Families camp out under the stars at new campsite

Parents and children exploring a tide pool during an intertidal walk which was part of a science-themed family camp in Sembawang yesterday. The People's Association aims to encourage young families to go outdoors through a series of themed camps that
Parents and children exploring a tide pool during an intertidal walk which was part of a science-themed family camp in Sembawang yesterday. The People's Association aims to encourage young families to go outdoors through a series of themed camps that will be held at the new 7,000 sq m campsite in June and November.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

Parents can learn about astronomy through stargazing, as well as discover marine creatures during an intertidal walk with their children, in a series of themed camps launched by the People's Association (PA) yesterday.

The camps, aimed at promoting family bonding and getting parents and their children to go outdoors, will be held in June and November at a new campsite built at Jalan Mempurong in Sembawang.

The 7,000 sq m site, which is located beside the PA's Sembawang Water-Venture facility, can accommodate about 200 campers at a time and received its temporary occupation permit status in February.

Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak said the campsite makes use of the surrounding nature - such as the lush greenery and intertidal zones - to provide an ideal setting for educational family activities.

The campsite will also benefit young families which are now moving into his constituency's Build-to-Order Housing Board flats, Dr Lim added.

These thematic family camps, which are two-day, one-night affairs, revolve around three themes: a science camp with activities such as a forest walk and stargazing; a pets camp to let families experience being a pet owner; and an eco camp with a coastal cleanup and kayaking.

The PA intends to reach out to 1,000 participants through these camps this year.

The inaugural run of the science camp concluded yesterday, with 22 families taking part.

One of the campers, financial planner Kelvin Ang, 41, who was with his wife and three children, said the camp was well-facilitated with tents provided by the PA and lessons given on how to pitch them.

"It's a good way to enjoy camping as a first-time experience. I think it's very important for kids to see the outdoors, and I believe in experiential learning outside the classroom," said Mr Ang.

Parents can visit the official PA Water-Venture Facebook page for more information and to register for the camps.

The pets camp will take place on June 2 and 3, the next science camp on June 9 and 10, and the eco camp on June 16 and 17.

Dates for November's camps will be announced later.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2018, with the headline 'Families camp out under the stars at new campsite'. Print Edition | Subscribe