Thoughts: OBS Open House 2016 – Experience OBS

Ever wondered what outdoor activities and challenges Outward Bound Singapore managed for participating students?

I did and jumped at the chance to visit during its Open House on 30 April, with a group of young students, parents + teachers and media.

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A 10 minutes ferry ride (only for OBS participants) from Punggol Point Jetty, shuttled us quickly to Pulau Ubin campus.

Upon disembarked, we were slightly mesmerized by the huge ship-like obstacle course beside the administration building.

As we only have a couple of hours, we were given a quick tour of the grounds. We (my hubby and I) didn’t partake activities due to other commitments but here were what we learnt from the friendly instructors:

Tripod Challenge Ropes Courses

This course is a custom-built tripod with 3 level of challenges (low / medium / hard), for participants to challenge themselves and conquer their fears.

The course encourage participants to understand what their challenges are, which is something they can get through it by themselves and with help from team mates, from start to end.

Safety briefing was given to all participants, which includes verbal communication with the team mates on other end of the rope and how to wear the safety harness.

Interested participants slowly made their way up to face their challenge while teammates and instructors motivate them to move on or take the leap of faith, to push their own limits. They all smiled upon completing their challenge.



As for us, we didn’t make it up due to other commitments and I have acrophobia. But we convinced our friend, Victor, to challenge himself as his birthday challenge.


Nicely done, Victor! 😀

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Orienteering

This activity allows participants to try and learn navigation with a physical ‘map’ in a controlled area. This is particularly helpful as there are times where technology may not be available or function and all you have, is a physical map or rough instruction to get to points (especially for future national service training or overseas trainings).

The participants quickly went round in weird routes or circles based on the ‘map’ given. A sense of achievement and smiles were seen, upon completing.

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Triyaking

Next up, was Triyaking, which got me stumped.

I heard and tried kayaking but triyaking?
Simply, instead of the usual 2-pax on a kayak, it’s a 3-pax kayak (therefore, a triyak).
*mystery solved* 😀


This activity encourage participants to work together as a team, paddling towards a same goal / destination. The participants were briefed by instructors on ground first after wearing safety jackets, detailed guidance on the actual triyaking (on how to paddle, recover in case of tipping and what to look out for) and having instructors paddled alongside, to the goal / destination.

There were other activities after lunch, such as Rock Wall (rock wall climbing), Leave No Trace (understanding of outdoor ethics on conservation), Campus Tour (a walk around OBS) and others.

Due to our evening commitments, we left early.
But the chance to visit OBS and chat with the instructors, was a fun and memorable experience~

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A new OBS campus will open on Coney Island by 2020, which will expand OBS’ capacity and increase training opportunities for up to 45,000 youth per year.

That itself, is a wonderful news, for youngsters to challenges themselves, forge bonds and friendship. I hope in time to come, even their family will get a chance to experience these activities with them.

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Many thanks to National Youth Council team, for a chance to visit Outward Bound Singapore (Pulau Ubin Campus).

I hope to get a chance to revisit and try some activities.
The Rock Wall activity seems less scary and fun, field cooking sounds interesting 😀