The President Team: Chief Scout Hositality Service Duty
The Istana, or Palace in Malay, was initially built as the official home of the British Governor (known then as the Government House), is now where the President of Singapore welcomes and entertains state guest. It is also his official resident. However, the Istana grounds are open to public on 5 selected public holidays: Chinese New Year, Labour Day, Hair Raya Puasa, National Day (the week before) and Deepavali.
As the President is the Chief Scout of the Singapore Scout Association (SSA), Scouts from SSA are present during the Istana Open House as guest ambassadors. Members of the public who visits the Istana are being warmly received by our Scouts, along side other volunteers. Apart from ushering visitors to various attractions within the Istana grounds, Scouts working in teams also interacts with the public and displaying good hospitality. These interactions include educating the public on the history and various sections within the grounds, assisting physically challenged (e.g. wheelchair bound) visitors in navigating the hilly terrain, promoting Istana merchandises, offering help to capture the public's memorable visit with their photographing devices and engaging with kids. We are also always on our feet and constantly on the look out for unattended items or suspicious personnel.
As a volunteer myself to this event, I have done duty like assisting the tour guide , helping those that are wheelchair bound as well as guide member of public at the centre gate and having to literally be on our feet for hours (at least 5 hours per session), bracing the tropical weather can be challenging but yet achieving a sense of accomplishment towards the end of the service.
I have learnt to humble myself to the needs of others as well as be vigilant at all times for any suspicious individuals. Putting others before myself in this duty, especially in times of wet weather. I have also learnt to work and serve with people from all different ethnic groups and ages. I have learnt that you cant make all the people happy all the time and people and myself have to compromise.
Open House which I have served at (0800hrs-1300hrs), 5 hours per duty: