Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) organised an open house recently, with “Experience OBS”, giving parents and their young children, a day out outdoors experiential experience at OBS, participating in the different outdoor activities managed by OBS. I went along and visit OBS together with them for the morning session, understanding and knowing more about OBS facilities and activities.
A few months ago, I started to know more about OBS and the various activities they conduct. Firstly, it was the SGFuture Visit to Coney Island with a group of young students, to learn, share and discuss about nature, environment, conservation, wildlife protection. Thereafter, I joined in one of their March school holidays activity, the OBS Nature Appreciation Programme – Ubin Trail. Both activities were fun and engaging, it was great to see the younger generation engaged in outdoor recreational activities, whereby they can learn many skills and gain invaluable experiences that would help them in their personal development into young adults.
During the visit to OBS for their Experience OBS Open House, I finally got to visit OBS facilities and take a look at their different facilities, challenge courses and ropes courses. Let me share my experiences (from the sidelines) and photographs that I took during their Open House! There were rock climbing, tripod challenge ropes courses and kayaking.
Tripod Challenge Ropes Courses
This is a custom built tripod climbing element with varying types and level of difficulties at the ground, mid level and top level segments. We observed a group of parents and their children participating in the mid level sgement. They were given a safety briefing by the OBS instructors before putting on their safety harness. Once they were ready, they climbed up to the mid level of the tripod challenge, stepping out of their comfort zone, overcoming their fears and limitations, by crossing from one point to the other, marking an achievement. The participants put their trust and faith in the safety team below them, that do the belaying, encouraging the participants, watching over their safety, were alumni of OBS, coming back to pay it forward and help out in OBS activities.
When the OBS instructors mentioned about triyak, I was totally lost. Having learn to paddle many years ago in a single and double canoe, the word triyak, initially is a mystery to me. The truth came to light when I went to the beach near the jetty, saw it with my own eyes and I realised that a triyak is an open deck three seater kayak!
Kayaking is a very fun activity, it teaches teamwork, cooperation and trust in your fellow kayakers. The triyak is also good for the family with young children to come together onto a triyak, have a good family bonding time together in the sea. The triyak would be ideal for different participants to interact with each other, establish new friendships and camaraderie on a triyak.
In the afternoon session, there were more activities organised, however due to time constraints on my part, I did not stay back for the afternoon session activities.
With the new OBS campus on Coney Island, MCCY will develop OBS @ Coney by 2020. This will expand OBS’ existing premises and expand OBS’ capacity to provide additional spaces for training opportunities for up to 45,000 youths every year. Getting all secondary three students to attend OBS is an excellent idea in my personal humble opinion.
The current generation of young children, their lifestyle, interests and mindsets are very different from my generation, our parents generation. More children are into computer games, smartphones, tablets and gadgets, they are not into the outdoors, sometimes missing life skills such as interaction and building relationships with people. Sending all secondary three students to attend OBS, they can learn many things, new skills, knowledge, build up their confidence, love for outdoors and environment, teamwork, interaction, making new friends, bonding, active and healthy living.
At the end of Experience OBS, I got to know more about OBS facilities, and the outdoor activities that they organise. The OBS Open House is a good idea and a great family outing event for parents to visit with their children and the opportunities to try it out and experience it for themselves!
Created with flickr slideshow.