Families bond under the stars during overnight camp at The Float at Marina Bay

SINGAPORE - Rain failed to dampen the mood at the ActiveSG Urban Family Camp on Friday (Nov 24) with 72 families moving their bonfires, games and barbecues from the The Float at Marina Bay to the car park beneath the stands of the floating stadium.

Families paid $99 for the overnight camping experience. They had the option of camping in the outdoors overnight on Friday, or Saturday.

Ms Sharlynn Ng, 36, an accountant, was there with her two young children and husband Derrck Heng, 39, a lecturer. She said: "I'm a little disappointed with the rain. I was looking forward to pitching a tent in the outdoors."

But the families adapted quickly, whipping out their spread including the obligatory chicken wings.

As soon as the rain subsided three hours into the event, they were back out setting up their tents under the stars.

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, and Second Minister for National Development, lit the first bonfire of the night.

He told The Straits Times: "I take my children to the park where I bond with them. You want to get children out of the house and involve them with nature."

Retiree Kow Ah Seng, 74, was at the event with his two grandchildren, aged seven and nine.

"I've never gone camping in my life...I just wanted to spend some quality time with them," he said.

Sport Singapore's ActiveSG is the national movement for sport and physical activity.

Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Sport Singapore, said more camps are being planned.

"We plan to do more of these events. We're even thinking of a couples camp for Valentine's Day," he said.

As the night wore on, Ms Ng's daughter Shayann Heng, 8, said: "I was scared of sleeping outside at first, but now that I'm here with my friends and family, I'm looking forward to it."