Ixora; the flower that you see so often along the streets – somehow made into the list of my favorite flowers because of a special reason. Because it was where I belonged for 3 out of 4 years in my Guiding life. This is a belated post, but sincere nevertheless. 22 February 2014 marked World Thinking Day for the Brownies/Girl Guides family, so Happy (belated) World Thinking Day to my fellow sister Guides out there, all over the world :’)

There have been random bouts of nostalgia hitting me since, & I truly miss the days where I had the responsibility as a Girl Guide. It seems rather surreal joining a Uniformed Group when I was just a sec 1 in NY, without knowing what to expect/what’s in stall for me. But the journey of Guiding in those 4 years have changed my life forever – no kidding. Starting out as a sec 1 member in Swallow Patrol in 2007, I proceeded to (coincidentally) be a member of Ixora Patrol from 2008 to 2009, and as the Patrol Leader of Ixora in 2010.

Guiding taught me friendship, discipline, perseverance, responsibility, respect. It allowed me to venture into activities that I’d never have imagined to be doing. From outdoor cooking to footdrill, not once did I regret joining this Guiding family. I admit Guiding gave me waaay more stress than I had to – evident from the nightmares I get the night before every weekly CCA session from sec 1 to 3, and the nightmare was always the same, being late for CCA, turning up in the wrong attire, forgetting how to tie certain knots & lashes, etc. But at least to me it was worth it, I’ve gained a lot of experience from this and I genuinely don’t regret anything at all 🙂

The most memorable thing would probably be pioneer training in sec 4 with Sox11. It was tough being PGA-nominees, having to fulfill so many requirements, train so much harder, study for the interviews etc. But pioneer training was (one of) the highlights of my Guiding life. I miss firelighting despite frequently getting cuts/burns etc. I remember all of us being dejected because we weren’t able firelight in time to get the water in the mess tins boiling during our very first pioneer training. I remember rushing during recess breaks to meet up & practice e-shelter or tent-pitching. 

Camps. ATC 2007 + ATC 2008 + LTC 2009 + ATC 2009 + ATC 2010. Each camp gave me new insights to life, allowing me to view matters from different perspectives, making me a better person on the whole. Multiple occurrences of tears shed in these 4 years during camps for different reasons altogether, but Guides camps are just a whole new level. I miss sleeping in tents that we pitched on our own, waking up every morning to tidy up our tents for patrol inspection, and for colours every morning in camp. Definitely not the leisure camps that other CCAs might have, after all we are a uniformed group. Discipline.

This might sound stupid but … I miss roll call. To think we were all afraid of doing roll call at first, and I remember meeting up with batchmates/other PLs to practice roll call after PLCs on Tuesdays. The way our hearts swelled the times when we had perfectly coordinated roll call procedures without timings, those were the good old days :’)

Alright that has been a nice trip down memory lane, but I should head back to reality and move on with my life. Regardless of all the ups and downs, all the complications involved, several regrets that still exist, I am proud of my Guiding life, proud to be part of NYGG Batch ’07, proud to have gotten a chance to lead Ixora Patrol, proud to have survived those 4 years.

Once a Guide, always a Guide.

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