40 hours over 12 weeks
No. of Hours: 51.5
Date: 29 April 2018 / Sunday
Category: Physical Recreation

Duration: May 2016 to August 2016

Activity: Rock Climbing 

Summary:

  • Weekly top-rope climbing @ Climbers Laboratory under Singapore Polytechnic Sports for Life module (1.5-2 hours per session)
  • Weekly recreational top-rope and bouldering sessions @ Climb Central (3-5 hours per session)
  • Attained Sports Climbing Level I (SNCS I) as part of Sports for Life module at the end of physical recreation segment
  • Went on to attain Sports Climbing Level II, Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF) Wall Activity Supervisor Course, and Abseiling Level I post-Level I attainment

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Bouldering session @ Climb Central on orange V1-V3 route ^7ED2A8A661E01F3567DEBCC3E17123573F741404B1EA5E8690^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Variant belaying technique @ Climb Central before attainment of SNCS I

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Having some fun at OYEYO Boulder Home!

IMG-20160810-WA0019Climbing buddy for Sports for Life and recreational climbing at Climb Central


For physical recreation, I took on a sport that I was relatively unfamiliar with, Rock Climbing. I was initially introduced to the sport by a friend a few months before, but did not commit to it regularly. It was until I have joined the outdoor industry had I realised that it would be beneficial to know the basics of the sport. As a result, for the additional sports elective by Singapore Polytechnic, Sports for Life, I chose rock climbing as my sport of choice.

Sports climbing, or more commonly called “rock climbing” is a form of rock climbing that uses permanent anchors fixed to the rock or wall for protection. This more commonly refers to the image of tiles screw-bolted into a wall in an indoor or outdoor setting when people refer to ‘rock climbing’, in contrast to climbing on natural rocks, which often do not have fixed anchors.

I was formally introduced to rock climbing during Sports for Life, where I was taught the essential knots for climbing such as the double figure-8 tie-in. I was also taught how to belay using the 5-step belay technique. During the 1.5-2 hour sessions of the elective, I took turns to climb and belay with my partner who is supervised by the instructor when belaying.

As the weeks passed, I progressed quickly in terms of climbing techniques, endurance, as well as belaying skills. Before taking part in Sports for Life, I would climb ‘rainbow’ routes (using any tile of my choice). Since, I have started following routes in the climbing gym to hone my skills and physical endurance. I started from route graded 5C+ for top rope routes.

I also started to climb regularly at Climb Central, Kallang Wave Mall on days when I am not having Sports for Life. I took up Bouldering, which does not involve ropes and harnesses due to decreased height and focuses more on technique than stamina and speed. When I started, I climbed route graded V0 to V1, which are designed for beginners and occasional climbers.

As a result, I spent approximately 4-5 hours per week over 12 weeks climbing consisting of Sports for Life sessions and independent sessions. As time passed, I started to climb routes that are more challenging.

By the end of 12 weeks, I was able to climb 6B+ routes on top rope, as well as V3 routes on boulder walls. I started attempting 6C routes on top rope as well as V4-V5 routes on boulder walls. I also obtained my Sports Climbing Level I certificate at the end of Sports for Life.

Though my improvement may not been the fastest, I was able to take time to appreciate and develop interest for the sport. I began to realize that the climbing community is small and quite close knit with people frequently visiting the same gym on a regular basis. I made friends with the people at Climb Central, where I climbed most regularly. I found out that even though climbing may seem like an individual sport, it is one that thrives on encouragement, lending a helping hand, and sharing with one another even though people may not know one another personally. I came to enjoy instances when others helped with solving a route that I have been repeatedly attempting, and occasions when watching others climb made me more motivated to improve myself. As such, on days when I am not climbing, I would engage in simple physical training consisting of core and shoulder exercises to improve my strength and endurance in climbing.

I have since purchased my own set of climbing gear such as shoes and chalk bags, and started to invite friends who were non-climbers to try the sport. After attaining SNCS I, I went on to attain SNCS II, which involves lead climbing, and became a Wall Activity Supervisor at my school.

Now, many months since the completion of my physical recreation, I am still climbing and introducing climbing to my juniors in my school CCA. It is a sport that I will continue to enjoy.

 

60 hours over 12 months
No. of Hours: 214.5
Date: 29 April 2018 / Sunday
Category: Service

Duration of Service component: December 2015 to March 2017 (16 months, 214.5 hours)

Summary:

  • Pro-bono Programmes, CAMP CHALLENGE
  • Monthly Food Distribution
  • Light House Programme at Kampong Kapor Family Service Center (KKFSC)
  • Other Side Programmes

    Pro-bono Programmes, CAMP CHALLENGE

2015 12.21.15 MINDS DOMINO CHALLENGE

The Domino Challenge! for Me Too! Club, Movement for the Intellectually Disabled in Singapore (MINDS)

2016 03.06.16 DEAF COMMUNITY HIGH E IN SUPPORT

 

Team of instructors for NTU Welfare Services Club – high & low elements for the The Singapore Association for the Deaf

2016 06.18&19.16 TRUE HEARTS HAVEN HOME II

2016 06.18&19.16 TRUE HEARTS HAVEN HOME I

Letters and gifts received from participants of Haven Home during True Hearts 10th Anniversary 2D1N camp 

2016 08.27.16 YOUTH GUIDANCE OUTREACH SERVICES II

Team of instructors for high elements for troubled youths – Youth Guidance Outreach Services

2016 09.02.16 YEAH II

Pre-programme discussion for Youth Employment Achievement Hub (YEAH) laser combat programme

2016 11.28.16 AWWA RAFTING

Rafting activity during 3D2N camp for Asian Women Welfare Association (AWWA)

2016 12.04.16 CDAC CARNIVAL I

Team of instructors for Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) carnival at Nanyang Junior College 

Additional Pro-bono programmes:

  • Singapore Children’s Society (SCS) Family Day
  • Basic Instructor Course 45

Being a pro-bono instructor has opened my eyes to the various communities in Singapore that require assistance. It has showed me that even though Singapore is a 1st world country with a rising economy, there are still people in the country that are struggling to make ends meet or find their place in our society. Take belaying for the deaf association, for example. I would never have expected being able to manage a high elements session with the deaf as I would not be able to communicate messages to the participants by shouting and noise. Instead, I needed to communicate information with a sign language translator who would translate my instructions into sign language for the participants. It made me reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to retain my sense of hearing, as well as the smallest things in life which I did not think about before. For example, in the True Hearts programme, I conducted an outdoor cooking session with the participants of an orphanage/home, Haven Home. Seeing the participants and mentors cooking for one another has tugged my heart strings and made me appreciate my family and friends who were constantly around me and supporting me in all my endeavors. This was the starting point for me to reflect on myself and my actions in many aspects of life and a motivated me to do more for the community.


Monthly Food Distribution  [with Social Hearts and Actions for the Needy (S.H.A.N), previously unnamed; a collaboration of Chia Leng Kong Temple and Mummy Yummy]

  • Volunteer on every 1st Saturday of the month (approximately 2-3 hours per session)
  • Distribution of vegetarian bee hoon to various needy households in Tanjong Pagar region of Singapore

Website for S.H.A.N: https://www.shan.com.sg/

Website for Mummy Yummy: https://www.facebook.com/Mummy-Yummy-Singapore-679826295399303/

2016 09.03.16 MUMMY YUMMY

Team of volunteers from S.H.A.N before food distribution

2016 01.02.16 MUMMY YUMMY I

2016 01.30.16 MUMMY YUMMY I

2016 01.02.16 MUMMY YUMMY V

Going door to door with my family to deliver vegetarian bee hoon to needy households

Monthy distribution of vegetarian bee hoon with S.H.A.N has widened my perspective of the ageing population in Singapore. Most of the households we deliver food to are either elderly living alone, elderly whose families have left them, the physically disabled, or families facing financial difficulties. Being in this part of the heartlands has showed me a very different side of Singapore and exactly what these elderly residents are facing on a daily basis. Their lack of companionship has caused them to appreciate even the few minutes of interaction with us as we deliver food to their doorstep. Yet, many of them still choose to stay positive in life despite their difficulties.


Light House Programme at Kampong Kapor Family Service Center (KKFSC) 

  • Under Singapore Polytechnic School of Chemical and Life Sciences (SP CLS)
  • Mentoring and tutoring every Tuesday evening for 6 months (2 hours per session)
  • For under privileged children between 10 – 14 at KKFSC

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Team of volunteers from SP CLS

Since my pro-bono programme with True Hearts, I was inspired by the mentors who gave the children so much encouragement and inspiration. I decided to take on the role of a mentor with KKFSC when the opportunity came. I mentored a primary 5 boy named Ridzwan at the family service center and made friends with a few other such as Hans, a primary 6 boy. Tutoring every week and sharing conversations with these ‘children-going-teenagers’ have since been a very enriching experience as I was able to empathize with their struggles in school and support them academically, as well as a person they can talk to to share their difficulties. Although my time with them was only a short 6 months (due to commencement of night classes), I formed friendships with them and took away a lot of lessons in giving back to these children. I was able to be a role model to them and am thankful to know that they are doing well in their studies since my departure.


Other Side Programmes

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Volunteers from Class DBS/FT/1A/01 Singapore Polytechnic Flag Day 2016 – raising funds for the President’s Challenge outside Raffles Place MRT Station

2016 09.07.16 LAKESIDE FSC I

Team of volunteers for Lakeside Family Services (LFS) September holiday 1 day programme to impart the value of integrity to children aged 7-10. We participated in various station games and activities planned by LFS in the vicinity of the center.

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Advance Leadership Training Camp for Ngee Ann Secondary School which imparts leadership skills to student leaders. Student leaders take on a community service activity during the camp (The aNASing trip) where they went to various locations around south-west Singapore to perform tasks such as collecting drink cans for the uncles and aunties for recycling, interviewing about the challenges of the hawkers in hawker centers, and clearing tables for cleaners in hawker centers.


This 12-month long journey has been nothing less than inspiring for me. “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”. This quote cannot be more true as I took on youth and community work through these months. I learnt that compassion and empathy cannot be taught through textbooks and in theory. Compassion and empathy can only be learnt and appreciated through performing in acts of service. Since the conclusion of my NYAA service section, I continued to volunteer for pro-bono programmes, volunteered monthly with S.H.A.N, and supported CIP events initiated by my CCA in school. This 12-month stint has fueled me to help others in my community, as well as reinforcing my ambition to be a medical doctor in the future – to help others in need.

18 months (12 months for Silver NYAA holder)
No. of Hours:
Date: 29 April 2018 / Sunday
Category: Skills

Duration of Skills Component: April 2016 to October 2017 (18 months)

Skill: Instructor Development Programme (IDP)

Summary of skills acquired over 18 months:

  • Facilitation Skills
  • High Elements & Climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Powered Pleasure Craft Driving License (PPCDL) [Practical Test Pending]
  • Standard First Aid

I am very thankful to be able to acquire a broad range of skills since joining the outdoor industry with CAMP CHALLENGE since December 2015. I volunteered as a Volunteer Instructor (VI) after completing my O’levels and has since learnt essential skills that will be beneficial for journey as an instructor, an am appreciative of all the time that my fellow senior colleagues are willing to invest in me.


 

Facilitation Skills

BIC 42 III

Graduation from Basic Instructor Course 42 

To mark the beginning of my journey as an outdoor instructor, I took part in the Basic Instructor Course under CAMP CHALLENGE after 5 months of volunteering as a VI. The course reinforced my understanding and knowledge that I have learnt from experience as a VI over the past 5 months. In addition to technical skills such as belaying, managing adventure activities such as rafting, and geocaching, I was given the platform to demonstrate the various debriefing and front loading skills through role playing as participants and instructors. It has set a foundation for me to build upon as I proceed to participate in more camps as an instructor.

Tuckman's Teambuilding Model & TLC I

After the in-house module: Tuckman’s Team Development Model & The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner

Since graduating from BIC 42 under CAMP CHALLENGE, I went on to pursue more soft skills to enrich my understanding in facilitation such as:

  • Effective Front Loading & Debriefing Techniques Module
  • Tuckman’s Team Development Model Module
  • The Leadership Challenge Module
  • Children International Summer Village (CISV) Train The Trainers for MOSAIC
  • CAMP Chief Module

The modules that I have participated in widened my perspective of facilitation. The progressive level of difficulty for each module slowly helped me to better apply what I have learnt as a freelance instructor as I was able to test out the various techniques shared in the modules on the participants under me. Since then, I was able to conduct more challenging programmes successfully such introducing DISC profiling.


High Elements & Climbing

Tandem & One Man Belay

Completing Tandem & One Man Belay Module

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Achievements in Sports Climbing & Abseiling

Abseiling Level 1 IV

Performing a lock off and leg wrap technique during Abseiling Level 1 Course (SNAS I)

SNCS 2 FT. SIVA

SNCS 2 TOP OUT

Performing a top-out technique at the anchor of the rock wall during SNCS II course

2016 12.21-23.12.16 BIC 45 III

At the top Team Challenge Hourglass (TCH) during TCH Accreditation Course

SMCC 2

SMCC 7

Anchoring on the beam of High Elements at CAMP CHALLENGE using climbing lobsters

Since being introduced of belaying during BIC 42, I went on to acquire more applied skills useful for high elements such as:

  • Sports Climbing Level I & II (SNCS I & II)
  • Abseiling Level I (SNAS I)
  • Singapore Mountaineering Federation (SMF) Wall Activity Supervisor Course (Singapore Polytechnic Rock Wall)
  • Tandem & One Man Belay Module (CAMP CHALLENGE)
  • Team Challenge Hourglass (TCH) Accreditation Course (CAMP CHALLENGE)
  • Station Master Course (CAMP CHALLENGE)

The most crucial lesson learnt from all the courses for high elements is safety. Through the various courses, I gained more insight in high rope systems and casualty evacuation. I am also better able to identify the risks involved in various activities and apply them in the various programmes as a high elements station instructor, as well as during my co-curricular activity (CCA) as a wall activity supervisor in Singapore Polytechnic. Through climbing regularly and making myself available for programmes that require high elements instructors, I was able to practice my belaying techniques and expose myself to more unforeseen situations in climbing. Since, I became more confident in working at heights as well as managing high elements and climbing sessions. Given the opportunity, I would continue to take up more advanced courses such as Abseiling Level II and Sports Climbing Level III.


Kayaking

Kayaking 1 Star

Kayaking 1 Star Course @ Water Venture Sembawang

Kayaking 2 Star III

Completing Kayaking 2 Star Course @ Water Venture Pasir Ris

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2017-06-11 02.03.00 2

Performing Classic Draw and Towing during Kayaking Coaching Level 1 Course @ Singapore Canoe Federation and Water Venture Changi

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Kayaking 1 Star Course Attachment @ Poly Marina & Singapore Polytechnic

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Regular Kayaking Training @ Poly Marina

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Kayaking Training @ Water Venture Sembawang

Since participating in a kayaking programme as an instructor with CAMP CHALLENGE in March 2016, where I had completely no knowledge in the sport (and only the second time sitting in a kayak), I was determined to ensure that I was equipped with the skills sets needed to support such programmes. Starting from a clean slate, I applied to participate in kayaking courses and kayaking training with Singapore Polytechnic Adventurers (SPA) to ensure that I was proficient in basic skills. Little did I expect that I would progress to take on the role as a Sea In-Charge with SPA from April 2017 to March 2018. With this new role, I pursued my newfound passion in paddling by exposing myself to more kayaking expeditions, regular training (every Saturday and before expeditions), as well as Level 1 Coaching. I was able to overcome my once fear of the sea during my first kayaking programme with CAMP CHALLENGE and learnt more theory about the sea and tides. The vastness of the sea has since sparked more curiosity as I became more interested to explore the seas, motivating me to take on the Powered Pleasure Craft Driving License Course (PPCDL) which covered both boat handling and sea theory. My journey in pursuing this new skill has enabled me to become a better leader in managing kayaking programmes and training. I intend to go on to take on more challenging skills such as Kayaking 3 Star, officially achieving Level 1 Coaching, and obtaining my PPCDL license in 2018.

Since, I have achieved the following thus far:

  • Kayaking 1 Star & 2 Star
  • Kayaking Coaching Level 1 Course
  • Conducted 27 Sea Trainings (over a year)
  • Participated in 9 Kayaking Expeditions with SPA
  • Powered Pleasure Craft Driving License (theory pass; practical pending)

    Standard First Aid

FIRST AID 1

Bandaging Techniques 

FIRST AID 2

CPR & AED assessment with dummy kit

As an SMF Wall Activity Supervisor and a Kayaking Coaching Level 1 Trainee, I will require to obtain the Standard First Aid certification. Under Singapore Polytechnic, I was able to obtain my Standard First Aid + CPR AED certificate. The course has enabled me to promptly respond to first aid cases. I was able to apply what I have learnt in CAMP CHALLENGE as well as my CCA and be better able to assess the risks involved in activities and the severity of injuries. The course has also boosted my confidence in being independent with my participants, as I am now equipped with first aid skills that will be useful in an event my participant gets injured.


This 18-month long journey has been a long but enriching one. I have found out more about my strengths and weaknesses, became more confident in leading and managing activities due to acquiring more knowledge, and opened more doors to more advanced skills in the outdoor industry and outdoor activities. More than the technical aspects of the various skills, I have acquired transferable skills such as management, organisation, risk assessment, and emergency response that would benefit me in other aspects of life. It has enabled me to enjoy learning and spurred me to continue to improve in the things I am passionate about.

Community-based project*Compulsory for all Gold Award participants
No. of Hours: 40 hours
Date: 27 April 2018 / Friday
Category: Residential Project

Date: 14 – 16 December 2016 (3 days, non-overnight)

Event Title: Lakeside Family Services December Camp CARE

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Organizing committee for Camp CARE from SP Diploma in Biomedical Science.

For my residential project, I volunteered to be part of the planning committee for a community service project under Singapore Polytechnic, Diploma in Biomedical Science Student Chapter (DBSSC). DBSSC frequently works together with Lakeside Family Services (LFS) for community service projects throughout the year and LFS has expressed interest in planning and holding a day camp in December 2016 for the children that come to the family service center.

LFS is a family service center that operates in Lakeside, Western Singapore. Social workers in the family service center help families that live in their community. For this programme, LFS has requested to hold a camp for children that are 7-10 years of age to impart the value of care for one another.

Our first meeting (2 hrs) took place in mid-to-late November 2016  to discuss about the beginnings of the project as well as to decide on the roles and responsibilities, and timeline of the programme. I volunteered to take on the role of “Activity In-Charge” as I am more experienced in planning and conducting activities for children of that age group from my work in CAMP CHALLENGE. As a result, I am tasked with planning the timeline, activities, and flow for the 1st and 2nd day of the camp, which will take place in SP. The 3rd day would be planned by LFS, which is set to take place in Taman Jurong Community Center, with elderly from LFS. The whole programme would be linked to the upcoming Christmas holiday.

We took approximately 2 weeks to gather manpower (from our course, Diploma in Biomedical Science) and put up the proposal which occurred concurrently. We also booked venues within SP where we would be using for our activities such as classrooms and common areas.

In early December, we performed a dry run  (7 hrs) in SP for the actual day of the camp. We gathered the organizing committee  and all manpower involved to test out the activities, timeline flow, set expectations, and prepare logistics.

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Packing of logistics and goodies!


Day 1: Station Activities, Christmas Caroling Rehearsal, and Christmas Card Making

We had a team of Group Leaders (GLs) who arrived at LFS in Lakeside to engage in icebreaker activities on the morning of 14 December 2016. They would board the chartered bus arranged by LFS with the children and come to Singapore Polytechnic for activities. As I was the Activity IC, I was stationed in SP to prepare the opening areas and stations before the arrival of LFS.

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GLs engaged in icebreaker and bonding activities with children at LFS before coming to SP.

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Hands in the center!

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Arrival at SP 11 Square and heading towards the opening venue at one of the classrooms!

Upon arrival at the opening venue, we kicked start the day with an opening presentation by the event Overall In-Charge (OIC). After which, I lead the energizer activities and briefed the children on the station activities that will take place over the course of the next few hours.

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DSC_0489Conducting of “Dragon Dragon” energizer!

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Setting rules and expectations for the camp!

With the energizers and briefing completed, we moved on to the station activities where the various groups would move from classroom to classroom completing activities.

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“Number pattern” station, where the children will need to tap the various numbers within the circle in a specific pattern. 

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“Blind mice” station, where the children would be blindfolded and tasked to retrieve items in an gameplay area. The rest of the group would give directions for the blindfolded individual. 

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“Don’t forget the lyrics” station, where children are tasked with completing a word activity that is song-related.

Lunch was provided for the children in between stations. After finishing lunch, they would proceed with other stations until finally assembling back at the classroom where opening was held. As they would need to perform a Christmas caroling performance on the 3rd day of the camp to their family members and the elderly of LFS, LFS took over this segment with support provided by our team. The children are taught Christmas carols and would rehearse their caroling and actions.

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After the Christmas carolling session, we kicked start the afternoon segment with a second round of energizers before moving on to the Christmas Card Making.

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Energizer “Chia Chiku”

After the energizers, the children engaged in the making of Christmas cards. However, instead of simply designing the cards, I planned the activity was planned such that the children would have to earn their card-making logistics such as markers, stickers, colored paper, glue, crayons, etc. As such, they needed to race against time to the various stations to perform carnival style activities such as ringo, ball pong, etc. before finally coming together with the logistics they have earned together as a team to make Chirstmas cards for their family members.

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Earning logistics from ball pong! Children had to bounce a ping pong ball into a plastic cup to earn colored paper at this station.

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All in all, the first day was a good warm up for the planning committee as well as the children as they get to know us better. They are energetic and fun-loving children and we were already looking forward to the next day.


Day 2: Treasure Hunt Activity, Christmas Caroling Rehearsal, Great Egg Drop Activity

As per the 1st day, the GLs picked the children from LFS and came over to SP. Upon arrival, we kicked start the day immediately with a round of energizers.

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Energizer “Magic Box”

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“Ooh, ahleyley, ahleyley chika booma!”

We started off the day with the first main activity – a treasure hunt around different locations around SP. The children were given a map, and would need to look for certain locations, arrive at the locations to answer questions, and perform tasks related to ‘care’.

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Solving a brainteaser together as a team

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Charades!

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Upon completion of the activity, lunch was served. During lunch, we taught the children a ‘makan cheer’. This was done before consuming lunch together.

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The final activity planned by the committee for the day was the Great Egg Drop. The children are tasked to build a self-standing structure that can cushion an egg from dropping from a height of 1 level high. They were given logistics such as newspapers, balloons, straws, chopsticks, and tape. The winning team would be rewarded.

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Great Egg Drop Briefing!

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A little help and prompting…

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Working hand in hand to assemble their masterpiece.

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Posing together with their finished product!

 

Squeals of excitement and joy lit the air in 11 square as the eggs were dropped onto the models that they have built. All eggs were saved (all groups have succeeded). Soon enough, we were attracting the attention of normal students who were in school at that time and they joined in to watch the egg dropping as well. The atmosphere was great and all the children enjoyed themselves.

After the Great Egg Drop, we followed the children back to LFS for the closing. As on day 3, half of the manpower would not be needed, this is the last time the GLs will be seeing the children. They bade farewell to one another as the children returned home with their family members who came to pick them up.

2016 12.16.16 LFS DECEMBER PROG GL

All planning committee members and volunteers who made the first two days possible!


Day 3: Joint-Event with LFS Elderly, Christmas Caroling Performance, Christmas Dinner

On the third day, only the planning committee gathered at Taman Jurong Community Center to support the programme led by LFS. For this day, elderly from LFS are invited for activities and a Christmas lunch with the children. They would engage in tote bag designing, where one elderly member would pair with a child to paint on a tote bag. Also, they would engage in activities that require the children to guide the elderly. Lastly, lunch was served by the children to the elderly before the departure of the elderly back to LFS.

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Finished product!

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Due to some hiccups, there was a need to cancel some activities. This caused approximately 20 to 30 minutes of buffer time where the children and elderly had nothing to do. I was tasked to device a plan to fill this buffer time (as I was still the Activity IC). It was difficult to cater to two complete opposite age groups and it posed a great challenge to engage both the elderly and children, while not being too mundane or childish. However, the elderly who knew I was in-charge were supportive and open to any activity I had for them. In the end, I decided to try teaching them some simple cheers and energizer activities that do no require a lot of movement or physical effort. Furthermore, these were done with the children over the past two days, and they seem to enjoy them.

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The scene that was awaiting me before I came onto stage to spend the 20-30 minutes of buffer time! 

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Conducting the energizer “Magic Box” in a mix of English, Chinese, and Hokkien as some of the elderly are unable to understand English, and most of the children are unable to understand hokkien. This would be one of the most impromptu activity I have done. As my command in Chinese and Hokkien is not extremely strong, there was difficulty at some point translating my sentences quickly and naturally.

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Now that they have warmed up, I decided to take it a step further with “The side”, an activity that require more body movements. This was conducted slowly and lightly to prevent any strains! The elderly were cooperative and enjoyed all the activities I have presented to them. 

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“Macdonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut!”

After the 20-30 minutes of buffer time was spent, the children performed the first round of Christmas Carols to the elderly and served them lunch. After which, we bade farewell to the elderly of LFS, many of whom came up to me to thank me for the time spent and patience in engaging with them, especially in hokkien. The children and planning committee used the time to have our lunch as well as tidy up the place for the evening’s Christmas dinner with the families of the LFS children. As it was approximately 3pm, the children were told to take their afternoon nap by the LFS staff.

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It’s the season of giving!

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Water parade after an incredible day of effort for the children!

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Here is your well deserved rest! As there were no beds in the Community Centre, the LFS staff shared her experience of taking naps without beds and pillows when she was young – to lie their heads on one anothers’ bellies or thighs.

In no time, the children fell asleep, until approximately 5pm, when they awoke, washed up, and prepared for the dinner segment, where they had dinner with their families and performed their final Christmas carol performance. By 9pm, the organizing committee bade farewell to LFS. This concludes these 3 meaningful days with the family service center.


 

2016 12.16.16 LFS DECEMBER PROG OC

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”. I can never agree more with this quote. The past 3 days has been an eye opening experience. I have came to realize that with whatever negative circumstances one may run into in life, there is always a side of life that is all happiness, laughter, and smiles. This project has left me more eager than ever in participating and volunteering in such events. Though the children may not remember me in the years to come, I will definitely remember these 3 days and continue to do what I do. I am humbled to be part of this successful project.

4 Days 3 Nights (at least 32 hours of activity)
No. of Hours: 74 hours
Date: 27 April 2018 / Friday
Category: Adventurous Journey

Total Activity Hours: 74 hours (over 5 days)

Date: 11 – 16 September 2017

Expedition Name: Singapore-Nanyang Polytechnic Adventurers Kayaking Expedition (SNAKE) & Southern Island Kayaking Expedition (SIKE)

  • 2D2N SNAKE + 3D3N SIKE (Total: 5D5N Back-to-back kayaking expeditions)
  • Average 6 hours of kayaking per day for SNAKE; 8 hours of kayaking per day for SIKE
  • Preliminary training consist of 5 days of kayaking training (Average 5-6 hours per day) and Recce trip to various kayaking locations

Under Singapore Polytechnic Adventurers (SPA), my committee and I planned these two kayaking expeditions in a bid to form better relationships with other polytechnic adventure clubs (NYP ADC), as well as provide exposure to our juniors to kayaking expeditions. I was in charge of planning, leading, and conducting the preliminary training to prepare participants physically and hone their skills. Also, I was in the logistics committee for both SNAKE and SIKE, and played the role of Assistant Troop Leader (ATL) for SNAKE and Troop Leader (TL) for SIKE. Planning started in July, 2 months before the commencement of the expedition. It was a long and demanding process that required a lot of commitment, however my team and I are able to execute the following expeditions successfully.


 

Preliminary Training

  • Land Physical Training (PT) such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and running
  • Kayaking resistance training including paddling in kayak half-filled with water, taking turns to paddle (doubles), progressive increase in laps around a 1.2km lap around a breakwater
  • Kayaking drills and emergency response including H-rescue, TX-rescue, mass capsize,  kayaking strokes, and expedition formation.
  • First-aid kit preparation and basic first aid course

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A typical training day with moderate showers and no lightning

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  • Recce trip conducted to familiarize with the various locations and kayaking route, assess risks along the route, and confirm emergency pitch up locations

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Powerboat no. 88 needed to be towed back to Poly Marina by no. 57 due to engine failure, from Pulau Hantu. The towing took 2 hours! We were demoralized, however thankful that the weather was good and there was no rain during the towing. 

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En route to St. John’s Island. This is the kayaking route direction that we would take on the actual expedition. 


Day 0: 11 September 2017 (2100 – 0000 hrs) 

  • Packing of logistics, purchasing food, and flushing powerboats for SNAKE
  • Expedition briefing
  • Sleeping location: West Coast Park (Hammock)

Day 1: 12 September 2017 (0800 – 2300 hrs)

This marks the commencement of Singapore-Nanyang Polytechnic Adventurers Kayaking Expedition (SNAKE). After welcoming and icebreaker activities with Nanyang Polytechnic Adventure Club, we launched off from West Coast Poly Marina towards Pulau Hantu. We stopped for Sea Lunch in the vicinity of Cyrene Reef. It was high tide, hence the reef cannot be seen. Afterwich, we kayaked towards Pulau Hantu and upon arrival, we engaged in bonding activities, boat riding, and water slack lining. The night was relaxed as we cooked our own dinner and slept under A-frame shelters (pitched using basha sheets) and hammocks. It was a good start for the expeditions as we warmed ourselves up for the next 4 days and formed new friendships.

Day 2: 13 September 2017 (0800 – 2200)

After a hearty breakfast of french toast and pancakes prepared by ourselves, we launched off and headed back to Poly Marina. We had our sea lunch over cyrene reef as it was low tide and we could disembark our kayaks and stand on the reef! This was a special occasion as we do not often have the opportunities to stand on the seabed in the middle of the sea. Afterwich, we kayaked back to West Coast Poly Marina. This was when the skies started to turn dark with thunderclouds. We picked up the pace as it started to drizzle. Thankfully, we arrived at Poly Marina, washed all equipment, and headed into shelter just in time before the rain started to fall upon us. We bade farewell to Nanyang Polytechnic and took time to rest back at West Coast Park in our hammocks. It was a fruitful expedition. We covered 18km during the 2 days.

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Group Photo with Nanyang Polytechnic Adventure Club before departing Pulau Hantu!

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View from my hammock at 7am at Pulau Hantu. I am facing the waters between Pulau Hantu Kechil and Pulau Hantu Besar which disappears during low tide. We could wade across to Pulau Hantu Kechil at low tide, however at high tide, it is too deep to cross. 

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Standing on Cyrene Reef with Pasir Panjang Terminal behind, with the Sea In-Charge (former and present). 

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Standing on Cyrene Reef and consuming sea lunch beside a buoy that we use to mark our position. We stood on rocks instead of the corals below to avoid damaging the reef. 

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Receiving the SNAKE T-shirt to mark the end of the expedition with NYP!

The following are two videos of SNAKE put together by members of NYP ADC and SPA:

Made by Chester, NYP ADC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owXKuNfDIks

Made by Zec, SPA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZuDDvM0URo&t=9s


Day 3: 14 September 2017 (1200 – 0000)

After catching up on our sleep at West Coast Park, we started preparing for the next expedition that will commence at 6pm on the same day. Similar to Day 0, we packed of logistics, purchased food, and flushed powerboats for SIKE. Later at 6pm, our Juniors arrived at West Coast Park and we commenced the expedition briefing. We prepared motivation packs (containing goodies such as sweets, jelly, biscuits, etc.) for the expedition and engaged in some night orienteering activities around West Coast Park. We slept in tents for the night. Though there was no kayaking, it was a good rest to prepare for ourselves for the longer distance the next day (33 km)

Day 4: 15 September 2017 (0700 – 0000)

We rose early in the morning at 6am and launched off from West Coast Poly Marina at approximately 7am. We kayaked in the direction of Lazarus Island (beside St. John’s Island). To our dismay, it started to pour only 15 minutes after launch off. However, we continued to paddle as in the distance, we could see that at where we are heading, the weather is clearing up. We kayaked for approximately an hour in moderate to heavy rain and suffered a capsize near Pasir Panjang Terminal which was rectified quickly. As we got closer to Sentosa Island, the weather started to clear up and when we had sea lunch off the coast of Siloso beach, it was bright and sunny again.

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Preparing to cross the channel at Poly Marina. The sky is getting darker!

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More and more dark clouds approaching us as it started to drizzle just before we crossed the channel.

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Heavy rain at Pasir Panjang Terminal (on the left)! Compare this to the previous photo! The visibility was low.

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Sky clearing up as we approached Sentosa. 

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Munching on a snack as we prepare to cross to Sentosa Island

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Successfully arrived at Siloso beach for sea lunch in good weather. The kayakers rafted up beside the powerboat to retrieve their lunch. 

After which, we kayaked towards Lazarus Island and pitched up for a break (our “pit stop” location). As we pitched up, it started to rain very heavily. As we were drenched, and the wind was strong, we were very cold. The food team decided to prepare hot oats and milo to replenish our energy and warm ourselves up. After approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, we set off again in light rain as we were running late for our destination at Pulau Hantu and could not afford to wait for the rain to stop.

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In the cold at a small hut on Lazarus Island. Dan (Assistant Troop Leader) and I (Troop Leader) watched over the kayaks as sentry while the rest of the participants headed towards other larger shelters.

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Kayaks lined up in “expedition style” on the grass at Lazarus Island

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The view is misty due to the rain. The rain stopped once in a while and there was lightning. 

After a briefing, we picked up the pace as we were running late. We departed Lazarus Island and headed towards Sisters’ Island where we would kayak along the edge of the Western Anchorage Area in the open sea before arriving at Jong Island, Pulau Bukom, and finally to Pulau Hantu. The skies gradually cleared up and the weather was not very hot due to the rain in the morning. The current was against us and it was a difficult push in the open sea at western anchorage. We even had an experience with a ship which was on full throttle and crossing our direction of travel in a channel. That was quite a dangerous and nerve wreaking part as we had to paddle at full speed and the boat did not change course until the last minute. Nonetheless, we kayaked towards Pulau Hantu safely and pitched up at approximately 5pm. We cooked our own instant noodles for dinner and rested in tents and hammocks for the night. It was a tiring day and things did not always go as planned, however, we were able to handle the changes and remain cautious of our environment.

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I gave a briefing before departing Lazarus, aiming to tell participants to maintain the formation and pick up the pace. 

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Leading the troop towards Sisters’ Islands.

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View from Sisters’ Islands of Western Anchorage Area which is a lot more of open waters. 

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Arriving at Pulau Hantu (with Pulau Bukom in the background) with the rest of the formation behind. Jong Island can be seen as a small semicircular silhouette on the right side of the horizon. 

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The trusty kayak that I have used throughout the 5 days of expedition! I was equipped with a towline as well as a whistle for emergency use. My poncho and sponge (for bailing out water) are secured to my deck by deck lines.


2017-09-15 09.28.41 1Arrival at Pulau Hantu after a long day of kayaking!

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Sunset at Pulau Hantu from the Pulau Hantu Besar Jetty!

Day 5: 16 September 2017 (0700 – 1800)

After breakfast, we launched off from Pulau Hantu back to West Coast Poly Marina. It rained until approximately 10am, hence our timeline was pushed back. Finally, after the sun was out, we paddled back to Pulau Hantu at a more relaxed pace as most of us were tired from yesterday’s paddle. The weather was good and it was a smooth ride back to West Coast Poly Marina. We arrived at Poly Marina to wash our equipment and at least, came to a closure for the back-to-back expeditions. We covered 43 km over the 3 days.

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Sunrise at Pulau Hantu.

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White wash at Pulau Hantu waters in the morning of Day 5 before departure. The rain is so heavy that you can barely see the ships that are supposed to be seen anchored in the vicinity! 

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Final turn after passing the western corner of Pasir Panjang Terminal. Poly Marina is in sight! 

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3 batches of SP Adventurers with our club flag at Pulau Hantu before departure.

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The expedition committee that has worked tirelessly over the past 5 days!


The past five days has been a roller coaster ride. It was a physical, mental, and emotional battle with the tides and weather as changes constantly occurred all around us. We covered a total distance of 61 km over 5 days (4 days of kayaking). At some point, all I had in mind was to get the day over and done, however, with the support and encouragement from everyone, I was able to pull through the 5 days. Lots of friendships were forged over the 5 days. It is an experience that I will not forget.