Guest Ambassador (Chief Scout Hospitality Team) @ the Istana Open House
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 volunteers to this event, 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. Scouts displayed their discipline and considerate attitude throughout the service hours, and beyond. They have also learnt to have courage in all difficulties, coming out of their comfort zone, to approach the general public who may need assistance. Scouts from various troops are being mixed around, working in patrol system, and deployed to various stations: Main Gate, Central Gate, Merchandise Stall, Ticketing Booth, Tour Guide and the State Room.
Reflecting on the various occasions I have spent as Guest Ambassador, I have:
Learnt to service others before self.
Experienced what BP meant by: "But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people.".
Be a Messenger of Peace, by being part of the environment where people from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion or creed; could interact, socialise and share common spaces.
Dates of duties serving as Guest Ambassador:
2015: 17 July | 10 August | 10 November
2016: 6 July | 31 July
2017: 1 May | 30 July
2018: 17 February