Written by: Jesicca Koong, Sixer & Scribe Leader
“Mic test! Mic test! ” It was the Akela Award ceremony and I was the emcee, together with Zi Kiat. On one hand I was extremely nervous because I was afraid that I would make a mistake! On the other, I was extremely happy to have earned the coveted Akela Award. I was over the moon when I was selected as an emcee! Standing on stage in the hall at St Joseph Institution Junior, my hands were clammy and my legs had turned to jelly. There were many scouts and the atmosphere was electrifying. Most of the scouts were chatting with one another in small groups, obviously excited for the ceremony.
The Akela Award is presented by the Singapore Scout Association to outstanding cub scouts in recognition of their excellent performance in outdoor challenge, adventure challenge, sharing together and helping to lead. This award is the highest personal award that a cub scout can achieve.
“ Step forward! Salute! First handshake! Receive! Second handshake! Second salute! ” Not long after, it was time for the rehearsal. Zi Qiat and I read out the names of the awardees. One by one, the awardees filed up the stage to practice the handshake and salute. The rehearsal was over in a blink of an eye and it was time for the real event.
The doors to the hall were opened and proud parents streamed into the hall, wanting to get the best seats to take pictures of their children. Mr Chia, the school principal, Mdm Kerina and Baloo were there to give us support – Thank you! My heart palpitated wildly and I prayed that I would not mess up. My brother, Jonathan, was there as a service scout and seeing him on stage to take care of the award calmed my nerves.
Everyone stood as the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ong Teong Wan, a member of the Scout Council, and other guests walked into the hall. The ceremony started with a reaffirmation of our Scout Promise. Then, Mr. Desmond Chong, Assistant Chief Commissioner (North Area), delivered his speech, followed by Mr. Ong. Mr. Ong’s speech was extremely inspiring as he shared his scouting journey and how the skills he had acquired during scouting had served him well in his life. He encouraged all of us, the awardees, to continue scouting after we graduate from primary school. He mentioned that all the presidents and prime ministers of Singapore were scouts. By joining scouts, all of us stood a chance to be leaders of Singapore in the future! He said with a wide grin. His most quotable quote: “Scouts are clever children with wise parents.”
As each Cub Scout walked up confidently to receive his or her award, parents’ faces beamed with pride while cameras clicked and flashed. When it was the turn for the Pelican cub scouts, a cub named Samuel Soo took over our role. Eight Pelican cubs had bagged the award: Ahmad Siddique, Cheong Yew Meng, Goh Zi Kiat, Nicale Yee, Nicole Yee, Sarah Njauw, Rahul Kumar Singh and I! As I received my award, pride swelled up in me. Indeed, I was thankful that my parents had allowed me to join the scouting family in 2012. After all 167 recipients had been called out, Samuel delivered his valedictorian speech. Finally, we sang the Scout Hymn - what a befitting end to the ceremony!
It is a great honour to receive the Akela Award and I am very thankful for the privilege to be the emcee for this prestigious event. Congratulations to all the Pelican cub scouts who have attained the Akela Award! Last but not least, a big THANK YOU to Akela, Raksha, Baloo, Chil, Kaa, Mrs Kong, Mdm Kerina and all the teachers who have made our scouting journey enriching, exciting and exhilarating, and this achievement possible!
|Emcee for 2015 Akela Award.. Well done Jessica & Zi Kiat|
|Our Akela Awardee with Mr Chia, Mdm Kerina & Baloo.. |
L ro R: Mr Chia, Ahmad Siddique, Yew Meng, Zi Kiat, Jesicca, Nicole, Sarah, Mdm Kerina & Baloo
Not in picture: Nicale & Rahul (absent with apologies)