Day 4 of Dragon Scout Group (DSG) Hawaii Overseas Exchange Program. This day was packed with many things from the morning till the night, a long day of fun interesting visits and the start of the Hawaiian exchange program between Dragon Scouts and Hawaiian Scouts. After the normal daily routine of PT, Flag Break and Breakfast, the boys and girls of DSG changed into their uniforms for an official visit to the Aloha Council in the morning.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
However before heading to the Aloha Scout Council, our Hawaiian hosts brought us up to a very beautiful place, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (known as Punchbowl among the locals). It’s not just a cemetery, it was a garden and there was a lookout at the top of Punchbowl. We trekked up towards the lookout point, along the pathway up, it’s actually a Memorial Walk lined with a variety of memorial markers from various organizations and governments that honor America’s veterans. The view at the top of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was a bird’s eye view of Honolulu, the weather was great with clear blue skies and beautiful clouds.
After photo taking around the lookout, we walked down towards the memorial ground Court of Honour. We took a group photo in front of the Statue of Lady Columbia and had a quick tour of the chapel and maps of the various battles that were fought in the Pacific. After a quick tour, we boarded our vehicles for our next destination, Aloha Council.
Official Visit to Aloha Council
Our first formal Hawaii Scouting exchange program started with a visit to the Aloha Council. First and foremost, we took a group photo with our Hawaii Overseas Exchange banner in front of Aloha Council compound where the signage was located, whereby DSG can share with family, loved ones, friends and Scouting community that we were here in Hawaii! We went to the Aloha Council, took another group photo with a representative from Aloha Council and our Senior Patrol Leader, Eugene presented a plaque from Dragon Scout Group to Aloha Council, for our Hawaii Overseas Exchange Visit 2012. When the formalities were done, it was shopping time at the Aloha Council shop and the boys and girls bought quite a number of Scouting stuff from there!
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
When the official visit to Aloha Council was over, we made our way to a location known as Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, it’s a section of the windward cliff (pali in Hawaiian) of the Koʻolau mountain located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley. It was not too far away from Aloha Council and a nice drive up the mountains, passing through the lush greenery through the mountain range towards Pali Lookout. This is another very beautiful lookout point with a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oʻahu. Our Hawaiian hosts told us that powerful winds would blow towards Pali Lookout, however, during our visit, we didn’t get to have a feel of the powerful winds blowing towards us while we were up there! The panoramic lookout view was some of the best that I had seen and I loved it a lot up there!
We had a stopover nearby the coast, whereby we enjoyed the sea breeze and had a beautiful view of Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach before heading to Costco Wholesale Warehouse for lunch and shopping. After that, we were back into Downtown Honolulu and it’s a historical and heritage tour of the following locations
– State Capital Building
– King Kamehameha Statute
– Iolani Palace
– Mission Houses Museum
– Hawaii Supreme Court
– Kawaiaha’o Church
Our Hawaiian hosts were knowledgable and shared a lot about the history and heritage of Hawaii from the few locations we visited above, we had all learned something from this exchange visit of Downtown Honolulu.
The Start of Hawaiian Scouting Exchange and Friendship
We all returned to camp early around late afternoon, preparing to receive Hawaiian Scout Troop 147 at the campsite around evening time. During the rest time, the boys and girls were preparing to welcome them for the Scouting Exchange, ice breaker and making new Scouting friends while duty patrol was preparing dinner for a much larger group of people assisted by our Hawaiian hosts. The contingent from Troop 147 soon arrived in their cars/pick-ups along with their camping gear/equipment and this signaled the start of DSG Hawaiian Scouting Exchange and Friendship. With many warm handshakes and introduction by Sterling between Scoutmasters of Troop 147 and the teachers of Dragon Scout Group, the boys and girls soon started mixing, shaking hands and making new friends. Our friends from Troop 147 were mixed and divided into different patrols whereby they built their friendship and interaction further.
Our boys and girls from DSG helped fellow Scouts of Troop 147 in unloading their camping equipment and gear, helping them to pitch the tents. It was a mini Scouting Jamboree here at the DAV campsite, upholding the Scouting spirit and movement, helping fellow Scouts and learning from each other. While working through the evening and nightfall, it was through combined teamwork between DSG and Troop 147 that their tents were setup pretty quickly.
With the tents pitched and ready, dinner was served to a whole new bigger group of DSG and Troop 147 eating together. By this time, DSG and Troop 147 had a great start working together pitching the tents, carrying equipment and they carried on their lively interaction during dinner time. After dinner, we all went for a night gathering at the campfire pit, using the gas lamps as a campfire light, we had our campfire singing and dancing, hosted by a Hawaiian Scoutmaster. The atmosphere was great, singing songs, dancing, great performances by our host’s son and grandson. Although there wasn’t a campfire burning, the feel, crowds and singing made it just like a campfire that I participated when I was a Boy Scout, it brought me back many beautiful Scouting memories of my time.
The Grand Finale was everybody standing up and forming a circle together, singing and clapping along, with a gas lamp in the middle (as a campfire). With the beautiful memories from the night upon us, we all rested for the night to prepare for another interesting day of Scouting Exchange activities with our Hawaiian Scouts.