By Jacob Bailey
As I stepped off the rocking deck of a bumboat, I felt a twinge of happiness shoot through me. Pulau Hantu had been closed for over a year for renovations, and it felt great to be back on the island with over 15 of my friends from Boy Scouts. My pulse jumped at the thought of all the great memories I would be able to bring home after the two-night campout.
After setting up our tents, it was time for lunch. The smell of fried rice and grilled cheese sandwiches cooking on camp stoves wafted through the air. After lunch, it was rank advancement time for some Scouts, while others participated in a leadership course. Next, it was time for some island exploring. A coconut was found beneath the towering leaves of a palm tree. Older scouts showed others how to safely crack open the coconut with a hatchet so they could let fresh coconut water flow into their mouths.
Finally, it was time for dinner and then a night game. With just headlamps, we played freeze tag as well as virus tag. A strong sense of brotherhood filled all Scouts when “Taps” and “Vespers” was sung. After that, we retired to our tents and hammocks to quietly talk until bedtime.
“Chirp! Chirp!” Went the sound of the birds waking up and calling out to each other. When all boys were up and out of their tents, breakfast was served by Patrol. Boys with leadership responsibilities went to the next section of leadership training, while others learned important first aid skills, including how to wrap a sprained limb and take care of a broken arm. Later in the day, we organized a one mile run for anybody who was interested in timing their mile. Boys trying to complete the Personal Fitness merit badge came together to work on their exercise plans.
As the sun set, all scouts came together for one final campfire. Because of a surprise rainstorm, marshmallows were roasted on stoves instead of around the campfire. It didn’t matter that it was wet because we still had fun. Jokes and ghost stories were told. Once again, the evening finished with “Taps” and “Vespers.”
The next morning, we held a flag ceremony with the US and Singapore flags. As we prepared to head back to Singapore, we packed up our tents and policed the area for trash to keep the environment clean. The weekend had gone so quickly, and I was sad to wrap it up. As our bumboat motored away, we all looked back at the island and the great memories we would have from our trip.
Jacob Bailey is a First Class Scout in Troop 07. He is in Grade 7 at SAS and is the Cobra Patrol Leader.