This time we travel back to my scouting days that at the time was such a big part of my life. I joined the cub scouts when I was in Standard 2 (2nd grade) and it was the primary activity throughout my schooling years. These pictures come from my mid-teens in the early-mid 70's.jungle camping
Once I hit Secondary (High) School I was a full on scout and the fun really began. At the time there were 2 scout groups working out of of my school... the 7th KL and the 8th KL. Somewhere between Form 2 & 3 (8th & 9th grade) the groups merged and we were officially known as the Eagle Scout Group. Our "scout masters" were from the upper grades so in a lot of ways caution was thrown to the wind. Liability? What was that?me at camp
Now we either camped in the jungle or by the sea. Official camps usually involved packing our gear into the school bus. We were then driven to the edge of the jungle just outside the city and hiked in. Several of these places I had already known quite well
. There were no "official campgrounds" so we basically set up close to a stream and pitched our tents. Camp tables and kitchens were usually constructed out of cut wild bamboo.
Essential camping gear per patrol (other than the heaviest army issue tents ever made) included dry clothes, rice, flour, some canned food, coffee, a live chicken or two, and sulfur. Let me explain the last two. Because of the lack of refrigiration the only way to eat fresh meat was to bring it live to camp. "Slaughter days" were always fun. Sulfur lined the shallow trenches around the tent to dissuade critters like snakes from crawling under the blankets in the dead of night. These days how we camped would be considered "survival camping". It usually took about half a day to set up camp... then we had to cook, etc.kien at camp
There were also the "unofficial camps" that we undertook on our own. Kien
(in the pic), several friends and I would often just take off on some camping destination on the odd weekend. The jungle was always closer than the sea (only a bus ride away)... so, there were a lot of jungle camp trips. It seemed we were camping in the jungle almost every weekend.
"There is something seductive about the lush steamy jungle. It has a primal hum...a vibration that connects to the very core of your being. A connection that makes you aware exactly how you fit into the scheme of things. A place where life and death seems to nourish each other."
That's a quote from a play of mine... and it's how I still feel about the jungle.the eagle group
Some of my happiest days as a teen was not at school but camping and the scouts. Camping by the sea was a whole different kettle of fish... but fun nevertheless. On one particular camp outing at Port Dickson
the troop built a bamboo raft. One night Kien
and I snuck out with it. We didn't realize the tide was going out and the gentle current was taking us with it. Soon we were so far from the shore that our young frantic minds were convinced that we were half way in the Straits of Malacca
and drifting to Sumatra
. So, we took turns getting into the water and peddling/pushing... attempting to get the raft back. Shivering and scared we were finally pulled back to shore by a couple of older scouts in a canoe who came out looking for us. Sure, there are other adventures... but I'll save those for another post.half-nikked in oslo
I was also lucky enough to represent Malaysia (5 of the contingent of 15 were from the mighty Eagle Scouts) at the World Jamboree in Lillehammer, Norway
. Being 16 in Scandinavia... let me tell ya... that was living!
My impressions of that experience:
field in lilllhammer at the opening ceremony
- "It's 10 pm and the sun hasn't gone down?" "What's the sun doing up at 3 in the morning?"
- "Man, these Nordic people are tall!"
- "Boy, these Scandinavian girls are really friendly!"
- "Beer warmers? What the hell are beer warmers?"
- "What do you mean by a 24 hour hike past the timber line?"
- "OK guys, this is how a Finnish Sauna works. You sit in this really hot room... then you run out and jump into the freezing lake... it's all snow melt! I swear I heard my body crack."
- "Check that out! The Saudi and Israeli groups are camping right next to each other!"
- "So, after 10 days here... we go to Sweden for 5?"
At 17 I finally achieved the rank of "King Scout". I wasn't going to but my mother insisted that I "finish what I started." Our batch were even invited to the palace
to receive this honor from the King himself. My good friend Peter and I were now upper classmen and ran the group for a year. They were good days and we all even socialized even outside of scouting activities. The picture below is all of us at my place at Christmas.xmas at home with the gang
So, that ends another edition of Picture Daze. Check out the sidebar for other editions.
Labels: Picture Daze