District Community Service Project - Picnic with the Kids

Exultant roars, we really heard it from the kids, Leos and Lions.

Leo Ng Zi Qin took up the challenge posed by District Chairperson for Leo Clubs, Lion Alan Thoo to organize a District Community Service Project - Picnic with the Kids with only a week of timeline. It needed a lot of perseverance and strong mentality to clear all the hurdles and stumbling blocks.

It was a District Community Service Project jointly organized by Leo Club of Penang (City) from Region 1 and Leo Club of Anderson High School from Region 4 on the 7th December 2009. We had a tough time in searching for a suitable charity home as in December; most of the kids are either back to relatives' house or are on holidays. Leo Ng went to a number of homes, viz: Children's Protection Society which was left with only six kids, Salvation Army which was left with only 10 kids. So the initial plan of cooking for them and doing some cleaning up was sidelined temporarily till he found the Ramakrishna Ashrama.

He thought a solution was finally found, but yet another issue popped up. They do not allow cooking in their kitchen and the kids are vegetarian in the home. We were left with only two options, viz:

1. To bring our own cooking utensils and prepare the food at the open space outside.

2. To bring them out for a picnic where they do not have to be vegetarian.

On that day, Leo Teoh Shaw Jhee and Leo Ng Zi Qin went to the Sungai Nibong bus station to fetch the Leos from Leo Club of Petaling Jaya Integrity, Region 5 - Beatrice Chan, Wai Yew, Justin Yap, Chuo Tong and Eric Teh.

We reached Paradise Beach at around 1.45 pm, a bit later than as scheduled. The leos from Leo Club of Penang (City) were already there at 1.30 pm sharp. I was told that the Leos from Leo Club of Anderson High School could not even see their shadows. And this instigated some controversies over the promise on the time of arrival.

We then searched for a place to put down the food, mats and other stuffs. After placing the food properly, we kicked off the briefing on the events, mainly on the games. Leo Boney and Leo Teoh Shaw Jhee were the in charge for the games; they gave the instructions to the Leos who were willing to shoulder the responsibility.

Well, thanks to Leo Scott Ong for picking up the Leos from Leo Club of Penang Chinese Girls' High School and taking the pizzas. We started to prepare the sites for the games by clearing up the rubbish especially broken glasses, and waited patiently till around 3.15 pm - the arrival of the kids from the Ramakrishna Ashrama.

I avowed that it was a big disappointment when I learnt that there were only 19 kids left and 2 supervisors that came along. Nothing could be done; as most of them went home (I only came to know that they are not orphans, rather of single-parent family). Everything had to proceed as planned.

Continuing about the programme, we split the kids and Leos into four groups. We had a little tough time in dealing with the younger kids. They had the urge to bathe themselves in the sea! It was understandable as they only get to roam around the beach, perhaps only two times per year? But we did not have the licence to grant them their wish as the incident of James has certainly feared us.

The first game was brainstormed by Leo Teoh and Leo Ng - Epic Derby. It was an endurance test. The game encompassed four parts, viz:

1. First part: using a plastic spoon to garner the sea water to fill up the bottle to a certain level.

2. Second part: after the first part is cleared, the team members have to bond the string with each other's leg and walk to a piece of newspaper. The following pair will proceed with the aforesaid procedure and walk to a smaller piece of newspaper.

3. Third part: once all the pairs in the group are done, they have to stand on the newspaper provided without falling down for five seconds. If any of them were to fall, the whole group has to start from the beginning of the second part.

4. Forth part: now they have to complete the final task by forming the word "Energize" by lying down.

The quickest group that accomplishes the four tasks is considered the winner. During the game, we were amazed to have seen a few tricks and wiles played by the kids. The kids are just like us, having lots of unseen vim and endowment. If and only if they are being cultured with the right values, they would definitely be an asset to the country in close future. Then, they had some noodles and fried prawns done by Shaw Jhee's mum.

The second game resumed after the short break. The second game was invented by Leo Boney - Capture the Flags. I personally liked this game, requiring strategies and teamwork. It was a little messy due to the gigantic number of people in a match. Nevertheless, the kids were still ecstatic with it! The second break followed with pizzas and fried chicken. The kids were given the priority in having the pizza first, only the left over were distributed to the Lions and Leos.

The third game - Dragon Chasing Tail was directed by the Leos from Leo Club of Anderson High School (I am not so sure about the detailed rules of the game). Roughly, it was about Dragon' head has to capture another Dragon's tail. It was already six something when the last game ended. The kids were given a box of dessert, comprising a variety of cakes. Due to the sudden low turnout, each of them took one extra box of dessert back home. The eating session was adjourned with jellies.

Before they embarked on the bus, we presented the daily needs sponsored by District Chairperson for Leo Clubs, Lion Alan Thoo to the supervisors and took some photos with them. When I was carrying the daily needs together with them, I felt contented with all the efforts planted, in exchange of "Brother, thanks a lot". It meant more than you could see.

The blissful smiles were seen. And more importantly, we heard the exultant roars, not only from the Leos, but from those kids too. It may serve as a launching pad for them to follow our footsteps to render help to the needy in future!

Prepared by: Leo Ng ZiQin