Forum: Youngsters benefit from outdoor education, adventurous activities outside comfort zone

Whether it be an overseas trip with classmates, a climb on a rock wall, completing a challenge rope course, or paddling on water, outdoor adventure programmes can be among the most memorable and formative experiences of a young person's life.

Hence, the sector is glad that the Ministry of Education is gradually bringing back outdoor adventure education (Students can now resume overnight stays at Outward Bound Singapore camps, July 28).

Such programmes offer our young the opportunity to engage in adventurous activities in new and challenging environments far away from their comfort zone, with unique opportunities for personal and social development.

Outdoor education and enrichment opportunities continue to be vital for young people. The benefits to health and well-being, including reducing stress, improving mood and boosting concentration, are well evidenced.

The socio-emotional outcomes of such experiences - self-confidence, teamwork, resilience, and strengthened trust and relationships with peers and teachers - also play a significant role in the development of young people.

These have never been more important than now. Children and young people have been among those most affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. We need to help them regain these valuable learning experiences and benefit from outdoor education.

With the support of parents, guidance and resources from the Government, and quality and safe delivery from private service partners, the outdoor adventure education sector can thrive and play an invaluable role in this recovery.

Delane Lim

Honorary Secretary

Outdoor Learning and Adventure Education Association

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