Ticket to Life Joint Camp: A life changing experience for all

“However, nothing could prepare us for the amazing experience we were about to embark on”

Was what Faye had to say at departure before leaving for Manila in May this year.

She and other leaders and youth were off to the Ticket to Life Joint Camp in Manila, Philippines. Ticket to Life (TTL) is amazing program in Philippines that has Scouts from all across the Asia Pacific Region involved, helping street kids of Manila become connected with other youth through Scouting. The program empowers these kids to become part of their local community and create a brighter future for themselves.

The Kwago Patrol

The trip this year in particular was about bringing over supplies to the school that they attend and also taking them on a camp into the hills outside Manila. The camp was a great opportunity for the two groups of Scouts to become one and they did just that with Faye expressing it as “Laughter, learning, friendship, and just very good scouting took place during the next five days”. The group spend their days strawberry picking,  going on a ‘Amazing Race’ through the local, Baguio City. Climbing up and down stairs, sharing games, skits and exploring the city together. Before everyone knew the camp was over. But it left lasting impressions on everyone.

Arriving at the Village in a Jeepnee Strawberries

Not only was it great fun, they learnt so much from their exchange with the Filipino Scouts. Teaching all of them to respect each others different customs and the Australian Scouts being appreciative of the life they get to live in Australia. With Jane noticing the difference “Walking around the streets and seeing the poverty, families with children living and sleeping on the streets was very hard to take in and reminds us of how lucky we are to live where we do. But still no matter how sad the situation is these people are always smiling, waving hello, we have so much to learn from these people.”

Patrol Leader, being presented with the winning Patrol Award

This was not a once off trip, with further ongoing fundraising efforts continuing to pay so the Filipino kids can continue their education. Also including another massive trip that is occurring early next year with 30 of the Filipino youth (on their first overseas trip) coming from Manila to Perth. To join in on camp, getting involved in games and have further great cultural exchanges. The TTL team are always happy for more people to get involved to help support the project, which is having a huge impact on the lives of these kids.

And this is how some of the participants reflected on their trip:

Jane:

“How do you truly put into words the amazing experiences that we have all shared together with these wonderful people. Their stories, songs, laughter, love of life will stay with me forever.”

Maddison:

“I made so many new friends and I have so many memories to share with my family and friends back home.  It was a great experience and I hope I get to see most of them next year.”


Check out the video of TTL for more information:

Scout Profile: Ali Firsuhan from Maldives

Each month International News profiles a Scout from overseas:

Ali Firsuhan, Maldives 

First Scout Promise: In 2004 at the age of 14.

Current Scouting role: I’m a Scout Leader at one of the local Scout Groups in Male’ (the capital city of Maldives) and also the Group Scribe at a community based Rover Crew.

In the real world: I work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives. It gives me nothing but happiness by working in the Government and well it provides the opportunity for me to live and work overseas.

Ali

Ali having some fun while working as a ‘Pinky’ at the Kandersteg Scout Centre

On Scouting crossing global borders: 

Scouting is an international movement that encourages meetings across cultural and geographical borders. It is about being with friends as part of a team, and participating fully in the adventure and other opportunities of life. An important part of Scouting is to meet and develop from the exchange with others from across the globe.

Scouting is my life compass; it has guided me to discover myself and try out many new activities un-common for the typical scholar. Scouting is inseparable; it will always be in my veins forever; the law, the motto, and the promise I vow to live up to for the rest of my life. Scouting truly is a movement with a mission for me. It is more than an organization; it is a way of life. It is what we say and do in the spirit of the scout oath and law. Scouting has always given me fantastic opportunities, that people who are not in scouts will never experience. It’s about having fun with good friends.

522550_10151201982063645_40091441_n

Best part of Scouting:

Scouting is one of the most rewarding and fun organizations that our children and youngsters can be part of. As I have to play different roles in Scouting, from which most responsible and challenging is being a Scout leader. I enjoy spending times with my Scouts. Sure, there are challenges being a scout leader. The weekly commitment to troop meetings, the one weekend a month and one week a year at camp, the challenge with helping reluctant or apathetic parents get involved. But the rewards are tremendous as well as I try in my small way to help build scouts into committed, responsible and successful men. Getting to see young people grow, learn and become responsible and active citizens is without doubt the coolest and most rewarding thing you can do.

On Maldivian Scouting:

We have lot of pancake islands which are extremely flat and floating on the blue ocean where we can go for outings, camping’s etc. Direct access to the vast oceans allows us to run varieties of water activities on natural waters like float camping; you can also take a hike on the turquoise lagoons going from one island to another enriched by white sandy beaches. It’s a haven for water-based activities; swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, canoeing, boating etc. Gorgeous white sand beaches lead out to turquoise waters where colored fish dart in and out of the coral gardens.

Biggest challenge for Scouting today:

We in the Maldives, for us one of the huge challenge is having insufficient youth program. Future youth programme should develop “21st century” skills – in other words, we should be prepared for the challenges awaiting us in the 21st century, trained adults and leaders should be trained with updated tools responding to the current needs. The Youth Programme should remain in tune with evolving global societal realities, trends and technologies.The programme offered to Scouts around the world needs to clearly focus on delivering life skills that are compatible with the requirements of a 21st century society. We must empower our Scouts to put their “dreams into action in partnership with adults.” Leadership skills learned and developed in Scouting are imperative.