Home » FAQs
OBS uses the outdoors as a classroom. You will participate in a variety of safe and exciting outdoor activities involving a mix of land-based, water-based and climbing activities such as trekking, cycling, kick-biking, kayaking, and challenge rope courses. In 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 is compulsory for you to wear personal floatation devices (PFDs) for all water activities. All instructors are certified in water-safety and life-saving. You will also receive thorough briefing and instructions on the safety procedures before the start of the activities. Having the ability to swim is an advantage, not a must-have.
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. Our Instructors will provide a safe and supportive environment for you at all times.
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 is no internet access and limited power points in the dorms. The dormitories set-up reflects the “back-to-basics” concept.
Activities are mainly outdoors and conducted in all weather, and you can expect certain levels of sun and rain exposure in our tropical weather. Depending on your programme, you may be required to set-up tent, prepare your own meals and sleep in tents in the outdoors. The experience is expected to be physically and mentally demanding but you will find yourself in a supportive environment.
Personal hygiene is important to your health and wellbeing. However, due to the expedition nature of some programmes, you may have limited access to toilet facilities. OBS provides a standard First Aid and Hygiene briefing to help you manage field hygiene.
Participants can still participate in the activities as per normal. During the standard First Aid and Hygiene briefing, girls will be advised on how they can 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 napkins, dark coloured shorts/pants, and extra plastic bags for the disposal of soiled napkins.
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 able to cater for Halal and vegetarian meals. Please state your meal requirements in the registration form.
No. You are encouraged to be fully engaged in the programme, and with your watch-mates; with minimum distractions from your electronic devices.
All meals provided are reviewed and approved by a nutritionist. It is HALAL certified by MUIS. Special diets due to medical and religion would be provided, where possible, upon request. This is subjected to the appointed caterer’s ability to support such requests. You will have an outdoor – cooking experience, subject to programme duration. All food and rations are under strict quality and hygiene control.
Please refer to the Packing List provided in your course notes, or video at tinyurl.com/OBSpacklist
For overseas programme, there will be additional specific requirements for the packing list. This will be informed to all participants prior to the trip. The OBS staff will also conduct a physical check prior to the programme to ensure that all essential items have been prepared by participants.
Smoking & Drinking
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.
Fitness & Medical
You do not need to be “athletically-gifted” for the programme. Although Outward Bound programmes are meant to be physically and mentally challenging, you need not be an athlete or have any prior outdoor experience to participate. Prior physical conditioning to get used to the physical demands will allow you to have an enjoyable OBS programme. Our programmes are designed for everyone who is certified fit by a physician and able-bodied. It is more important to have a positive attitude, a willingness to try, and a commitment to work together.
All participants who attend an OBS programme must submit a Medical Declaration Form. For selected programmes, Medical Examination by a Physician to certify fitness for participation is needed. Participants must see a physician to be certified ‘medically fit’ to attend the programme. If you have an existing condition, you should consult your attending physician. You may wish to visit your family doctor for the medical certification. Please note that we only accept certification from Registered Medical Practitioners. We currently do not accept certifications by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Chiropractors. Please also note that polyclinics currently do not conduct the medical examination and certification for OBS applicants.
You are considered for admission to our programmes when you have been certified fit by a doctor. All medical conditions are subjected to an evaluation by our Medical Services and Training Unit staff. There could be certain medical conditions which would affect safe participation. You will be advised on your level of participation, depending on the nature and severity of the 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 the participant’s medical history and/or condition so that the instructor can take special note and manage 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 nurses on duty when the programme is happening. If you fall sick during the programme, you will be kept under observation in our medical centre. If necessary, you will be referred to Punggol Polyclinic for minor cases or to nearest Hospital for serious cases.
OBS works hand-in-hand with schools to develop students and realise their full potential. Teachers play critical roles in preparing the students for the programme by helping the students be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally (e.g., set goals and expectations, be conversant with outdoor living skills) prior to the programme, and to facilitate and reinforce students’ learning after the programme. Schools should take ownership of the Programme where teachers facilitate the students’ learning, particularly in the pre- and post-programme segments.
Outdoor adventure learning is important to develop youths who are confident about taking on challenges that push their limits, are resilient and able to work closely together. OBS programmes facilitate self-discovery, social awareness, confidence, team communication skills and responsible decision-making. Just as importantly, they teach responsibility for the environment and inspire participants to play a role in the community after an OBS programme.
OBS uses the outdoors as a classroom. Your child will participate in a variety of safe and exciting outdoor activities involving a mix of land-based, water-based and climbing activities such as trekking, cycling, kick-biking, kayaking, and challenge rope courses. In 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 your child to gain life skills and values such as compassion, teamwork and a positive “can-do” spirit to achieve more in their daily lives.
It would be helpful for you to provide opportunities for your child to share with you any concerns prior to the programme and being supportive of his/ her participation. Conveying how the programme will be a safe and enriching experience would also encourage your child in his/ her journey of learning and self-discovery.
As a general guideline, as long as your child is able to participate in the PE programme, he/she should be be able to participate in the programme. As part of the pre-programme registration, students are required to complete a medical declaration form. If your child has any pre-existing medical condition, it is recommended for them to go for a medical screening, and for a Physician to verify that they are fit to participate. Please inform and update the school to facilitate the management of his/her condition during the camp.
Your child is strongly encouraged to participate in all the activities during the programme and at a level which they are comfortable with. This is to maximise the opportunities for learning and self-discovery. Our Instructors will provide a safe and supportive environment for your child at all times.
At OBS, safety is our top priority. Activities are carefully planned, tested and constantly supervised by qualified instructors who have undergone an extended period of rigorous training, skills and safety certification including Wilderness First Aid. The equipment we use is subjected to regular, thorough on-site safety inspections by external certifying bodies. With an excellent safety record built on stringent requirements from its international network of Outward Bound centres around the world, you can be assured that safety remains our top priority in the delivery of all OBS programmes.
Your child will be among supportive friends and OBS staff who will provide a safe and engaging environment to have fun and benefit from the programme. Our full-time OBS Instructors are also trained in caring for the participants’ physical and emotional needs.
Please contact the school programme coordinator who will get in-touch with the OBS programme manager. For parents, please note that your child’s valuables, including mobile phones are safe – kept to ensure security of personal items and minimal disruption to the programme. Special request can be arranged with the OBS programme manager through the school for participants with special circumstances to call home.
OBS instructors take on many roles. They are role models, mentors, counsellors, safety officers and outdoor educators. Their work is not merely the transfer of skills or knowledge, but more importantly, of life values such as teamwork, perseverance, mental tenacity and commitment. Our instructors undergo 6 months of rigorous training and certification i.e. Wilderness Advanced First Aid to become qualified to take charge of 16 individuals. There is continuous training and development for OBS instructors to keep updated with the latest outdoor education methods, skills and equipment.
For good safety supervision, we run on an instructor-to-participation ratio of up to 1:16.
All participants who have completed an OBS progamme are automatically welcomed to the OBS Alumni. There is no annual membership fee. You may opt whether to receive news and updates from the alumni office.
You will receive invitations to leadership and volunteer opportunities, workshops, skill training sessions, and social gatherings. Please like and follow the OBS Facebook Page to be kept updated on events and opportunities, and also join the OBS Alumni – Official FB Group for first dips in sign-ups. Please email us at OBS_Alumni@nyc.gov.sg for any enquiries.
You definitely are! Do like our Facebook page, join the OBS Alumni – Official FB Group and join our mailing list, to receive alumni updates.
To receive news and updates about from the alumni office, please email OBS_Alumni@nyc.gov.sg with the subject title “Request to Join OBS Alumni Mailing List”, with the following:
No. All OBS participants are auto-qualified and enjoy a life-time alumni status.
There is no age limit unless otherwise stated. Please refer to event details and any pre-requisites stated.
Our alumni are welcome to bring their friends along. However, events such as leadership workshops, skill certifications, are exclusive to Alumni members only.
OBS will provide an official letter of participation upon request. You may present this letter to your school/ organisation as testimony of your participation. Please verify with your school/ organisation that the specific projects are endorsed for CIP hours.
Participation is fully voluntary and you will not be reimbursed.
No, transport is not provided unless otherwise stated.