Why parents should attend MOE Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre open houses!

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Check out our experience at this year's MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre open house. Here's why we recommend attending these open houses...

As a mother, and living in a clean, green place like Singapore, I have always felt guilty about not taking my kids to explore the outdoors more often. Singapore is a “City in a Garden”, but, we tend to take all the fresh air and lush greenery around us for granted. Weekends are usually spent doing chores or shopping inside air-conditioned malls. Even the occasional trip to the park is hurried, and not mindfully spent. Which is why, I jumped at the chance to attend this year’s MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre open house with my kids.

Our experience at the MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre

The Outdoor Adventure Learning Centres (OALCs) are where MOE schools take their Upper Primary or Lower Secondary students (P4 to S2) for school camps.

There are four MOE OALCs – Labrador OALC, Dairy Farm OALC, Changi Coast OALC and Jalan Bahtera OALC.

High quality and safe camp programmes are conducted at these OALCs by a team of passionate and competent full-time Outdoor Adventure Educators (OAEs). These trained OAEs design and facilitate outdoor adventure learning activities and also ensure the safety and well-being of the students during the camp.

It has been three years since MOE started organising Open Houses for its OALCs.The aim of these Open Houses is for parents to get a preview of their child’s camping experience and be guided on how they can support their child better.

These Open Houses also offer an excellent opportunity for parents and kids to experience Singapore’s rich biodiversity, and try out exciting outdoor activities for FREE!

For the info, Dairy Farm OALC is located on 30 Dairy Farm Road and is just a 5 minute walk from Hillview MRT. This year, their open house was held on 10 and 17 November.

Here are some of the activities we got to try at the MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre Open House:

Dairy Farm Quarry Walk

Have you heard of the elephant ear plant? Or smelt a betel leaf? The one complaint you often hear about Singapore is that even the greenery seems too perfect and manicured to be true.

Which is precisely why we loved the raw natural world we found at the MOE Dairy Farm OALC.

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Quarry walk

We thoroughly enjoyed our journey to the Dairy Farm Quarry with our Outdoor Adventure Educator, who patiently introduced us to the rich flora of the region.

The kids loved picking up saga seeds, and using a flower as a water gun. They complained a little, but managed to walk on rough, bumpy terrain.

It was lovely to see them experience simple joys of nature like watching the leaves of a touch-me-not plant close when touched, and feeling the icy cool water flowing over rocks and pebbles.

High Elements

For the thrill seekers, the Open house also provided the chance to partner your child and try out the rockwall and obstacle course. Children had to be at least 10 years old to attempt this activity.

Of course, safety was well ensured with helmets and harnesses, together with detailed instructions from the OAEs.

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High Elements

My older daughter opted for the high obstacle course and admitted that it gave her the creeps. But she managed to complete it and loved the zipline to the finish..

Again, the learning here was keeping focus on the task at hand and persevering in the face of difficulty.

Other activities at the MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre include:

Longkang Fishing: The little ones will love trying to catch tiny fish from a stream into their paper cups or bottles.

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Longkang fishing

Sensory Trail: This Sensory Trail to a herb garden culminated in the making of a lime-infused drink.

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Composting

Composting and Potting: Kids can learn more on how we can reduce food waste.

Cooking: Learn how to cook some local delights with the help of the Outdoor Adventure Educators (OAEs).

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Outdoor cooking

Concrete Art: Learn how you can transform cement into beautiful and useful pieces of art.

MOE Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre Open House: Some tips for parents

Here are some tips for parents who want to attend an MOE OALC Open House:

The Open Houses are usually conducted in the last quarter of the year.

  • Arrive early

Open Houses usually start at 8: 30 am, and end around 12:30 pm. The earlier you arrive, the more time you will have, to try out the various educational activities.

  • You have to wear long pants (which cover the knees), sleeved shirt and covered shoes if you want to attempt activities like the High Elements.
  • Also, come prepared with mosquito repellant or patches.

Mums and dads, it is rare to get to experience activities of such scale, and with well-qualified instructors free of charge in Singapore. Parents should definitely utilise this great opportunity to know more about their child’s camping experience, and use the sessions to educate and bond with the kids.

Also READ: MOE announces changes to DSA for Secondary Schools from 2019

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