It was now time to Unlock A New World. After eating hotel breakfast and buying Panera Bread for lunch, we left at about 9.45am to Charleston airport, and waited to board the bus to bring us to the campsite. That was our first taste of the diversity that was awaiting us all. We saw Portugese, US and Brazilian scouts over there. Some of us traded a few badges with them – the first ever trade that we did!
The actual bus ride was rather monotonous. We boarded the bus with Portugese and Brazilian scouts. They went multiple rounds around the Ruby Welcome Center in order to clear documentation, but I am not sure why they couldn’t clear everything in one go. The CMT also wasn’t cleared along with the unit, so they had to go back again which was rather tragic. In the end, we sat at the bus for about 3 hours. On the bus, we sang NDP songs (or attempted to do so) and also traded a few things as well.
The contingent on the bus.
We arrived at our campsite at about 3pm and met our Thailand counterparts. It was rather awkward at first because there was a language barrier. It was also especially challenging because we had to share cooking equipment and points with them. But I do suppose that it will get better over time.
Something that seriously dampened our spirits was the rain. In Singapore, the climate is very humid and it rains rather regularly. Raining during camps is not an irregular thing. What was unusual was the frigid cold. The rain, the mud, the wind with the cold huddled together served for a rather enlightening experience.
Even worse was when we tried to shower at 10pm at 15C weather. It is customary for us to shower at these times as the outside temperature is still rather warm. But obviously customs cannot apply throughout the world, and this showering time was no exception. The moment we turned on the tap, we were faced with instant regret. We shivered through the shower, languishing in pain as we attempted to clean ourselves but to no avail. Then at random
occurrences the wind started to blow between the gaps to our feet and that destroyed us even further. One can will yourself to expect the cold temperatures, but reality never fails to hit you like a truck. So that was a great shock to us. But we have a saying in our unit; pain is the feeling of weakness leaving your body. So hopefully by the end of this camp, we will get used to the cold!