Exploration

Immersed in the Great Outdoors

Immersed in the Great Outdoors

2 Jun 2021

Cycling at St. John’s Island

Instead of the usual overseas trips, the unique and unprecedented situation this year put the creative minds of the planning team of OESC to the test – it had to create a memorable outdoor experience for their peers, while obeying safe distancing measures. Despite numerous restrictions, the organising committee managed to curate an unforgettable experience, which included an orienteering trip and five cycling trips. 

On 17th November 2020, students set off in groups to navigate the luscious greenery in the Green Corridor. Armed with only a map, compass and a pen, the groups were instructed to find the various checkpoints scattered throughout the route to arrive at their final destination. 

Tools for the trip

“It was a good opportunity to bond with my friends and spend time in nature at the same time,” recounts one of the student participants Zhuang Dinghua (20S65).  

Her sentiments are reflected on the faces of the rest of the students attending the orienteering trip – exhausted smiles can be seen as the teams slowly make their way to the final checkpoint. As a member of the organising team, Peng Guanxiang (20S69) reflects, “Seeing everything we have planned piecing together and working out fine was extremely gratifying and satisfying.” 

Only a few days later, the cycling trips took place. The five trips took place over a fortnight, from 18th to 27th November. Different groups visited various locations on different days based on five unique themes. These themes include: Southern Islands, City in Nature and Sustainability, Natural Environment of Ubin, Central Catchment Nature Reserve & Leave No Trace, and Sustainability and Urban Development. About 20 students participated in each trip, accompanied by their teachers. 

Marking a checkpoint

For Lim Yi Shu (20S65), who went on the “Central Catchment Nature Reserve & Leave No Trace” trail, the most fulfilling part of her trip was the satisfaction gained after having cycled up each slope. As the route chosen was fraught with multiple slopes that required non-stop pedalling, it was both mentally and physically trying, but ultimately rewarding.

Happy participants at the OE trip

“My biggest takeaway was the experience of reconnecting with lost spaces of Singapore,” Ang Yuh Xin (20S65) shared, after visiting the Southern Islands, “because it allowed me to feel a greater sense of connectedness with Singapore.”

Overall, the outdoor trips were a success in spite of the constraints faced due to the pandemic. This can be attributed to the hard work of the organising team from the Outdoor Education Students’ Club and teachers-in-charge. We applaud their efforts!

Written by Rachelle Chua (20S65)

Photographs by Ang Yuh Xin (20S65) and Rachelle Chua (20S65)

(This is a continuing series to capture the vibrancy of Hwa Chong life in 2020.)