Girls Rough It Out At OBS
Over 840 Secondary Three students from Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS), Crescent Girls' School (CGS) and Nanyang Girls' High School (NGHS) participated in the Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) 5-day Character Development Programme between 24 February and 11 March 2011. The programme aims to develop character, mental and physical ruggedness and community spirit among the participants through experiences in the outdoors.
A land expedition and kayaking around Pulau Ubin left a deep impression on most of the participants. The carrying of their own camping equipment and basic necessities during the land expedition was a physically daunting task for some of the participants. Elyse Yap, from CGS, shared, “Every step I took, the bag just got heavier and heavier, but we did it in the end, and I was stronger than I had initially thought I was.”
Kimberly Yoong, from SCGS, added, “No matter how tough a certain task is… all you need are your friends who would help you to pull through. Under the encouragement, care and concern from all my friends, I was able to complete the land expedition with them.”
The participants also tried out kayaking across Pulau Ubin. For many, who were trying out the sea activity for the first time, they also realised the importance that OBS places on delivering safe and quality programmes. Annabella Low, from NGHS, gave a first-hand account of her experience, “When we did kayaking, my kayak almost capsized, and I was very scared. But when I looked around, I saw that there was a safety boat and I felt a sense of assurance. I think OBS has provided the right balance in terms of safety and letting you experiment with your own limits and letting you push yourself.”
In addition to helping the participants become more mentally and physically resilient, the participants also developed a sense of community spirit and valuable life skills through the programme. T. Proyanka D/O Thulasy Ram, from CGS, shared that the programme has contributed to the building of trust among her and her fellow schoolmates. She said, “One of the key things I learnt was trust… The activities that we did since day one have helped to bond us and strengthen our friendships. Should there be a time when our trust for each other is tested, I believe I will stand up for CGS.”
Ms Samantha Tee, Teacher from CGS, commented, “Coming on the OBS programme provided the girls with the opportunities to challenge themselves. The programme put the girls out of their comfort zones and allowed them to discover themselves. I think that is very important for their development as they can discover for themselves what they are truly capable of doing.”