There will be a variety of safe and exciting outdoor activities involving a mix of land-based, water-based and climbing activities. During expeditions, you will plan and travel with your group (called a watch) and take on different roles to overcome obstacles and achieve various goals along the way. These activities are designed for you to gain life skills and values such as compassion, teamwork and a positive “can-do” spirit to achieve more in your daily lives.
Water activities are a component of the programme. Our instructors strictly supervise all water activities and take a progressive approach to ensure that you are confident before you engage in the activities. It would be advantageous if you are able to swim, but do not worry if you are unable to. It is made compulsory for all participants to wear personal flotation devices (PFDs) for all water activities. All instructors are certified in water-safety and lifesaving skills. You will also receive thorough briefing and instructions on the safety procedures before the start of the activities.
Our instructors will seek to provide a safe and supportive environment for you at all times. You will not be forced, but you are strongly encouraged to participate in all the activities during the programme and at a level which you are comfortable with. This is to maximise the opportunities for learning and self-discovery.
You will live and work with a watch of up to 16 people and stay in non-air-conditioned dormitories and/or tents, depending on the programme. There will be no internet access and limited power points in the dormitories. This is because the set-up of our dormitories reflects the “back-to-basics” concept.
Activities are mainly outdoors and conducted in all weather conditions, and do expect certain levels of sun and rain exposure in our tropical climate. Depending on your programme, you may be required to set-up tents, prepare your own meals and sleep outdoors in tents. The experience is expected to be physically and mentally challenging but you will find yourself in a supportive environment.
Personal hygiene is important for your health and well-being. However, due to the expedition nature of some programmes, you may have limited access to toilet facilities. OBS will provide a standard First Aid and Hygiene briefing during the course to help you manage field hygiene.
Participants can still take part in the activities as per normal. During the standard First Aid and Hygiene briefing, girls will be advised on how to do proper cleaning and disposal when out in the field. Participants who are expecting their menstruation during the programme should bring extra supply of sanitary pads, dark coloured shorts/pants, and extra plastic bags for the disposal of soiled sanitary pads.
You will be able to continue to practise your faith unless there are safety concerns (e.g. Sikh will be required to wear helmet while attempting a climbing activity). OBS is also able to cater for participants with allergies and dietary requirements (e.g. Halal and vegetarian meals). Please remember to state these information in your registration form before submission.
No. You and your watch-mates are encouraged to be fully engaged during the programme, with minimum distractions from your electronic devices due to the “back-to-basics” concept.
All meals provided are Halal certified by MUIS, and reviewed and approved by a nutritionist. Special dietary requirements due to medical and religious reasons would be provided, where possible, upon request. However, this is subjected to the appointed caterer’s ability to support such requests. You will also have an outdoor-cooking experience, subjected to programme duration. All food and rations have undergone strict quality and hygiene control.
Please refer to the Packing List provided in your course notes. For overseas programmes, there are additional specific requirements for the packing list and participants will be informed prior to the trip. OBS staff will also conduct a physical bag check prior to the programme to ensure that all essential items have been packed by participants.
1. Valuables such as expensive watches or jewellery
2. Expensive clothes or footwear – they may be damaged or soiled during the course
3. Snacks/sweets, books/magazines/newspapers, personal music devices, electronic games, tablets (i.e. iPad / Galaxy Tab etc), laptops
4. Mobile phones (they can be a barrier to communication with your Watch mates!)
5. Excessive cash – training equipment, food and lodging are provided. Money is not required during the course. We will safe-keep your money, NRIC/passport and valuables during the programme
OBS is a strictly no-smoking facility. We ask you to challenge yourself to abstain from smoking throughout the course. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results at the end of the programme! There is also a no alcohol policy in all Outward Bound® courses.
You do not need to be “athletically-gifted” for the programme. Although Outward Bound® programmes are meant to be physically and mentally challenging, you do not have to be athletic or have any prior outdoor experience to participate. For a better OBS experience, prior physical conditioning will be recommended to help you get used to physically challenging activities.
Our programmes are designed for everyone who are able-bodied and certified fit by a physician. What is more important would be to have a positive attitude, a willingness to try, and a commitment to work together during the programme.
Generally all applicants of OBS programmes are required to submit a Medical Declaration Form. For selected programmes, there would be a need to obtain medical recommendation from a physician and be certified ‘medically fit’ prior to the programme. If you have an existing medical condition, you should consult your attending physician. You may wish to visit your family doctor for the medical examination. Please note that we only accept recommendations from Registered Medical Practitioners. We do not accept certifications by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and chiropractors. Please also note that Polyclinics no longer conduct the medical examination and certification for OBS applicants.
You will be considered for admission to our programmes when you have been certified fit by a physician. All medical conditions are subjected to an evaluation by our Medical Services and Training team.
There could be certain medical conditions which may affect safe participation. You will be advised on your level of participation, depending on the nature and severity of your medical condition. The instructors will be informed to take special note on the management during the programme, if necessary.
The OBS programme is designed to be physically and mentally challenging. It is important to disclose full medical history and/or condition so that the instructor can take special note and manage the programme accordingly, if necessary. If an applicant contracts any illness or sustains an injury between the submission of the Medical Declaration Form and the commencement of the programme, he/she must consult a doctor and keep OBS informed.
We have a 24-hour medical centre with full-time registered nurses on duty during the programme. If you fall sick during the programme, you will be kept under observation in our medical centre. If there is a need to consult a doctor, you will be referred to Punggol Polyclinic or to Sengkang Hospital, which is the nearest hospital.