Contingents from Bangladesh and parts of Indonesia like Palembang, Riau, Jambi, Dumai, Bukit TInggi and Jakarta took part.
The scouts were required to apply their scientific knowledge and handicraft skills to create flying rockets by using bottles, a blade, glue, cardboards and cellophane tape.
In the spirit of brotherhood, the scouts cheered loudly when a rocket was launched into the sky and even applauded as encouragement when the rockets failed.
Indonesian scout Hayati Puasa, 15, said the jamboree was the first she had attended overseas.
“I enjoyed the historic city the most as I visited landmarks such as A Famosa Fort, The Stadthuys and St Paul Hill,” said Hayati.
For 14-year-old Mohd Firdaus Hisha from Negri Sembilan, scouting was not only about learning survival skills.
“Scouts today have to learn science and technology to keep up with the fast-changing world,” he said.
City lad Muhammad Farid Hamid, 14, said the bicycle expedition in a rubber estate and secondary forest next to the camp was the most exciting.
“I come from Kuala Lumpur and my parents always get worried when I take my bicycle for a ride as there are simply too many cars out there.
“Here, I can pedal my heart out without worrying about incoming cars and reaching the end of the road. The fresh air is a plus too,” he said.
For 16-year-old Chong Wai Seng from Pahang, the jamboree was a good opportunity to share experiences and make friends.
“It is a time for bonding with scouts from other states and contingents. New friendships are forged when we get together to do the same things,” he said.
Penang contingent leader Rozhan Yahaya, 38, brought along 66 scouts from five different troops.
“Most of them have attended jamborees while the newcomers have sufficient camping experience to go through the five-day event,” said Rozhan, who has been active in scouting since 1997 and has 10 jamborees behind him.
He said his boys enjoyed themselves and look forward to future activities.