Members of the public try out OBS programmes for the first time at open house event

Families kayaking at OBS' Pulau Ubin camp.
Families kayaking at OBS' Pulau Ubin camp. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - When it is time for her son, who is barely two years old, to go through an Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) camp in Secondary 3, stay-at-home mum Sharon Wan will have an idea of what to expect.

She had the chance to take on a challenge ropes course at OBS' Pulau Ubin campus on Saturday (April 30) as part of a one-day open house, the first time that such an event is being held in OBS' 49-year-old history.

"It was scary at first, but it's an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and build some confidence," said the 34-year-old, who welcomed the Ministry of Education's (MOE) announcement in April that OBS will be made compulsory for all Secondary 3 students from 2020.

About 100 participants showed up at the event on Saturday.

OBS' assistant director for programmes and partnerships, Mr Louis Soo, 38, said that the outdoor adventure learning school will be organising more public engagement events like this so that the public can better understand its activities and objectives as it expands its capacity and programmes.

Open house events will be held at least twice a year, offering a variety of activities such as kayaking, field cooking and orienteering, facilitated by OBS instructors. There will also be initiatives for youth to learn about how to protect the environment through service projects, such as coastal clean-ups.

Mr Soo added:"Students come to us every year and parents need to know what's happening...Some have perceptions of OBS being a survival camp or boot camp, but that's not what OBS is about. There are a lot of reflection moments in the programme, which allows them to apply their learning after the programme."

yuensin@sph.com.sg