Girl Scouts

Season 2 Episode 8 special edition during COVID-19 pandemic

Entah kenapa dari kecil saya suka sekali bermain di luar. Rasanya bebas sekali kalau bisa main bareng teman sebaya. Sebetulnya alasan yang paling utama karena tidak mau tidur siang (zaman saya kecil waktu SD, tidur siang itu wajib hukumnya katanya sih biar sore bisa belajar dengan baik setelah istirahat) jadi saya biasanya loncat keluar melalui jendela supaya bisa bermain dengan teman-teman seperti main layang-layang, dampu atau apa aja yang penting di luar rumah. 

Nah waktu mulai masuk SMP, ada beberapa  kegiatan ekstrakurikuler dimana saya bisa pilih seperti olahraga atau kelompok-kelompok science atau keagamaan.  Basket pilihan utama sementara yg lainnya kegiatan seperti kelompok science atau agama, wah bukan saya banget ikutan kelompok yg berbau akademis seperti itu, mungkin karena malas belajar kali ya? Tapi ada kegiatan Pramuka dimana saya lihat waktu itu adalah kegiatannya yang banyak banget aktifitas di luar….hmm saya coba deh. 

Waktu ikut pramuka terus terang tidak ada gambaran atau terpikir tentang apa sih visi misi pramuka? Saya cuma lihat dari kegiatan-kegiatan seperti berkemah, terus sepertinya seru juga berkelompok sama temen-temen di akhir pekan atau sore setelah sekolah, kembali lagi pada alasan dasarnya karena bisa berkegiatan di luar rumah aja. Kalo di rumah nanti ujung-ujungnya pasti disuruh belajar atau bantu pekerjaan rumah.

Alasan sederhana cuma ingin main di luar sama teman-teman. Setelah bergabung Pramuka, ternyata hal utama yg harus diterapkan adalah kedisiplinan, mulai dari harus tepat waktu, baris-berbaris mengikuti perintah, P3K, dan kegiatan lain yg awalnya sempat mau menyerah juga, tapi suatu saat ada pengumuman bahwa akan ada kompetisi dimana siapa yg berhasil mengikuti ujian beberapa kegiatan pramuka akan dimasukan dalam regu elite (istilah kerennya) untuk bisa ikut kompetisi antar sekolah di Jakarta kemudian nasional dan bahkan international. 

Jiwa saya yang sangat kompetitif tergelitik, wah keren dan bangga juga niih kalo bisa masuk dalam regu. Pada dasarnya biar terlihat keren dan pinter paling gak bisa nunjukin ke orang tua deh, maklum kakak-kakak saya sangat cemerlang banget di dunia akademis sementara saya biasa aja karena malas kalau disuruh belajar.

Berhasil loh masuk dalam anggota regu terpilih (hanya 20 orang yg terpilih, 10 perempuan dan 10 laki-laki dari seluruh murid di SMP saya) yg kemudian dapat pelatihan khusus dan gemblengan yg luar biasa. Nyerahkah? Ternyata gak tuh mungkin karena para pelatihnya saat itu kakak-kakak kelas alumni SMP bisa bikin kegiatan walau disiplin tapi bisa bikin semangat terus membara terutama dengan target bahwa bisa ikut Jambore Dunia Internasional ke 15 kalau regunya menang di Nasional. Nah balik lagi jiwa kompetisi dan pssst…..ada beberapa alumni SMP yang jadi pelatih…cakep,  naah makin pengen latihan rajin deh tuh.

Akhir cerita, regu pramuka dari SMP saya berhasil jadi juara nasional dan hadiahnya adalah bisa ikut Jambore dunia ke 15 yang pada waktu itu diadakan di Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada. Bangga?…..amat sangat dan bisa dapat kesempatan dan pengalaman luar biasa. 

Rombongan dilepas oleh Presiden loh. Saat itu presiden Soeharto dan Jambore dunia ini benar-benar membuka cakrawala dunia karena ini pertama kali saya bisa pergi ke luar negeri dan gratis pula.

Pengalaman yg didapat, banyak sekali, mulai dari bertemu para pramuka seluruh dunia, melakukan aktifitas yg belum pernah saya lakukan di Indonesia waktu saya masih SMP seperti menembak, canoeing, berkuda, panahan dan berkomunikasi dengan Bahasa tarzan.

Bahasa Inggris sudah belajar dari SMP tapi prakteknya masih susah kalau di lapangan….bicara bisa tapi kalau ada yg bicara Inggris cepat ya udah langsung bengong….., dan kalau ketemu pramuka dari misalnya Perancis ternyata mereka juga sulit berbahasa Inggris…..,

disinilah saya belajar, “bahasa itu penting tapi bahasa hati dan saling mengerti walau ada perbedaan itu lebih penting lagi.” Pengalaman yang tidak ada dukanya semua menyenangkan sekali dan tidak akan pernah lupa bahkan sampai sekarang setelah 37 tahun berlalu.

Gemblengan dan pengalaman dari Pramuka menyumbang pembentukan siapa dan bagaimana saya sekarang. Kehidupan keras, disiplin, menghargai satu sama lain, kejujuran, keberanian banyak terbentuk dari Pramuka.

Siapa yang sangka kalau waktu kecil saya sangat pemberontak dan paling tidak suka dengan hidup yg penuh aturan. Tidak akan pernah ada yg percaya kalau saya masa remajanya seperti itu. Sekarang saya jadi guru, dan ikut membantu sebuah non profit dalam bidang Pendidikan. What a life! 

English Version

Not sure why, ever since she was little, Wita enjoyed playing in the outdoors. She felt the ultimate freedom when she could play with her friends. Actually the main reason for playing outside was to avoid afternoon naps (when she was in her elementary school years, afternoon naps were a must, the thought was that she would then concentrate better in her studying after resting). So usually she would jump out of her window to play with her friends; kite-flying, hopscotch, or anything as long as it is outside the house.

When Wita entered junior high, there were several extracurricular activities which she could choose from, such as sports, science or religion studies groups. Basketball was her main choice as science or religion groups were not her cup of tea, maybe she was just too lazy to join activities with an academic nature. But when she saw that the girl scouts had many activities which were outdoors, she decided to give it a try.

When Wita joined girl scouts, she did not have a clear idea on its vision and mission. She only felt that activities such as camping, and being together with a bunch of people on the weekends or after school were fun; back to the basic reason, to have an excuse to be outside the house. Because if she were to be at home, she would definitely be told to study or help with the household chores.

The simple reason she took up girl scout was to be able to play outdoors with her friends. But after joining, she learned that the main thing being taught there was discipline, starting from being on time, marching to orders, first aid and other activities, which initially made her almost want to quit.

But one day, there was an  announcement that there would be a competition where those who passed the scout activity tests given, would be clubbed together in an “elite” group, to be able to compete with other schools in Jakarta, then go to the nationals and even up to international competition level.

Wita’s competitive spirit was awakened, it would be a cool and proud achievement if she could be in that team. At the very least, besides feeling cool and smart, she could also show her achievement to her parents, as her elder siblings all were academically inclined and had high achievements while she herself was just average as she was always lazy when it came to studying.

Wita successfully was chosen to be in the elite group (only 20 people were chosen, 10 girls and 10 boys from her whole junior high school) which then received special training and intensive coaching.

Did she quit? Turned out she stuck with it, maybe because the coaches at that time, who were the alumni from her junior high school, could make the activities, which although were strict and disciplined, to also challenge their spirit with the goal to win the nationals and join the 15th International World Jamboree.

So, it was back to that competitive streak and the fact that a few of those alumni coaches were good looking…this really motivated her to train diligently.

End of story, the boy and girl scouts team from Wita’s junior high school successfully won the nationals and the prize was to join the 15th World Jamboree which at that time was held in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada. She was immensely proud that it was a great opportunity and experience.

The group was sent off by the Indonesian President himself who was at that time, President Soeharto. The World Jamboree really opened up new horizons for Wita as that was the first time she travelled abroad and it was all expenses paid as well.

There were so many new experiences gained, from meeting boy and girl scouts from all over the world, getting the chance to do activities that she had never done in her junior high school in Indonesia, such as shooting, canoeing, horseback-riding, archery and communicating with hand gestures…although she had studied English when she started junior high, it was still difficult when she actually had to practice it…she could speak but if the other person was speaking English very quickly it was difficult for her to catch and understand them.

And if she met a scout, let’s say from France, who also had difficulties speaking English, that’s when she learned that language is important but sincerity and willingness to understand each other despite the differences that were there are much more important. There were no sad experiences, all of them were very fun and unforgettable, even until now, 37 years later.

The training and experiences from girl scouts formed the basic fundamental development of who and how Wita is today. Hard work, discipline, appreciation of one another, honesty, bravery, almost all of that were instilled from her girl scout days. Nobody would have guessed that when she was young, she used to be a rebel who did not like a life which had too many rules.

Nobody would have believed that she was like that during her teenage years. Now Wita works as a teacher, contributing in the educational field within a nonprofit organization. What a life! 

This is a story from Nurwitasari Salim, who in short is called Wita. She is originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. She currently resides in Maryland and works as a teacher.

Vocabularies

Sebaya: Peers, around the same age

Wajib hukumnya: Compulsory, the words hukumnya: based on law, but doesn’t mean that kind of law exists, it’s a conversational word to emphasize how strict and compulsory something is.  

This term is sometimes used by religious leaders or politicians, as referring to certain phrases in the bible or rules. But it is never used in a formal written format. 

Dampu: Hop scotch 

Akademisi (akademis) : Academic

Nah waktu mulai masuk SMP: So when entering junior high school

Saya coba deh: okay let me try it

aja (saja) = only

Wah bukan saya banget: an exclamation word to emphasize that is so not me

Pssst: hush hush

Tuh: Referring or emphasizing an object or direction

Bahasa Tarzan: Communicating with hand gestures (like Jane talking to Tarzan)

Ya udah: Therefore, as a result

Bahasa hati: Language of the heart, in this story it refers to sincerity

Gemblengan: Intense training (from Javanese)

Cakrawala: Horizon

Indonesians tend to include everyday English words when they speak. Some English words are adopted to become Indonesian common words. Sometimes the spelling changes to be an Indonesian spelling, or not. 

Besides English, Indonesian language is also influenced by Arab, Portugese, Dutch, Hindi

The words like Nah, loh, ya; Those depend on the context that can only be understood better when we interact with the locals. Those words are often used in daily informal conversations to emphasize (could be to dramatize) the situation that is being talked about. Locals have used those words so many times in daily conversations, thus it has become a habit to always use those words. This is a bit of explanation below.

For instance from the story: “ naah makin pengen latihan rajin deh tuh.”

naaah (nah) is used to emphasize the fact that she trained diligently because the trainers were good looking

deh is used to emphasize the result (due to good looking trainers, she trained diligently)

tuh emphasizes that she trained diligently. 

We understand your confusion in learning these words, but do not give up; without using these words you can still convey the meaning of your sentences. Understanding will come with practice and more active conversations. Semangat!

Indonesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.