CCA Previews ’20: Outdoor Adventure and Activities Club (ODAC) 

By ODAC Exco ’20

Picture this. You’re walking through a lush, green forest one sunny afternoon. It’s quiet out; all you can hear is the soft rustling of leaves overhead and the crunch of dirt beneath your feet. Sounds like an ideal afternoon? Then the Outdoors Adventure and Activities Club (ODAC) might just be the CCA for you!

For those who are looking to get outdoors for some fun, ODAC has it all. As a CCA, we take part in a myriad of outdoor activities ranging from hiking and cycling to even overseas expeditions. Through these activities, we ultimately aim to instil in each Odacian a sense of respect for oneself, others, and the environment. It is also through these shared experiences that we are brought together to form a close-knit family.

Being a non-competitive CCA, we have a few key milestones that every Odacian has to go through. Each milestone serves as a goal for Odacians to work towards.

Firstly, we have the Basic Training Camp (BTC). This is the very first outdoor camp that is usually held at Pulau Ubin for the incoming Y5s to orientate them to our CCA. It is where they’ll get to hone their tent pitching and outdoor cooking skills, as well as bond with their batch mates.

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ODAC 35 at Basic Training Camp 2019.

Secondly, we have ODAK (Outdoor Adventure for Kids), a community outreach programme that is organised by Odacians. During this VIA opportunity, we partner with the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled Singapore (MINDS) to bring special needs children on a day out for them to have fun and enjoy the outdoors!

Our third major event is Gear Up, a school-wide cycling event organised and facilitated by Odacians. During Gear Up, participants cycle 55km throughout much of Singapore, with the chance to see some amazing views! No doubt, completing this event is no easy feat, but it’s definitely worthwhile and enriching.

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Gear Up 2019 at East Coast Park.
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Gear Up 2019 at Marina Bay with participants from the student population.

In June, we have our first overseas expedition trip to Malaysia. In 2019, we went to Mount Ophir in the Gunung Ledang National Park located in Tangkak District, Johor, Malaysia. During the June expedition, we got to do activities such as waterfall abseiling, river scrambling, as well as trekking on unfamiliar terrain by hiking up Mount Ophir.

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June Expedition 2019 to Mount Ophir, Malaysia.
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River scrambling during our June expedition in Mount Ophir, Malaysia.
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Abseiling down a waterfall during our June Expedition.

Shortly after the June Expedition, ODAC hosts an alumni annual recall event, Odacia, where senior batches from ODAC return to interact with their juniors and new Odacians. It’s a chance for the ex-Odacians to reminisce about fond memories and for juniors to discover more from the seniors’ experiences.

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ODACIA 2019 with previous batches of Odacians.

In December, we have our second overseas expedition, the highlight of every Odacian’s journey, and a chance for Odacians to challenge themselves. Over the course of the year, Odacians train hard and plan for the expedition. In 2019, we went to Phetchaburi, Thailand. We did activities such as abseiling, backwoodsman cooking, outdoor cooking, mudbrick making, trekking and archery. It was a really fun time as we got to put into practice the skills we’ve been honing over the year.

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Trekking around the Kaeng Krachan dam during our December Expedition.
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Spectacular views from Kaeng Krachan dam during our December Expedition.
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Trying our hand at archery during our December Expedition.
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We bonded around a campfire on the second last night of our December Expedition!

Our CCA sessions are held on Mondays, 4.30pm–6.30pm and on Wednesdays, 2.30pm–6.30pm.

On Mondays, we have training sessions where we do physical or skills training and games to prepare us for our treks and overseas expeditions. Besides just improving our fitness, we learn many outdoors skills too. Soil turfing, outdoor cooking, knot tying and fire starting are just some of these skills! They play important roles on our expeditions.

On Wednesdays, we usually head out of school to do fun activities like trekking and cycling! We have explored many picturesque spots in Singapore, from the well-known Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to Coney Island, and to lesser known trails such as the Pipe-A-Pipe trek in Marsiling. We have trudged along many nature trails and urban treks, and had the most unique experience of walking along the pipes that transport water from Malaysia to Singapore during the Pipe-A-Pipe trek. Join us and you’ll get to explore the many hidden gems our little red dot has to offer.

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Sungei Buloh Trek.
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At the summit of Bukit Timah Hill.

The nature of our CCA entails our members to have quite a high level of commitment. Hence, interested students should avoid signing up for enrichment programmes that have overseas trips, as well as other CCAs with clashing CCA sessions, which includes Students’ Council. Additionally, interested students should take note that joining our CCA might involve substantial costs such as costs for specialised equipment and overseas trips.

So if you’re looking for a challenge, for friends you can count on, and for unforgettable memories, then consider ODAC. We aren’t looking for the fittest person, or the most knowledgeable outdoor enthusiast. We’re looking for the thrill-seekers, those willing to go the extra mile for others, and those who strive to give their all in everything they do.

Adventures are where we go together.

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