It's all in the family during NS50 Week kicking off on Tuesday

Singer Nathan Hartono, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and vocalist group Camokakis (in black) at a recording session last Tuesday for We Are The People, one of the tracks in the NS50 album to be released during NS50 Week.
Singer Nathan Hartono, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and vocalist group Camokakis (in black) at a recording session last Tuesday for We Are The People, one of the tracks in the NS50 album to be released during NS50 Week.PHOTO: MINDEF

National servicemen and their families can look forward to a host of activities such as a national service-themed picnic, free gym and swimming pool access, and the launch of an album of NS-related songs during NS50 Week, which starts tomorrow.

In recognition of the important supporting role of the family, many of the week's events - between Aug 1 and 10 - aim to promote family bonding.

One such event is the free Families for Life "Celebrating NS50" Picnic, co-organised by the Families for Life Council and the Singapore Discovery Centre, which will be held on Aug 5.

Among the activities at the picnic is a Safti-Pasir Laba coach tour, which will be the first time coach tours are being held in Pasir Laba Camp. Visitors will be able to see notable landmarks such as the Safti Tower, Peng Kang Hill and the state-of-the-art Multi-Mission Range Complex, an indoor live-firing range.

Brigadier-General (NS) Ishak Ismail, 54, a Families for Life Council member, said: "This picnic strengthens the concept that the strong bonds of the family are a core part of supporting NS."

It is the first picnic organised by the council with an NS theme.

 
 
 

Other activities during the picnic, an initiative by the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence, include the making of identification tags and insignias.

Other family events include the "Get Active and Celebrate NS50" Sports Festival at the HDB Hub atrium in Toa Payoh on Aug 5 and 6, which will feature an NS-inspired obstacle course that includes low wall and flying fox stations.

Past and present national servicemen will also be able to take their family and friends into all ActiveSG gyms and swim- ming pools free of charge on those two days.

A music album commemorating 50 years of NS will also be launched. It comprises six original NS-related songs composed and performed by current and past national servicemen.

One highlight is a rap number, Book Out Day, by rapper Shigga Shay and film director Jack Neo. It marks the first time the two local celebrities are collaborating on a song.

Other than the title track, We'll Carry On released on June 30, the rest of the songs will be out on Aug 4 across platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud.

An NS50 Secretariat member, Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Ong, said of the NS50 Week activities: "It is really about thanking and appreciating our servicemen, past and present, who have gone through this rite of passage to serve."

More information about the NS50 Week activities can be found at http://mindef.sg/ns50week

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'It's all in the family during NS50 Week kicking off tomorrow'. Print Edition | Subscribe