CCA Previews ’18: ODAC

By ODAC

ODAC the one, we have fun
Just like one big family

The Outdoor Adventure & Activities Club (ODAC) is a place for you to try things you’ve never done before and to open your eyes to the breathtaking beauty of nature. It’s a place for you to grow and to discover yourself. Most importantly, it’s a close-knit family, brought together by shared experiences in the outdoors – the astonishing ones and the icky ones, the sweet and the bitter.

The myriad of activities we have is sure to push you out of your comfort zone, whether it’s because you have a fear of heights or because you’re not very physically fit, or because you don’t know how to swim or cycle. But don’t worry – none of us came in fully prepared either! As long as you are willing to face your fears and give it your best shot, there’s a place in ODAC for you.

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ODAC 33 at Changi Beach during our Basic Training Camp

In sorrows we care
In joys we share

We meet every Monday (4.30pm–6.30pm) and Wednesday (2.30pm–6.30pm). Monday trainings are often for physical training and games, while Wednesday trainings are mainly reserved for out-of-school treks through beautiful, neglected parts of Singapore. You’ll be surprised at the stunning scenery and strange sights our little island has to offer — we once visited a public toilet that had floor-to-ceiling glass panels and the most amazing view!

We also go for rock climbing and kayaking courses, which each batch can take part in when they want. We’ve also done backwoodsman cooking, slacklining and caving at the Challenge Cubes, and learnt tent pitching, fire starting and other outdoors skills.

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Other than that, we go for rock climbing and kayaking courses, which may be pursued by each batch in their own time. We’ve also done backwoodsman cooking, slacklining and caving at the Challenge Cubes, and learnt tent pitching, fire starting and other outdoors skills.

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However, the most remarkable of our activities have to be our milestone events, the June and December overseas expeditions.

The June expedition to Malaysia is the best time for the batch to bond. We play water polo, frisbee, table tennis and engage in various other activities in between the highlights of the trip — river scrambling, waterfall abseiling and climbing Mount Ophir. None of us are going to forget climbing over slippery rocks in the river, eating lunch with our feet soaking in a natural pool, or sitting underneath a gushing waterfall anytime soon!

The December expedition involves 5 days of trekking over Australian mountains, sleeping under the stars, watching the sun rise and set, and planning and cooking our own meals, with nobody to accompany us other than each other and Mother Nature.

These are experiences of a lifetime.

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ODACians we are
Our spirits never wane

But it isn’t only about trekking and the outdoors. ODAC organises multiple events every year, and every ODACian will be involved in the planning of at least one or two of them. These include ODAK (a VIA event), ODACIA (an alumni homecoming event), the 3D2N Basic Training Camp for incoming juniors and Gear Up (a school-wide cycling event, though it will be changed in 2018). The skills learnt in working with a team are valuable and can be applied elsewhere; this is just another way ODAC challenges you to learn and grow!

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Though it is fun, ODAC is certainly not a walk in the park. In preparation for our December expedition, we trek with backpacks of increasing weight, starting from about 10kg and slowly making our way up to 20kg. It’s not easy, both physically and mentally, and it’s not for everyone. However, being surrounded by nature and leaving behind our usual cluttered, high-stress environment is a precious opportunity, and through it all, you’ll have your batch right beside you.

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Training at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with 16kg backpacks

Interested students should not be joining programs that have trips or heavy commitments in the holidays, like ISLE, GCEP, BLP and LBA, as they may clash with our expeditions. ODACians are also not allowed to apply for Council or any other CCA that clashes with our sessions. Do note that joining ODAC will involve some expenses, as we have to pay for the expeditions, some personal equipment and certifications.

With one voice, we say…

That being said, joining ODAC is still incredibly worth it. Here, you are truly pushed to become a more resilient, appreciative and mindful person, both towards fellow members and the environment. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of doing things you’ve never thought yourself capable of, and the journey here in ODAC is never short of moments like these. And that’s not to mention the incredible friendships formed in exploring and working together with your batch, looking out for each other.

So, if you enjoy camps and everything new and exciting, if the idea of adventure gets your adrenaline pumping, if you’re looking to challenge yourself alongside friends you sing and laugh and literally walk hundreds of miles with, we welcome you to join the ODAC family!

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We are one!

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