Day 4 – Some Help from New Friends

By: Karina Lee

Volunteering is a great way for like-minded people to meet, even if they don’t speak the same language or come from the same culture. By taking time off work and school to go on this international service project, the contingents from 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group was not surprised when they bumped into another group, while they were in China, who shared the same passion for servicing youth.  In turn, we were grateful that we were so well received by the staff, children, and new friends at the Xian Children’s Village. We got to get to know our new friends better through sharing our personal development program and interacting through ice breaker games. They also helped us with painting the mural in the main auditorium, and helped us run some games for the youth.

When we first got to the Children’s Village in Xi’an, Scouter John Chow was invited to give a speech following the welcome speech given by the vice principle of the orphanage. While we were sitting there, excitedly waiting to get the chance to finally meet the youth, two other university volunteer groups also showed up to also visit the children. Later, we learned that these students were from the Xi’an University of Technology- Hydro-electrical Engineering department, and the Xi’an Medical College.

180th Pacific Coast Scout Group President, Brandon Ma, introducing himself to the university students.

We decided to join forces and work on the mural and interact with the children together. With more volunteers to utilize, our Rover team leads had to figure out an effective use for all of them. An additional opportunity arose when we learned of their interest in our Rover Scout Group. By helping us finish the project faster, in turn, it freed our time to share some of our program. The months of practicing for the leadership, management, and personal development planning workshops for Shilong paid off as we could quickly prepare presentations for the new audience. At the same time we were able to run games that appealed to all ages 5 to Rover.

Harrison and Brandon giving presentations on Personal Development Planning to his audience of 20 Mandarin speaking University students

At the Personal Development Presentation, Harrison had to revamp his prepared presentation from Cantonese to Mandarin with only 15 minutes. Without his original team, Clarice and Eli (who were working on the mural), he had to muster a new team to help him execute a successful presentation. Not only so, he had to come up with a new set of ice breaker games for our new friends.

“I was totally unprepared to present in Mandarin, but as the need arose, I decided to step up my game. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.”- Harrison, Rover Scout.

We heard the students’ experiences in goal setting, and how they confronted life’s challenges. They were really amazed with our Rover Scout Group’s focus on personal development. You could feel them sitting up in their seats with excitement.

At the end of the day, the 20 students from the Xi’an University of Technology told us that they were glad they stayed because they learned a lot about how we do life coaching and personal development in the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group.

According to Kenson, a student from the Xi’an University of Technology, “Originally we were going to leave after we gave our gifts to the children, but we saw people in red uniform march into the Children’s Village. We were amazed at the amount of energy and professionalism this group had. So we decided to stick around, and see if we could be a part of what they were doing.”

Between our Philippines international project and this opportunity, It’s was amazing to see that the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group’s philosophy on personal development has so much universality across borders.

You can read all of our articles by following the links below!

Day 4 – The Children’s Village
Day 4 – Some Help from New Friends
Day 4 – Learning by Playing
Day 5 – Dancing and Singing with the Children
Day 5 – Children’s Village:  Food for Thought
Day 5 Feature –  Our Very Own Great Wall in China


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