Making the world a little bit smaller
By Jude Toyat
Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi
“I HOPE TO BRING FRIENDSHIP and exchange our knowledge and culture among the local people, especially the Scouts community here and bring a message of peace and growth,” said John Chow, the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group head advisor during a farewell dinner here on May 11.
The farewell dinner was hosted by the Sarawak Scout Foundation in appreciation of their visit and activities here in Kuching during the scout group’s visit from May 8 to 11.
The 29-member contingent’s visit to Kuching was part of their International Service Project that aims at sharing various presentations including scouting membership, leaderships, personal development and environmental stewardship.
“Today, our association has been in existence for eight years with over 180 members. We are the largest Rover Scout Group in Canada and no one comes close,” he said, noting that there was a healthy number of scouts in Malaysia and Canada.
Chow hopes that the scout community in Malaysia can adjust its structure and membership so that those who are unable to study abroad can have an organisation to belong to.
“Scouts in Canada and in Malaysia are generally the same. We abide by the same Scout laws and Promises. Unfortunately, the Scout community here are predominantly made up of closed groups, meaning to say it belongs to a school. This is different for us in Canada.
“In the long run, having closed groups is not really good for scouting. We need to be able to get the youth aged between 18 to 25 to join us too so they will not get scattered,” he said.
Among the group’s activities since they arrived in Kuching on May 9, was planting mangrove seedlings at the Kuching Wetlands National Park and visiting the Sejingkat Technical Secondary School.
Established in 2007, the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group is a premier development programme for young adults aged 18 to 26 and committed at contributing to the success of Scouts Canada, the nation’s leading youth-serving organisation, through leadership and management training of members in the group.
Chow added that the group is dedicated to growing its membership and delivering high quality programming to all youth participants.
Their visit to Kuching was the second leg of the International Service Project through Malaysia and Singapore. This is their fifth project since 2008 and visited China, Japan, the Philippines and Mexico, as part of a personal and team development exercise as well as to learn about and help its destination countries.
After this, the group will be visiting Malacca from May 12 to 14 before they head to their final leg of the trip in Singapore from May 14 to 17.