Do you like trekking through lush green forests, listening to nature’s peaceful tunes? Wandering through the streets of our bustling concrete jungle? Bravely abseiling down the slippery rocks of a thrilling waterfall? Or perhaps, caking an entire chicken in mud before chucking it head-first into a pit of fire?
Look no further. For the brave of heart, the young adventurer itching to bask in the sun and have some fun, the Outdoor Adventure & Activities Club (ODAC) has it all!
At our core, we are a family. Brought together through shared experiences, we provide a safe space for individuals to discover more about themselves, each other, and the world at large. Responsible, resilient and respectful, ODACians learn that ultimately, it is not the places we go to, but the people we are with that truly matters.
As a non-competitive CCA, there are several key milestones that each ODACian goes through. Some of them are listed below:
- The Basic Training Camp (March) is our orientation camp for new ODACians.
- Outdoor Adventure for Kids (April) is a community-outreach programme, where we interact with children with special needs through bringing them outdoors to explore and play.
- Gear Up (May) is an annual cycling event organised by ODAC and open for participation to the entire school.
- The June Expedition (June) is a five-day overseas trip filled with fun outdoor activities that allows you to grow and bond together as a batch, exploring your strengths and weaknesses together. In 2018, ODAC’34 did waterfall abseiling, river scrambling and mountain climbing at Mount Ophir in Malaysia!
- ODACIA (July) is our homecoming event, where senior batches of ODACians (up to ODAC’10!) return and reunite with their batch, while interacting with their juniors.
- The December Expedition (December) is a 9 day overseas trip, where the main activity is a 5-day hike up a mountain. In preparation for this, ODACians train hard together and plan for the trip over the course of the year. In 2018, ODAC’34 explored Mount Bogong and other mountains in the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Australia!
Additionally, ODACians are given the opportunity to explore other aspects of the outdoors. Certification courses for activities such as kayaking and rock-climbing are also offered to further enrich our experience.
ODAC sessions take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, with training sessions on Mondays, and hikes on Wednesdays.
On Mondays from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, we have either physical or skills training. Physical training ensures that we are physically fit for our overseas expeditions, improving our endurance, strength, and perseverance. Skill trainings equips us with essential outdoor skills, such as first aid crash courses, tent pitching, fire starting and backwoodsman cooking. We also learn the core tenets of environmental responsibility. While this may seem daunting, ODAC does not require members to possess superhuman levels of fitness — many of us came into ODAC dreading NAPFA. Instead, ODAC looks for the teamplayer, for the young adventurer looking to challenge themselves, for the individual willing to learn and grow.
On Wednesdays from 2.30pm to 6.30pm, we head out of school to explore paths less-travelled. Treks as a batch allows us to discover exciting hiking paths around Singapore, from treading carefully across the huge water pipes of the Pipe-a-Pipe trek in Mandai, to exploring the various nature trails along Singapore’s reservoirs. On a regular basis, we discover the universe invisible to the city dweller: a flaming sun descending into a reservoir, a critter hiding underneath the shrubbery, the hushed air of after-rain.
Being an ODACian requires a certain level of commitment. As our milestone expeditions are held during the school holidays, interested students should avoid signing up for commitments such as Monday Enrichment Programs with overseas trips, Student Council, or other CCAs with clashing sessions. Joining ODAC might also involve substantial costs, as we have to pay for course fees, personal equipment and expenses involved in our overseas expeditions.
But at the end of the day, the ODAC experience is truly priceless. Out in the wild, you will face the strange, immense beauty of a world lying just beyond your horizon. Yet it is the smallest moments that define the ODAC experience – a butterfly flitting over your shoulder, a teammate stealing weights from your bag to lighten your load, huddling together under a sky full of shooting stars.
“adventure is what might otherwise be called hardship if it were attempted in a different spirit” – Laura Miller.
So when you craft your own adventure, do so with a steadfast spirit, a spring to your step and most importantly, friends by your side.