Leaders’ Retreat

It started out with a bang!!! The sky darkened and the rain poured down. Just as fast as it arrived, the rain left. The ominous clouds also left revealing the green tranquil landscape that is the GS Brighton Lodge.

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The lodge is huge with multiple smaller rooms as well as one large room. We poke around flipping all the light switches, turning all the knobs, pulling all the levers getting to know the environment that is ours for the next new days.


There was plenty to learn at the retreat.

Senior scouts, Allison and Co-Tu kicked off the Leaders’ Retreat with the first presentation on the 2017 Fall LD Camp @ Cedarville State Park. Allison and Co-Tu spent an hour discussing the physical layout, logistics, games, and cost of the camp. The leaders were engaged and asked a lot of questions because some of the games and activities are original. The leaders had fun previewing and playing two of the new games. We can’t wait for LD camp.

Up next, a lesson in Vietnamese Scouting. Tr. Son taught us Morse codes for Attention, Patrol Leader Gather, All Gather, and Emergency. We also practiced different line formations such as circle, single line, U formation, and patrol lines. For many of us, it is our first time seeing these formations in action.

Tr. Son strums to Vietnamese songs – Photo by Tran-Chau Le

After a lesson in Vietnamese Scouting, we dove into map and compass. We learned to read a topo map and use a compass. We also went outside and navigated through center’s map and compass course.

Tr. Chieu teaches how to use a compass properly – Photo by Tran-Chau Le
Tr. Nghia and Tr. Truc getting a bearing – Photo by Tran-Chau Le

Next, Chị Khanh engaged the leaders with her lesson on communication. It was a perfectly timed to wake us all up after lunch. We learned that communication has 3 parts: Sender, Receiver, and the Message. Also, we communicate most effective when using both our eyes and ears.

Chi Khanh teaching a class – Photo by Tran-Chau Le

Finally, Tr. Peter wrapped up the foundation courses with a few slides on ‘Boss vs Leader’ and the E.D.G.E method. He topped it off by showing us how to use the water filter.

Tr. Peter demonstrates the use of a water filter – Photo by Tran-Chau Le


Like the learning, the eating never stopped. On Friday night, Chị Thao treated us to a large pot of Cháo Lòng. It was so good that one patrol was named ‘Cháo Lòng’.

One activity during the retreat was the cooking contest. For the contest, the patrol had to play games to earn the ingredients. The ingredients were broken down into protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable. We all had to simulate a camping environment by using camp stoves to cook our food. The meals turned out so yummy!!

Gấu Patrol preparing dinner – Photo by Tran-Chau Le


The fun started when we decided on our patrol name and designed our own shirts for our patrol.

Tr. An and Tr. Jackie designing T-Shirt – Photo by Tran-Chau Le

Other than the activities, we spent half of our time playing games during the retreat. We started out with an initiation game ‘Mission’. This is similar to the Vietnamese game ‘Gió Thổi’. We played the ever famous ‘Poop the Potatoes’, where we walked a potato in between our legs. We played ‘Shake the Marshmallow’ where we shook our entire body trying to force the marshmallows out of the box. All games were fun with lots teamwork and laughter. We will definitely bringing the games back to play with our scouts.

No Tr. Tuan, that shirt doesn’t make you look fat!! – Photo by Tran-Chau Le

Another game was to guess which leaders said what about themselves. See if you can solve the crossword below:

The crossword puzzel


We also attended a ‘campfire’ and reflected upon what we learned for the weekend. We brainstormed on our needs for the 2017-2018 season. We treasured the bonding opportunities we had with each other. Finally, we can’t wait to share all that we’ve learned and planned for our scouts.

Indoor campfire – Photo by Tran-Chau Le