My First Noel on a not-so-silent night

By Felipe Gasparino

What would you expect for a Christmas party? Chatting? Nice food? Having some fun? Would you expect to leave with dance skills? How about feeling like in an Oscar, or a TV show?  Well, we’ll get to that.

Just 3 days before Christmas, Saturday December 22nd, the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group (“Crew”) were having an amazing Christmas Party, an event planned for weeks, and the whole Crew was engaged having their roles to make it happen. As it couldn’t be different, we could clearly see the result of this commitment.

Besides the good food, amazing decorations, awesome music, and quality mingling, the event was mainly conducted by a super synchronized duo, Shirvin Lee and Tudor Barcan in a sort of Oscar presentation, which made it very special, and was followed by many interesting activities, from entertaining ones to touching.

One of  the busiest and most exciting attractions of the evening, was the customized photo booth settled in an edge by Sheldon Leung. It was a guaranteed fun time where you could find a sailor cap, guns, giant flowers, wigs, and much more to change yourself to whatever you wanted for a crazy photo.

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Throughout the night, a few Rovers shared their stories with us. Sebastian Markwick (shown below, bottom left) talked about how his life was integrated with Scouting in the past 15 years and how it was made him the person he is today. Victor Chan (shown below, top right) talked about why he’s very passionate about being a leader for Cub Scouts and the honor of receiving the leader of the year award. Elaine Au (shown below, top left) touched our hearts with her experience in the past year with the Crew as a new Scout member. Though their journeys were very different, all three of them share something in common. They find Scouting and this Crew a safe place to learn. They feel that their lives have been positively impacted and they can also positively impact other’s. And they know that their peers will always be there to support them while they continue their journey through Scouting.

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The Crew has many new members, such as myself. It was a perfect place to get to know others better.  However, further than that, we had the opportunity to discover the talent of our Crew. I found out there are many talented musicians around. To start the evening, a compilation mashup of today’s top 40 songs were performed by Stephanie Chan and Carol Chan singing with Lester Lo on the piano and a special guest, Sherman Lau, on the guitar. Performing later was Howard So with a delightful blues song. As if it wasn’t enough, Darren Shum and Stephanie Chan was invited to sing a duet at the end of the night, followed by another surprise performance by Clarice Fu.

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Do you know how to dance Salsa?  Our resident expert, Lawrence Panzo, created an amicable and safe environment to embarrass ourselves learning.  Even if you didn’t know the Salsa, I’m sure many of us left the party knowing the basics and with new confidence in asking someone for a dance.

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I’m from Brazil and last year was my first year in Vancouver. It was my first year abroad, and given that I used to celebrate Christmas in hot summer weather, pretty much everything related to snow is fairly new to me–including Christmas. Now imagine what its like for me, after 20 years, I no longer experience a wintery experience vicariously throught he movies. I can actually feel the vibrant Christmas energy when we sang Jingle Bells and the warmth of a cozy Silent Night. I felt the Christmas spirit stronger than ever, and this was the apex of my night.

I would like to thank you all for the party and all moments we shared that day.

Hope you guys had an amazing time as I did, and an equally wonderful holiday, or “Boas Festas” as I would say in Portuguese.

Anthony Lam

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