Now a tech-based competition, the annual SCOOP Trail held by Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) has surely come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2014. The SCOOP Trail strives to spread awareness of the Co-operative Movement and Co-operative Values to the nation – but with a twist! It is being modelled as Singapore’s very own local edition of the reality TV show “The Amazing Race”. After achieving many milestones over the years, buckle up as SCOOP brings to you the fourth post of the First of Everything series which aims to showcase the rich history of Singapore’s co-operative heritage on a journey to uncover The History of SCOOP Trail!
Pit Stop #1: How did the idea of a SCOOP Trail come about?
A long, long time ago… Okay it was actually just 5 years ago, SNCF realised and acknowledged that the youths need to be engaged in the Co-operative movement. Not only do they have the capacity and potential but also the responsibility to bring the movement to greater heights. However, at that time the Co-operative movement was mostly an obscure idea amongst the teens and they were far from fluent in it. This gap between needs and reality meant that something had to be done. As quoted by Jed, a staff member who spearheaded several SCOOP Trails, the main aim was to educate the youth about Co-operatives – but in a fun way. This meant that an innovative and out-of-classroom approach would be imperative to its success.
Due to the popularity of the American TV show “The Amazing Race” amongst the youths, the SNCF team brainstormed on how to synergise the excitement and hype of the show with the objectives of the trail. Thus, the SCOOP Trail was finally birthed as an idea that ran along the veins of the TV show whilst instilling Co-operative values and knowledge into its participants at each mission.
Excited participants of SCOOP Trail 2015 dashing to their first mission after the flag waving (left) – doesn’t this look just like the start of “Amazing Race”?
Pit Stop #2: 15 June 2014 – The launch of the very first SCOOP Trail!
Decked in orange, 250 youths gathered at HortPark. Despite the dark clouds, the participants ranging from Polytechnic to University students were still bursting with excitement, refusing to let the weather dampen their spirits! After the SNCF CEO Ms Dolly Goh (second from the left in photo) waved the starter flag, the inaugural trail had officially begun!
What followed was an afternoon of fun and frenzy. The various four-member teams dispersed among five separate trails, each trail covering four Co-operatives – one from each sector, namely Credit, Service, NTUC, and Campus. Co-operatives that were featured included TCC Credit Co-operative Ltd (Did you know? TCC is the oldest Co-operative in Singapore? As of this year, it will be 90 years old – that’s more than four times my age!), NTUC FairPrice Alexandra, and more. The challenges at each station were formulated to raise awareness about the Co-operative history and values.
The trail ended on a high note at Sentosa Beach Station, with an NUS team including Tan Jun Khiang and his friends clinching the champion title of the very first edition of SCOOP Trail! Here (on the right) are some photos to commemorate that very special day.
Pit Stop #3: 2017 – SCOOP Trail Goes … Tech!
With the advent of online platform based learning and the steady rise of e-digital Co-operatives around the world, it was evident that tech was becoming the new sexy thing in town. Recognising the relevance, the SCOOP team decided to take an exciting leap – going tech! Following the new direction, SNCF held its first ever tech-based amazing race in partnership with Niantic entitled “SCOOP Trail 2017 x INGRESS Race”. Participants had to dash around hotspots in Singapore, including historical sites of Co-operatives (eg. Odeon Towers) to complete various missions requiring knowledge of Co-operative values, its heritage and more! The digital aspect appealed to the tech-savvy youth as it was in tune with their current lifestyles and trends. Subsequently, the trail saw a whopping 245 participants!
Did You Know? SCOOP Trail 2017 was the year of many firsts! Besides the launch of the new tech-based direction, 2017 was also the first year that SNCF offered a second category to the public (the Open Category for Ingress participants) as well as the first year Finisher Medals were awarded!
SCOOP Trail 2017 – the mark of many firsts!
Pit Stop #4: Where Are We Today?
Even though the SCOOP Trail is only 5 years old, it has indeed grown and will continue to grow from strength to strength. This year, SCOOP Trail has once again achieved another break through – the organising of a two-part series including the local (part one – 10 March) as well as ASEAN (part two – 21 March) edition! The latter was the first-ever ASEAN SCOOP Trail which saw youths aged 18-30 from ASEAN, America, Bhutan, China, India and Pakistan, navigating our heartlands as they learn more about the rich Co-operative story in Singapore as part of Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme.
Having completed the local edition just a few months ago, we managed to catch up with one of the SCOOP Trail 2018 participants – Isaac Chan from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and here is what he had to share about his experience!
What was it about the SCOOP Trail that made you want to participate?
Isaac: I’m interested in social enterprise and this is a fun outlet to explore and find out more.
How is the SCOOP Trail relevant to the youth of today?
Isaac: The SCOOP Trail broadens our idea on what social enterprises can be. It gives us an insight on the diverse social landscape of Singapore and helps us understand that there are many avenues towards pursuing business and/or social work. After the trail, it piqued some of our interests to join an enterprise in the near future!
What did you learn during SCOOP Trail?
Isaac: The diversity of the local and global social landscape, and what I can do to contribute – now or in the future!
What did you enjoy most about SCOOP Trail?
Isaac: I get to participate and have fun with my friends too!
The latest SCOOP Trail – SCOOP Trail 2018 (local edition)
Wow, It sure sounds like Isaac and his friends had a blast and gained valuable insights into the ways and works of Co-operatives in Singapore! With Fun, Friends and Free stuff (yes you get swags and t-shirts when you sign up!) all in one event, what more can you ask for? The next #SCOOPTrail is going to be bigger and better than ever so we hope to see YOU there! :’)