Friday, March 28, 2014

SCOUT JAMBOREE LITE - fathers and mothers, sons and daughters...

Mikhail and his tent mates...

Jamboree Lite. Last weekend Mikhail went on what I might define as a scout jamboree 'lite'. From what I could reckon, there was no hikes, no campfires or anything too arduous for these primary school kids. I am not complaining, as like Mika, many of the children were just 10 years old, and possibly their first night ever under a tent. A tent, in a school field in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, a prosperous suburban neighbourhood not far from my own neighbourhood. In fact, the school field is just across the road from a restaurant that I often go for dinner. So I wasn't too worried. He he he.

Mikhail and his huge orange suitcase. Just what you need for a camping adventure.
I can assure you that Mika's luggage was the biggest at the jamboree.
I saw some other scouts arriving carrying only their every day school bag and a humble plastic bag. 

Delinquent Parents. In the three days and two nights the scouts were at the "camping site", hilarious and almost unbelievable stories started to turn up on the school moms Whatsapp group. There were some parents who continued hanging around in the school compound way after the scout program officially started. Other parents trotted off to the (conveniently nearby) shops to buy additional food and drinks for their kids, whom they fear would possibly starve or become severely malnourished during the weekend. But perhaps, the most amazing story involved a parent who was seen to actually helping his/her son to shower and change. I put the words 'his/her' to be polite, but I bet it was the mum. He he he.

Finally, unable to stand the interfering parents any longer, the scouts' working committee from Mikhail's school issued a warning to all parents to stay away from the school and camping ground until they are suppose to pick their kids up on Sunday afternoon. If any parent is spotted in the school compound, the committee warned, their child will be asked to immediately leave the program.

I don't blame the committee, because, after all, Mika's school is only one of 5 (I think) schools that sent their scouts for the weekend camping program. I think most of the delinquent parents were from Mika's school. Oh the shame of it all... 

He he he.  
Exhausted but exhilarated. I can still recall such childhood feelings.

But most importantly, despite the attempts by mum and/or dad to totally sabotage the scout camping weekend, I think it went well. When I picked up Mikhail, he was tired and hungry, yet I could see he was also exhilarated by the experience. "I really enjoyed sleeping in a tent, Papa.", he said. "We slept at one in the morning and got up at five!", he added. "I liked the chicken rendang (a very rich coconut based chicken dish... so much for the threat of starvation) that we ate!" And happily, Mika is keen to go for more camping, perhaps next time, at a proper camp site somewhere in the forest. And I bet for that one, the parents won't be furtively keeping watch in the bushes nearby. 

But then again... you never know what mums can get up to when they think their offspring are at risk! 

God bless the patient teachers and scout masters, and God bless all crazy parents.

MH370, a Postscript -We all know the news surrounding the tragic event of Flight MH370. May all friends and kin of the missing passengers and crew of that plane, find the courage to persevere with hope and faith as they pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. And for the rest of us, we who mourn with them in this difficult times, we can only pray to understand the lessons from this incident, that it may make us a better human being, and a better Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Atheists or Agnostics

Because, after all... whatever the nature of your belief or disbelief, we are all still part of one humanity.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way 

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