The Presidents Team: Chief Scout Hospitality Service Duty
The President’s Team
There are 5 occasions a year where the official residences and offices of the President of Singapore are opened to the public. Selected rooms and parts of the Istana grounds are open for the public to visit. This is one effort that the President of Singapore makes to share the treasures of the state with his people.
Members of the public who visit The Istana are greeted by scouts who are always smiling and happy, ease congestion at the main gate. They guide visitors down the various security lines. In the event the wait time is potentially long, scouts will chat with visitors. This keeps them happy and excited about the visit to come.
On entry to the grounds, teams of scouts assist with directions and make the visit memorable by offering help to take photographs, stocking refrigerators with drinks to pushing wheelchairs, and even entertaining the children. We are also there to be vigilant and to look out for any suspicious people or items which may be left about the place.
The scouts who serve on this hospitality team are volunteers. They volunteer to stand for five hours on a public holiday, rain or shine. They do not complain at whatever duty they are assigned. They smile and perform their assigned duty selflessly. When we smile at all the visitors, they in return a smile back and that's where conversations start and peace is kept.
Space for this duty is limited and spots are taken up fast. I have to come up with the duty roster for all the scouts - leaders and make sure that everyone is present and ready to be ambassadors to the Chief Scout.
The scouts really enjoy serving as it is one of the few duties where they get to serve with scouts from other units and build strong bonds and friendship.
I have learnt to humble myself to the needs of others. 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 Duties which I served at (0800hrs - 1300hrs). 5 hours per duty