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PUBLISHED

07 December 2023

NTUC First Campus launches innovative Young Leaders Programme for 9 to 12-year-olds

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In the ‘Secrets of the Last Village’ Escape Room, children work as a team through forest trails to decipher clues and piece together the footsteps of the villagers to unlock the wisdoms of the past.

Outdoor School Singapore (OSS), part of NTUC First Campus (NFC), has launched its innovative Young Leaders programme to provide leadership camps to children aged 9 to 12.

The Young Leaders Programme is the only outdoor adventure programme based at Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) Pulau Ubin for children under 12. Built upon OSS’s outdoor learning framework, the camp aims to nurture children into confident, curious and well-rounded global citizens.  

Through a goal setting exercise, children share their aspirations and learn what leadership is. Having a goal in mind will help them become more aware of the traits to become greater leaders in the future.

The Programme is specially designed by OSS based on its experience in developing and running outdoor experiential activities for young children, and leverages OBS’s camp facilities and instructors. 

The fun and innovative activities are designed to encourage children to reach beyond their comfort zones and embrace self-directed learning. Through these activities, OSS aims to nurture self-confidence, relational skills and creative problem solving abilities, while fostering an appreciation for the great outdoors. Leadership skills and concepts are also weaved into the Programme, as children learn to cope with ‘stress’ and manage diverse personalities.

Specially designed activities include: a forest expedition and guiding each other through an outdoor escape room to solve mysteries; learning how to start a fire outdoors using only natural resources available (supervised by professional instructors), and a cook-off with limited resources. The Programme is a non-residential camp over three days on Pulau Ubin.

Circle of Fire: Children learn about fire safety, build a fire and conduct experiments under supervision.

The Great Cook Off!: Teams get to pit their culinary skills against each other to cook up a storm with limited resources. They then conduct an elevator pitch on why their dish should be crowned king!

“Just this year, OSS has empowered over 7,000 children through various outdoor experiences. Such experiences are designed to hone various life skills in a fun way, and take these young participants on journeys of self-discovery,” said Ann Phang, OSS’s Programme Architect

She adds, “The Young Leaders Programme extends the outdoor experience to Pulau Ubin, and weaves in leadership skills and concepts in an age-appropriate way. OSS believes that introducing leadership concepts and skills at a younger age can have a lasting impact on personal development. We hope the Young Leaders Programme will allow more young children such an opportunity.”

The pilot Young Leaders Programme ran once in December 2023 for 20 children. The enthusiastic feedback from participants and their parents encouraged OSS to enhance the Programme and introduce it as a permanent offering this year (4 camps of 20 children each). The Programme costs $430 per child before GST and runs during the school holidays from November to December. 

“As a parent, I am thrilled to see my child’s confidence soar and life skills like resilience and leadership abilities develop. The camp is more than just an adventure; it’s a journey towards self-discovery and growth which is just as important as academics,” said Doreen Ho, Mum of 8 year old Aaron Ho who attended the Young Leaders programme last November.


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