[Let’s talk about iProj] Why I’m Grateful For My First iProj Experience

By Brian Asin & Sandra Lee

 

2017 is in full swing, which means that there’s only a couple of months until our Rover Scout Group contingent departs to Taiwan on the 6th International Service Project (iProj) in May. As a first timer going on iProj this year, I wanted to hear all the great stories coming from Rovers who have participated in past iProjs so I could get a sense of what I’m in for. In the weeks preceding our departure in May, this throwback series will give us a peek at some of our most ambitious Scouters’ experiences during the past International Service Projects. 

First up, we have one of our very own bloggers, Sandra Lee, to share her experience from iProj 2015 in Malaysia and Singapore.

 

Sandra: I went on my first iProj during the summer of 2015, in Malaysia and Singapore. This was apparently one of the most action-packed iProjs the Rover Crew has ever planned.  When I think back to what iProj was like, I don’t focus on what we did and where we went. I like to remember the people I met during those visits, and how much I appreciated their time spent with us. Despite only knowing these people for a few days, the friendship we had was real. We don’t even live in the same continent now, but there are still some connections I made sure to keep. Thanks to these new friends, I got to take away some scouting skills and other great souvenirs of my time over there.

1 MALAYSIAN SCOUTS TAUGHT ME HOW TO TIE A WOGGLE

During one of the dinners, I got the chance to mingle with some of the Navy Scouts. Upon their surprise, I wasn’t too good with my knots.
I didn’t grow up in scouting, and it was just one of those things that I never took a course on! After dinner, they patiently taught me step-by-step, how to tie a woggle. Still, to this day, I’m not so great at figuring out when the rope should go up and under, but I’ll always remember the time I made a woggle in 25 minutes and it stayed on my necker for the remainder of the night.

 

2 GOOD SCOUTERS KEEP YOU GOING.

I believe that a good scouter isn’t only there for the immediate problems and successes. A good scouter, to me, is someone who is willing to impart his or her wisdom. It’s because of their wisdom that I am encouraged to look forward to my next challenges. During our Mangrove tree planting project, I met Scouter Sabeli. I remember him being kind, careful, patient, funny, and a great tree planting partner! That summer, I had yet to receive any awards and flashes for scouting. He asked me why I didn’t have beads like my sister, and I told him that although I’ve been wanting to, I couldn’t take time off school and work to start my Woodbage 2 training. The next day, he handed me an envelope holding these beautiful ironwood beads.

Once I graduate, I’ll have a lot more time. Scouter Sabeli! I can’t wait to sign up and e-mail you all about it!

3 HANDMADE GOODIES

After our day volunteering at the House of Love, some other scout groups joined us and the House of Love family for a gigantic campfire. This was by far the best campfire I have ever attended. It was giant, it was loud, there was a fire canon —it was awesome on so many levels.

One of my fondest memories of the trip is of the 3 Girl Scouts who sat with me during that campfire. In the span of 2 hours, they taught me Girl Scouts handshakes, chants, and even made a personalized one with me! Best of all, one of the girls named Janice gave me a postcard she drew herself. I still have it hanging on my board.

When I returned to Singapore for vacation the following year, the Singaporean Scouts we met during iProj came to find me and took their afternoon to show me their favourite spots. As I said goodbye, they surprised me with a goody bag filled with things I pointed out while we were window shopping in Chinatown. The best thing in there was this cute little penguin Li Xuan made, which is currently hanging on my backpack.

So far, this little guy has been on 3 trips outside of Vancouver. Every time I look at him, I think of how much better IPROJ was because of these people.

You guys better come here soon! The 180th Rovers make the best tour guides.

 

Some of the nicest people you will ever meet will be in Scouts.

There were so many others who I don’t have the space to name! In the weeks to come, I’m sure you will hear the same type of appreciation for the Malaysian Scouters, since it was definitely something that impacted us all. I can confidently say that it’s the people that make iProj what it is—a challenging, life-changing volunteer trip that nothing else will ever compare to.

These people make the world feel smaller. I think that’s the biggest perk of being a part of a worldwide organization like Scouting.

 

Sandra Lee

One Response to “[Let’s talk about iProj] Why I’m Grateful For My First iProj Experience

  • Shelley Dyet
    3 months ago

    I have to agree with Sandra, “Some of the nicest people you will ever meet, will be in Scouts”.

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