Date Published : 22 January 2019
A Step Closer to My Calling as an OBS Instructor
Why become an Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) Instructor?
For many of us, a high-paying job in the finance sector would be incentive enough to slog away despite its tough and competitive nature. And for close to 10 years, 34-year-old Shane was just like that.
Wrapping up and selling off his previous company, however, Shane arrived at a crossroads with the thought, What should I really do next?
Encouraged by a loved one to pursue his passion for trekking, he found himself at the doors of OBS, which kickstarted his journey to become an OBS Instructor.
From Couch Potato to Outdoor Educator
A self-professed couch potato, playing computer games and surfing the net became Shane’s favourite pastime as he was growing up.
Ironically, it wasn’t until his stint in the army, when he realised the appeal of the outdoors - a breath of fresh air compared to his previously sedentary life.
“Looking back on those bittersweet memories [during my time in the army] made me rather nostalgic,” Shane recalls. “That’s when I decided to climb more mountains on my own.”
Finding most trekking guide opportunities to be based overseas, he was ready to throw in the towel when he discovered an OBS recruitment video (by chance!), offering a glimmer of hope to an outdoors job in Singapore.
“I had never heard of OBS before - the video really sparked my interest in becoming an instructor, and to help youths as well.”
Two years later, Shane is now an OBS Instructor, and he has never been happier.
The Little Moments
Interacting and conversing with people from all walks of life is no stranger to Shane, who comes from a finance background.
“Youths are still people as well,” shares Shane. “Even though they are of a younger generation, each one of them is different also. We have to talk to them differently to better connect.”
And his effort has definitely paid off.
Helping participants open up, building up their confidence through the various courses, and sharing personal stories has led Shane to find his sense of purpose as an OBS Instructor.
Looking back, the little moments shared between the students and himself surprised Shane as to how much he has touched them.
“After one of my assessments, this participant whom I helped previously wrote a letter in to wish me good luck!” laughed Shane. “I knew I had already failed by then, but I was still so touched.”
Beyond the Outdoors
With rigorous standards and high expectations, OBS has mandatory assessments for each of their instructors to ensure all of them are fully proficient in their skills. Failing his first two assessments and only passing on his third, Shane shares how the setback spurred him further to succeed as an instructor.
“I had already made up my mind to join OBS, and when I failed my first two assessments, I was really emotional,” reminisced Shane.
“I told myself - I have to keep working, conduct my classes better, teach my students well, and keep pushing together with them. That’s how I keep myself going every day.”
Be it struggling together with students or fellow instructors, OBS Instructors are realising every day the impact they make on their participants through the values they embody and inculcate.
The world is our classroom at OBS, where we harness the outdoors and inspire our youths. Ready to shoot your shot?
Inspire, encourage, and share your passion of the outdoors just like Shane. Discover more about how you can grow with the OBS team here.