Students 'not ready'? OBS makes them ready

Some people have argued that outdoor activities should not be made compulsory because they are not suitable for everyone ("OBS a must? Many parents back it but..."; April 1).

The essence of outdoor learning lies in participants being able to go through a process of self-discovery and overcoming fears, thereby stepping out of their comfort zones and pushing their limits.

This applies not just to Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) programmes, but to all outdoor learning programmes.

I have participated in outdoor learning programmes, including OBS. When I was in Secondary 3 last year, I attended a kayaking expedition in Sibu.

I remember being physically challenged, and on the first day, I kayaked very slowly, dragging my team down. I also became homesick and questioned why I signed up for the trip.

However, not wanting to disappoint my friends and myself, I faced the challenges.

From that trip, I took home unexpected lessons of perseverance and of working as a team to achieve a common goal.

Additionally, I learnt not to refuse a challenge just because "it looks hard, I don't think I can do it".

OBS is designed to develop character and leadership in students. Sceptics who argue about "unreadiness" should listen to what students who have undergone the programme have to say.

Valerie Chua Yan Tong  (Miss)