Unleash your inner explorer
I remember my OBS experience from secondary school, at the OBS Ubin Campus: Cooking instant noodles in a pitch-dark forest, freaking out in the middle of the sea over a giant bug that invaded my kayak, and other crazy shenanigans. More poignantly, I remember the songs we sang as we hiked through the woods, and the unexpected friendships formed that would carry me through the years.
For most who have gone through an OBS programme before, the memories made there are unforgettable. And if you’ve missed out on your OBS experience back in secondary school, or you and your buddies have exhausted all outdoors-y things to do, here’s some good news for you: Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) has major plans in store.
With the up and coming OBS @ Coney Campus, 45,000 youths will get their very own OBS experience every year, by 2020. And if you are above 17 and want to take on the 21-day classic challenge course, you can always apply for the OBS Leadership and Service Award (LSA)!
Here are 5 reasons why the new OBS @ Coney campus is something to get revved up about!
1. You get the chance to experience a whole new set of activities on Coney Island
Coney Island Park is a treasure trove of hidden natural gems, but there are only so many new things you can do on the nature park. What’s there left, after exploring every inch of it?
Source FOUND THE CONEY ISLAND COW... Now what?
In a few years, the activities available at Coney Island will go beyond just hiking and hunting for the Coney Island Cow. The new OBS programmes will incorporate the upcoming OBS @ Coney campus as the expedition hub, opening the island up to a range of exciting outdoor activities for participants!
If you’ve got a taste for the great outdoors, the new OBS programme is the very thing to cure your adventure-lust. Here’s a sneak peak of the brand new challenges that are in the works:
Possible Live-On-board Rafting
Imagine: Constructing your own house-raft, and then actually having to live on it! You’ll also have to figure out how to survive overnight on your own DIY houseboat: managing resources, purifying water and maybe even catching your own dinner! Huckleberry Finn would approve.
More opportunities for Tunneling And Caving Activities
You won’t have to head overseas to experience an awesome caving crusade anymore. OBS has plans to build challenging artificial tunnel systems and caving courses at the new campus. It’s time to conquer your fear of the dark.
2. Cross-Island Adventures: Urban trekking, land and sea expeditions!
If you think you’re going to be stuck on Coney Island for the whole 5 days, that’s where you’re wrong. OBS has plans for activities on Coney, Ubin, and even mainland Singapore.
This is all made possible through the location of the OBS @ Coney campus, which opens up the waterways connecting the 3 islands!
With so much more connectivity, the new campus paves the path for explorers to experience OBS on a whole other level. During your OBS expedition, you can expect to shuttle back and forth between OBS @ Ubin, OBS @ Coney, and green-blue spaces on the mainland.
You could spend a day camping out on Ubin, followed by a DIY-rafting session down to Coney, and then a biking trip across to the Punggol area for some urban hiking!
The possibilities are endless.
With the planned expansion to include green and blue spaces on the mainland, the new OBS programme will include multi-element activities. This will include hybrids of land and sea sports, such as expeditions on customized bikes fitted with kayaks!
3. You can still explore Coney Island to your hearts’ contents
In case you’re worried that the new OBS @ Coney Campus will mean that your chances of peacefully exploring the nooks and crannies of the island are now dashed, fret not!
The OBS @ Coney Campus will actually only take up about 10% of the whole island. The existing Coney Island Park will be left completely untouched and fully open to the public, with the island’s natural beauty remaining fully intact. Adventure seekers can still trek and bike, even after the OBS @ Coney Campus has been built in 2020.
If you need ideas for your own expedition to this lush land, check out our ultra-comprehensive guide on all the cool things you can do, and the hidden gems you can find on and around Coney Island!
Did you know that there’s a secret beach here?
Take your time to explore all the beautiful gems of Coney Island Park, they’ll be around, 100% unchanged, for a long time to come.
4. The campus is designed to blend in seamlessly with Coney Island
The OBS @ Coney development is going to be super-focused on preserving the environmental integrity of the island, with cutting-edge, eco footprint-friendly facilities being built especially for the new campus.
Here are some of the innovative ways that the OBS @ Coney campus aims to keep their eco footprint small, and blend in with the natural environment.
Rustic, Organic Campsites
This could be one possible camping facilities at OBS @ Coney campus! The new campus is to be kept rustic - perhaps we’ll see some tent-style outbuildings and minimalistic housing structures.
New Training Facilities
Cleverly designed to fuse different aerial elements together, the new height elements challenge courses will allow large teams of 5 or 6 to go up at once, as opposed to only a pair. Not only will waiting times be cut short, this multi-element training feature mean that several height element courses can be compressed into one, saving space and reducing the campus’s environmental footprint.
Imagine yourselves up there, with a whole team of 6 to 8, solving problems and tricky obstacles whilst in mid-air!. We won’t reveal too much, but the new challenge courses will definitely require some intense team communication and trust building, all while you’re up in the air and strapped to a harness!
5. Taking environmental consciousness to the next level
Singapore has always been a “Garden City” - and it’s important that we keep it that way.
We’re all already feeling the effects of global warming now, think of the sweltering hot 36-degree temperatures that we’ve been experiencing! Not to mention, all the freak weather patterns that have been manifesting all over the world.
Environmental consciousness and conservation is especially important for our tiny island; with such scarce natural resources, we’ve got to protect all that we have.
Here’s where OBS comes in. Their programmes will be geared towards reminding participants of the major role that nature plays in our lives, from providing the fresh clean air that we breathe, to the precious endemic creatures that live in our marshlands.
Members of the public can sign up to get hands-on, like in OBS’ Project IsLand-A-Hand,where participants set out on coastal clean-up projects, tree-planting, and various other conservation activities. At OBS, it’s all hands on deck for Mother Nature!
The expansion, expected to be completed in 2020, aims to reach 3 times as many youths as OBS currently does, about 45,000 per year. That’s a lot of green fingers!
The environment is an incredibly vital concern right now, for every country in the world. The next generation has got to build an environmentally-conscious city, for us to thrive and survive in the coming years. The expanded OBS will address just that, as it goes beyond simply an outdoor adventure expedition.
An Outward Bound Experience Of A Lifetime
The OBS expansion on Coney Island opens up huge possibilities for you. If you are under 35 and looking for a great adventure in the outdoors, be sure to mark this down, because the new OBS programme is guaranteed to be all-out adventure like you’ve never experienced before.
Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements on the new path that OBS is venturing into, there’s bound to be a ton of exciting things in store!
This post was brought to you by the National Youth Council and Outward Bound Singapore.