Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fizzled Out

I do so love a good campfire.However,I do not have the pleasure of being to a lot of them.Only two stick out in my mind as the best of the best,namely Bukit Bintang Boys' School 05' and St.John's 08'.The rest range from decent to god awful.The most recent one that I attended,Catholic High's,falls in the middle of those two descriptions.Now,I have high respect for CHS.They house one of the best scout and girl guide troops in Malaysia and their campfires have always held the reputation of being overelaborate and memorable.The rotation system also intrigued me quite a bit.See,each year the scouts and girl guides would take turns to organise a campfire.Last year's which was organised by the scouts was not perfect but they deserve credit for trying to achieve it on a grand scale.I haven't been to the one in 07' but the things I heard from my friends who attended were good.So naturally when Zhi Min invited my school's troop,I jumped at the opportunity.Right now,I pretty much regretted being too excited as the higher your expectation,the more disappointed you'd be when it does not materialise.So to satisfy your curiosity,here's the rundown on the night's campfire.The theme this year was 'Flames of Freedom' and is suppose to represent the growth of the girl guides movement at CHS.Misinterpreting the invitation we received,the new troop leader,John Chia thought that the campfire would begin at 6pm.Therefore,he set the time of departure from our school at 5pm.He thought wrong.Registration started at 6pm.We were approximately an hour and a half early.
The entrance to the campfire grounds.
We were definitely taken by surprise to how early we came.We were the first school to arrive and even the heads of reception were dumbfounded.Not knowing what to do,their course of action was to usher us to our seats and leave us to fend for ourselves from not being bored.
The syok sendiri band due to perform at the campfire.Our ears never bled so much.
Yup,those were the seats for all present.
The event proper only began at around 7pm.The emcees assigned to the campfire were obviously new to the whole thing and it showed while they were trying to liven up the atmosphere.They stammered and stuttered,trying to find the words that will bring about cheers from the attendees.They need not have tried as we were sympathetic to their predicament and made noise anyway.However,we had to stop when a teacher actually took the mic and told us to behave ourselves and not cause such ruckus.Just 5 minutes in and already we were told to shut up?I began to have doubts about this campfire.
Don't be fooled by my low quality camera phone.The phoenix was attached to some rope and was pulled upwards by three girl guides.
After the problem with the phoenix was rectified(it got stuck midway),we were presented to a video introducing the organising committee.Amateurish would be the polite way to describe it.The jokes were lame and repetitive and the worst part was we had to watch it again 5 minutes in.Next,the organising committee performed a horrbly choreographed dance routine which was painstaking to sit through.They clearly did not have enough practice and it showed from their constant long pauses between moves and the apologetic looks they give to the audience.A few games later came the worst band performances I have ever seen.The musicians were out of tune and unsynchronised with the vocalist,who thankfully possessed a defective mic.If the actual bands they tried to emulate were present,these boys would leave the campfire bloodied and crippled.
The only performance which went according to plan.
The campfire then came to an abrupt end at around 10pm when the booklet they handed out indicated that 11pm was the closing ceremony.This left many attendees confused and spewing vulgarities as almost all of them had told their transport to pick them up at 11.My troop was not impressed either and we had to wait close to half an hour before our bus arrived.This event will definitely leave a blemish on CHS's record.What pains me even more is the thought that my juniors who came along would assume that all campfires are this terribly organised and so avoid joining campfires in the future.I made a speech later in the bus about how that is not so but I did not feel that I changed their minds.This is my final year in scouting and this would be my final the saying goes,"Go out with a bang".CHS's campfire was more like a small pop.

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