Learning not to take things for granted at OBS

I am pleased to know that more emphasis is being placed on outdoor education ("Parliament: More outdoor education opportunities, including new OBS camp for Sec 3 from 2020"; ST Online, April 8).

Outdoor education allows students to learn the basic skills of life, build their confidence and truly cherish what they have taken for granted.

Going through Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) when I was 15 taught me so much about myself and how to handle difficult situations.

I was absolutely clueless about how to start a fire, or even how to open a can with a Swiss army knife.

After three days without showering and being stranded in the middle of the sea, I finally understood how much we take for granted in our everyday lives - daily necessities such as clean water, a roof over our heads and even food to fill our stomachs.

We rely so much on technology for comfort, such as switching on the air-conditioner whenever the weather is hot and watching television when we are bored.

Have we ever thought about the past, when such technology was not available?

The day I went home after my OBS trip was the most fulfilling day I had experienced thus far in my life. I was exhilarated at everything that I saw, because of what I had been deprived of.

Outdoor education also unleashes the real leader in you.

When my teammates and I were kayaking and stuck in the middle of the sea, someone had to take the initiative to locate where we were on the map, and someone else had to gather all the kayaks together.

Through this experience, rough though it was, I gained so much.

Singapore is a country with limited resources, the least we can do is save and cherish these limited resources.

As the future leaders of our generation, we also have to learn to lead Singapore wisely and responsibly.

Hence, I believe, with more outdoor education opportunities, our generation will cherish what we have and attain great leadership skills. With this mindset, we will lead Singapore to a greater future.

Sam Xin Qian (Miss)