Our First Big Group of Taiwanese Scouts

By Sandra

Today is Day 2 of our International Service Project in Taiwan. After our early breakfast, we walked to nearby Hwa Gang High School and met Scouter Pencil and his students. It was our first time interacting with a larger crowd of Taiwanese Scouts, and some of us were a little anxious.

After getting to know them, we discovered that despite the language barrier and cultural differences, we are more similar than we thought. We have some Rovers who have never been on an international service project (iProj, for short) with our contingent.  It is always fun to see the newer contingent members realize that Scouts from other countries share the same core values: be humble, be supportive, be kind to each other, and always do your best. This afternoon, our President and Vice President, Eli Chan and Dylan Book, did presentations that introduced the local Scouts to Canada, Scouts Canada, and our International Service Projects. We knew that English isn’t very prominent here in Taiwan, but we could see that the audience was very attentive and respectful. We also had the opportunity to learn about Taiwanese scouting from Scouter Pencil Pan, who was an elegant speaker. He organized a lunch and ice breaker for the two groups.

At the school, we were introduced to a card game called Hanabi, which means fireworks in Japanese. This challenging game limited our communication to two things: number and colour. We were to remember the placement of cards in our small deck. We had to rely on the help of our Scouts to gain more points than the neighbouring tables. It was the ultimate ice breaker.  We sat down with our teams and got to know them on a more personal level.

Some of the things we learned:

  1. These Scouts have the option to wear two different neck pieces as part of their uniform: the school necker and a bolo tie. The bolo tie is given to them when they enter the Scouting program. After passing a test, they become invested, and are then able to wear the orange school necker.
  2. The school logo as seen on the bolo tie is an Onigiri (rice ball).
  3. They had an exam the next day, and were willing to skip their last day of studying to meet us.
  4.  They wore woggles tied with shoelaces.
  5. They were very impressed that our Rovers all had Woodbadge, as Woodbadge is very difficult to obtain in Taiwan.
  6. Scouting is an extracurricular club that students have the option to join, just like certain sports and academic teams.

 

 

All of the scouts we’ve met so far in Hualien have been extremely hospitable. At the end of our day at school, we exchanged memorabilia and are very excited to see some of them again at the International Open Forum happening on May 6th!

Sandra Lee

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