About the Cub Scouts in Chiang Mai
Turning points in the history of boy
Joel van Dorp and Andrew Thaibinh
(Grade 4, CMIS)
In 1899 revolts against the English army came from South
African farmers called the Boers. One of the soldiers in the war was named
Robert Baden-Powell. He later became a war hero. After the war, Robert
Baden-Powell wrote a book called, “Aids to Scouting.” He was surprised
to learn that boys were using it for outdoor activities. He rewrote the book
with a new title, “Scouting for Boys.”
Bears, and Webelos proudly display their troupe signs. (Photo by Sandra
Millionaire Chicago publisher William Boyce formed Boy
Scouts of America (BSA). The story goes like this: Mr. Boyce was going to a
meeting in London, but he got lost in the mist. A boy asked him if he was
lost. He asked if the boy could take him to the meeting place. The boy took
him there and refused a tip. Wondering why the boy would refuse a tip Mr.
Boyce asked why and the boy said he was a Boy Scout and was just doing a
good turn. He told the boy to stick around until after his meeting. After
the meeting he asked to see the boy’s leader. The scout brought him to
Baden-Powell and after a little talk Mr. Boyce was so impressed he
hot-tailed it back to the USA and started the BSA.
The same year BSA started, Boy Scouts in Thailand
started! Now about 180 countries have a Boy Scout program. Boy Scouting sure
has come a long way!
The way Pack 731
celebrates the Blue and Gold Banquet
What normally happens at the Blue and Gold Banquet is
that we all gather and sit down with our parents. The Scout Master gives a
speech and we eat our dinner when he finishes. We call it the “Blue and
Gold Banquet” because blue and gold are the colors of scouting.
When we finish our food the Scout Master comes out and
announces the den leader of the youngest den, the Wolves. Then the den
leader calls out the scouts’ names and the scouts’ parents give their
awards to them. The same goes to the Bears, which are the second youngest.
Then the Webelos den leader gives the Webelos awards to the scouts.
The Chiang Mai Blue and
Matthew Saowapon and Jesse
(Grade 5, CMIS)
During the Blue and Gold Banquet the Cub Scouts, their
parents, and their siblings did many things. First, the Webelos scouts did a
flag ceremony. Then after we had presentations and the cub scouts had a gift
exchange. After that they watched a slide show about the history of cub
Each boy was presented with a patch, activity pin or
sports belt-loop. The parents presented the awards to the Bear and Wolf Cub
Scouts because the parents and leaders work together to help the scouts with
their achievements. Each of the three Wolves was presented with the Wolf
patch. Most of the Bears Scouts were presented with their Bear patches and
some also got their gold arrow achievement. The first year Webelos received
pins and the Webelos patch. Some also got their compass emblem. The second
year Webelos received pins. Some Webelos II got their compass emblem and
some got their east or south pins. Some scouts also received belt loops and
sports or academic pins. At the end the Webelos II’s got their arrow of
light which is the highest award in Cub Scouts.
Why I like being a Webelos
Probably the most interesting project in Webelos was
earning my craftsman activity pin. I liked building all the fun craft
projects. I liked experimenting around with clay and building projects out
of wood. Some of the things that I built were simple, such as a little clay
cup and a small skateboard ramp. This is what I liked about Webelos
Our Cub Scout Campout
Daniel Emilsson and Evan
(Grade 5, CMIS)
Last August, for our Cub Scout campout, we went to Khun Kitti’s farm in
Chiang Dao together with the older Boy Scouts. After unpacking and lunch our
activities started. We did things like knot tying and nature hikes. That
night, we had a bonfire and around the campfire we had skits. Our skit was
about some scouts and an invisible bench. Everyone applauded
enthusiastically, and we all learned new ways to clap for our friends- like
the “watermelon cheer” and the “rocket cheer.” After that we played
“capture the flag,” then it was time for bed.
The Diatonic Harmonica - the little miracle
There is a new importance being given the harmonica here
in Thailand. It is at the height of its popularity. Everywhere I go I hear
the harmonica coming from radios, music stores and boutiques as it seems to
feature in most of the Thai “sing-a-song” genre of pop music. Every
restaurant has a resident guitarist with a harmonica on a harness. Neil
Young style mostly but many can play a bit better than that! Buskers too,
seem to deem it a necessary piece of musical equipment.
I have just walked the length of Ratchadamnoen Road from
Thapae Gate in Chiang Mai. Among the many musicians there, playing
traditional Thai flutes and various plucked and bowed instruments, I counted
at least four buskers with harmonica and guitar and one blind man playing
harmonica and singing.
They seem to play a variety of harmonicas including
tremolo and octave models, mostly cheap Chinese ones. I do spot the odd
Marine Band and Lee Oskar though and I have seen a few Big River Harps among
the cheaper ones.
Thailand has really woken up to the harmonica. Harmonicas
are now being used in schools. There are many good players and there seems
to be no difficulty in adapting the “little miracle” to Thai music.
It is now recognized that this wonderful instrument is a
great aid to learning and developing other skills in such areas as
Languages, Mathematics and even Sports!
One of the reasons is that the instrument is played
“blind”. It is in the mouth and cannot be seen by the player. This helps
to connect visualization to memory and movement, and helps to improve
precision in motor skills.
There are many kinds of harmonica. In the West at least,
the most popular is the 10-hole diatonic also known as the “blues harp”
among many other sobriquets.
It is this diatonic harmonica that I think most deserves
the title of “little miracle”. It has arrangements of both chords and
scales and is available in every key. This is a wonderful introduction to
music theory for those who wish to learn. To study the diatonic makes modes
and relative majors and minors quickly understandable. The circle of fifths
will quickly be appreciated as players learn to play in the different
“positions”. The relationship between pentatonics and blues scales and
modes is also apparent.
It was originally designed to play German “oompah”
music and was often referred to as a “mund orkester”. This is because by
alternately lifting and replacing the tongue over the first three holes the
chord can be introduced whilst playing the tune over the middle four holes,
thus accompanying oneself. The last three holes could be used to extend the
melody line or could also be blocked to produce chords, giving an
When this comparatively cheap instrument arrived in the
USA it was quickly taken up by black musicians who then discovered something
truly wonderful; that by contractions of the throat and movements of the
tongue and jaw especially over the chord holes they could squeeze out many
notes and in between tones that were never built into it! They were trying
to play their own music and this was the fantastic result.
The diatonic harmonica is today the ONLY instrument that
is now predominately played in a way that the makers did not intend and in
fact did not even know was possible!
A really skillful player can bend and squeeze, overblow
and overdraw a total of 37 different notes from the ten holes. Only 20 notes
(19 different ones as the lower 2 draw and 3 blow produce the same note
because of chordal requirements) were intended by the manufacturers! The
blues itself makes use of in-between or “flattened” notes for further
expression and the diatonic is perfect for this. It is very versatile and
can sound like a host of other instruments including trumpet, flute,
whistle, electric organ, violin, electric guitar and of course, accordion to
which it is related.
Many people will hear a harmonica on a record or an
advertising jingle, film soundtrack etc. and not know what they are
listening to. They may think it is an electronically produced sound! It has
also been used to comic effect to imitate animal noises and famously, train
The harmonica has long been used as a teaching instrument
in Chinese schools and is now really taking off in Thailand. I hope that the
diatonic will be first on their shopping list although they are generally a
little dearer than the 100 baht paid for the Chinese tremolos.
I play a few different harmonicas myself and do enjoy the
speed and fluidity of the chromatic for instance. The diatonic cannot rival
it for accuracy over a fast and complicated piece, especially if there are
key changes! That said I usually try to play everything on the diatonic,
even those tunes which are far easier on the chromatic. The reason? In a
word, “feel”. The diatonic being manipulated largely by the throat and
even the diaphragm has a warmer more personal feel to it. The sound is more
emotional and as far as blues is concerned it has more “guts”. It truly
is a “little miracle”.
Prem Volunteers partner with ‘Habitat for Humanity’
On four separate weekends in February and March, students
and staff from the Prem Tinsulanonda International School worked with the
‘Habitat for Humanity’ organization to build a house for a family in
Chiang Mai. When the project was completed, Mr. La had a new home, and the
involved members of the Prem community had a sense of satisfaction that can
only be earned from committing one’s heart and body to a worthwhile goal.
gets her hands dirty while helping to build a house for Mr. La in Chiang
Several months ago, Prem’s CAS (Curriculum, Action,
Service) director, Randall Haime, attended a professional workshop in
Bangkok where he got the idea to contact Habitat for Humanity, a global
organization that builds homes for those in need. He saw the potential for
Prem students and staff to work on a service project, and volunteers eagerly
The construction project began with a site visit and
inspection of the materials and tools provided by Habitat for Humanity.
Volunteers first dug a septic tank and then filled the house’s foundation.
They painted the roof supports with rust-proof paint, and used concrete to
build the floor and walls. Finally, workers laid bricks to complete the
walls and planted trees in the yard. All this construction was done over the
course of four non-consecutive days.
students help build the foundation for a house while working with Habitat
The house was built near Highway 118 in Chiang Mai for a
Thai man named Mr. La, his wife, and two grandchildren. Mr. La is a garbage
collector whose son-in-law borrowed money from him to set up a local
business. When the business failed, the money was lost and Mr. La could no
longer afford to pay the mortgage on his house. He lost everything, except
for his grandchildren who were left by his daughter and son-in-law when they
fled the country.
Mr. La worked right alongside the Prem volunteers in the
construction of his new home. Using his experience as a garbage collector,
he gathered all the tiles used to build his roof.
The team from Prem gained immeasurably from building Mr.
La’s house. According to Randall, “Not only did they work hard and seem
to enjoy the process, they donated their time on the weekend for a cause
they believed in.” At the end of their four days, they felt the
satisfaction of building a home from scratch. Some of the students were
extremely touched by their experience and wish to continue to help Mr. La.
Several ideas for future assistance include landscaping and donating
In the future, Prem will continue to work with Habitat
for Humanity, specifically in the context of tsunami rehabilitation in
southern Thailand. Prem is currently looking for a sister school in the
affected region with which to make a connection.
On the last day of construction, after much progress had
been made, Mr. La expressed his deep appreciation for all of the
volunteers’ efforts. With visible emotion, he thanked those students and
staff who helped build him a new home, and give him and his wife a place to
raise their grandchildren.
Randall, aptly speaking for the entire team of Prem volunteers, remarked,
“We all worked together: staff, students, and Mr. La himself. We built a
house as a group with a single goal in mind. It wasn’t a chore - it was
just something we all wanted to do.”
APIS enjoys best showing yet in forensics tournament
American Pacific International School was proud to
represent Northern Thailand as the only international school from Chiang Mai
at the third annual Invitational SEASAC Forensics Tournament held at
Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok.
APIS competed against four other schools: RIS,
International School Bangkok (ISB), International School Eastern Seaboard
(ISE), and the American Embassy School – Delhi. The APIS team of ten
students added a multinational element to the competition as it consisted of
students from Thailand, America, Switzerland, Korea, Japan, India, and
Burma. The teams competed in five categories: duet acting, oral
interpretation, original oratory, solo acting, and impromptu speaking.
Pacific International School (APIS)
Duet acting is an event in which two students must
memorize and perform an excerpt from a published play. They may not use
props or costumes but must rely on their own talent and abilities to bring
the piece to life. This year, Amanda Everett (12) and Kathleen Owat (10)
paired up to perform a scene from Everything in the Garden by Edward Albee.
May Zaw (11) and Patrick Braendli (12) worked together to present a scene
from The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon.
Oral Interpretation is a solo event during which the
student must present a work of poetry or prose without the use of actions or
gestures. Richard Barclay (11) selected a portion of Ultimate Power: the
Official Ninja Book, Sae Mi Oh (12) presented Elbert’s Bad Word by Audrey
Wood, and Kay Zaw performed You Are Special by Max Lucado.
Writing and presenting a speech is a daunting challenge
that was taken up by two students. Representing APIS in the Original Oratory
competition were Somsak Hendricks (12) and Sasha Suresh. The former moved
audiences with his speech entitled “My Father” while the latter
questioned Chinese foreign policy and called for political action in her
speech “Tibet: an Occupied Country”.
Taking on two competition categories, Amanda Everett
tested her acting abilities in Solo Acting with a scene from Jenny Does
Shakespeare by G. L. Horton.
Impromptu Speaking is a difficult event in which a
student chooses between two topics, is given one minute to prepare, and
speaks for up to five minutes “off the cuff.” The only student to accept
this challenge was Tomu Oshidari.
Out of the three years that APIS has been competing at
the RIS Tournament, this year saw its best showing yet. Six of the ten
competitors were in the top of their rounds. Kathleen and Amanda, May and
Patrick, Kay, Sak, and Amanda (again) earned spots in the semi-finals. After
one more round of competition, May and Patrick and Amanda had proved
themselves worthy of the finals.
The final round of competition was performed before all the participants
in the tournament. At the end of the day, Amanda’s solo performance earned
a fourth place finish. May and Patrick proved themselves on stage and were
awarded second place.