Take Me Home, Country Roads

23rd July was the first of many things – the first time we woke up to the freezing cold; the first day of activities; and of course, the very first show (and the highlight), the opening show!

Unfortunately it was still raining in the morning, which did dampen our spirits considerably. The moment we exited our tents to retrieve our shoes, our new pair of socks immediately got wet. We were already quite used to this in Singapore, so while it was bad, it was not too terrible (worse was the cold). We ate some cold ham sandwiched between bread, but it was nonetheless edible.

The global ambassadors were involved in an orientation programme for the first half. We were introduced to our role and to other friendly ambassadors as well! Meanwhile, the Singapore contingent went to the sustainability treehouse. Something which I will have to get used to is the terribly long walking hours. No amount of training in Singapore can authentically prepare you for this.

The global ambassadors also broke off earlier to be the flag bearers for the opening ceremony. It is certainly a great honour to have. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling too stressed partly because I was too tired for jetlag (haha!), and partly because I didn’t understand the gravity of what was about to happen. I enjoyed chatting to some people, especially Reene, who is the global ambassador for Malaysia. Apparently we both

wore the exact same shoe brand and type! Talk about serendipity.

Nevertheless, it was only when they played “The Circle of Life” and all the different delegates from different countries came in, and as we circled all 45000 scouts, was when I felt the sense of sombre yet prideful responsibility that lay before me. We all brandished our flags and waved them around.


The Singapore flag


The opening show also featured a great speech from Bear Grylls, performances from Recycled Percussion, and an absolutely splendid light show that highlighted all the unique facets of scouting.


Doesn’t this sign look familiar?


We made the grave mistake of showering again at midnight. Once again, we froze to death. We had now resolved to never do this again, ever.

All in all, today would be the start of a great and exciting journey for all of us.

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