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The China Mail.

Hongkong, Saturday, August 31, 1929.
大英八月卅一號  禮拜六日

No. 27,272
Page 15


Catholic Scouts In Camp At Sai Wan Bay
Hungry, Smiling And Always Cheery

   The following account of a four day camp at Sai Wan Bay has been forwarded to me by Scout F.Sequeira, of the Pencock Patrol (16th Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral Group):-

   On Sunday, August 18, after Mass, we went to Central Headquarters to draw the tents and necessary gear. At 10 a.m. the younger Scouts arrived with all their precious things and by their faces you could tell they were very happy and one or two scouts shed a tear or two before taking leave of their parents. At 10.30 a.m. the lorry kindly lent by Mr. Vanini took all the gear and some of the bigger Scouts to Sai Wan Bay. The younger scouts travelled by Tram with the Scoutmaster to Shaukiwan and walked along the motor road to Sai Wan Bay. Scoutmaster C.Sayer of the 20th H.K. Group, kindly came and assisted us.

Water Difficulty

   As it was raining on the first day the Scoutmaster after inspecting the ground and allotting the pitch to each tent gave orders for the tents to be erected immediately. The cooks then went on duty to prepare tiffin, but returned to report that no water is coming through the pipes. As the water supply was of the utmost importance and thus left us in such a predicament the Scoutmaster immediately went to see what could be done and after inspecting the whole line of pipes at last came to the damaged part and repaired it but unfortunately the pipes were choked.
   The Scoutmaster then interviewed the village Elders and after a lengthy conference an arrangement was made to supply us with water for the whole five days at $0.02 a bucket.
   At 5 p.m. the Scouts had a taste of the sea and after this, as it was getting dark they prepared the tents.

They Were All Hungry

   At 8 p.m. we had dinner and the boys ate with such an appetite that would knock Gauzy Sam out hollow in an Eating Competition. After some sing song, and a cry of cocoa the boys said their night prayers. At 10 p.m. the "Lights Out" order was given and everything was still and silent and in less than 5 minutes the boys were sleeping peacefully in their tents with Divine Providence protecting them. Outside the wind was howling, crickets were chirping and a distant ruffled sound was heard, like an owl blowing forth its cerie challenger and together with the sweet sound of the rushing sea water made the younger Scouts feel comfortable that they had said their prayers before turning in; they also said an extra "Hail Mary" for their parents at home.
   At 2 a.m., a time when murderers and prowlers were about the Scoutmaster went right up to the Bungalow to boil some water for two Scouts who had an attack of toothache. Some of the younger scouts said they saw white ghosts and heard people crying near their tents.

The Next Morning

   The next morning all boys were out at 6 a.m. and had some exercise under P Leader Lewis Tin. While we were swimming we could smell the bacon and eggs and immediately a vanishing act happened which would amaze the best conjurors and magicians of the world. Before the Scoutmaster realised what had happened everyone ran full speed back to their tents, changed and got ready their plates for breakfast in record time. At 8 a.m. the cooks came down and immediately three lusty cheers were given to the Cooks (I beg your pardon, to the grub) and then another three of the same quality to the Cooks.
   The respective leaders of each hut came and brought back food for Scouts under them and after grace was said the food suddenly began to disappear in a most astonishing speed. Firstly the porridge disappeared, then the bacon and eggs vanished not mentioning the 15 lbs. bread and marmalade. As the cocoa reservoir was beginning to get dry, cocos restrictions had to be enforced.

Why Are They So Ravenous?

   At 9.30 a.m. the leader accompanied the Scoutmaster to inspect the tents, etc. From 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. instructions were given to the Scouts by the Scoutmaster and Patrol Leader respectively.
   At 1 p.m. the item that everyone liked and enjoyed best took place, i.e., tiffin. Needless to say the same thing happened to the food and the best experienced cooks would wonder why the Scouts like the food and ate with such an appetite that not even a grand dinner at the best local hotel could produce.
   From 1-2.30 p.m. the boys had a well needed rest, some reading books and studying their school lessons, some made baskets and others took the opportunity for a little siesta.
   From 2.30 to 4 p.m. instructions on "Judging" were given to the Scouts.
   From 4 to 6 p.m. all went for a swim and exercise and games on the beach.

Around The Camp Fire

   At 7 p.m. dinner was ready for 35 boys but only 21 Scouts took the grub (we had only 21 Scouts at Camp) and even so the food disappeared.
   At 9 p.m. a splendid Camp Fire was held. With a fine glowing fire which made the dark look cheery and comfortable the Scout master declared the Camp Fire open. Scout "Biddy" Gomes & Co. gave a fine imitation of a brass band which was very much applauded. Scouts M.Guterres and F.Sequeira sang the "Little Mother" with such a sweet and sad voice that touched everyone's heart and made more than one shed tears. The Chinese Scouts sang their latest hit and we tried our best to join in the chorus but were unsuccessful.

Breaking Up

   Portuguese songs were also a favourite. After some Scout tune and yells and the Swazi Wala Dance, we all bared our heads to say night prayers. The King was sung and the Camp Fire was closed down by the Scoutmaster. Everyone enjoyed very much specially (in drinking) the hot cocoa.
   The "Lights Out" as blown at 10 p.m. and soon the boys were fast asleep. The Scoutmaster after a final "inspection" turned in himself as tired as everyone.
   The programmes of the 3rd and 4th day were nearly the same as the 2nd day.
   On the last day we were to return to Hong Kong at 3 p.m., when Mr. Vanini's Lorry would be waiting for us on the motor road.
   During the morning everything was quiet and we were busy getting breakfast ready. Some boys went to swim as usual.

Caught By Typhoon

   At 10 a.m. when we were having our breakfast at the Bungalow owing to the rain, all of a sudden the wind increased so rapidly and fiercely that everything was blown away. The Scoutmaster immediately gave orders for the younger scouts to remain at the Bungalow and the Rovers and himself went out to save the tents. Two of the tents were lifted high up and blown away like kites. After great difficulty the party succeeded in getting back these two tents. Owing to the heavy rain and strong wind and the sand blown from the beach it made working very uncomfortable and difficult.
   We immediately carried everything to the bungalow and took the tents up also. This was done after three hours of hard work fighting against the wind. The path leading from the Camp to the Bungalow was very dangerous as trees and fruits fell down wholesale and two of our Rovers were knocked down and had to be carried up to the bungalow for first Aid. The younger Scouts behaved themselves splendidly and no harm happened to them.

(To be continued next week)

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