Ultimate Challenge! Camp, Teamwork and Focus

We joined a few families at Focus Adventure‘s Ultimate Challenge! Camp  recently. When the invite came from Cheekiemonkies, we can expect the itinerary to be packed with Fun 🙂

Not really a “real” camp, but we got to enjoy 2D1N of non-stop Fun and Thrills. Families motivated, nudged (and sometimes pushed)  each other to conquer our own fears and achieve new milestones.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp urged participants to stay FOCUS everywhere. The feeling is different on the Ground and 25m up in the Hourglass Tower 🙂

 

Image Credit Cheekiemonkies

I conveniently forgot to mention the high-elements to my family haha, in case anyone decided to back off. They just need to know  the Fun camping stuffs (BBQ, camp fire etc)

Teamwork will bring us Higher, Further!

Camp Challenge

(literally, it means dragging ourselves up the 24m Hourglass tower, and optionally leap off the platform at 25m! )

In fact, without teamwork (encouragement and motivation), many of us would have given up earlier or taken the easier way out.

Focus Adventure Hourglass Challenge

We started Ultimate Challenge! Camp with ice breaking games, kids and adults had tons of laughter with silly antics Octopus and Squirrels (etc). It was hilarious to see adults do impossible wriggling or balancing acts!

I always remind the kids that we must learn to laugh at ourselves. We must be thick skin when facing criticisms from anyone.

(Kids nowadays might be developed physically but their psychology state might still be fragile)

It helped that we were performing all these activities at Palawan Beach (end). Looked at the scenic sea-view, framed by coconut trees, we felt like like we were at a faraway resort.

Team building at Focus Adventure learning site

 

All sorts of archery tag (and Nerfgun), our mission was to work as a team to take down the other camp. Aim for the Target board, not human :p

Teamwork not only let us overcome our individual obstacle, but teamwork can also encourage “Minimum effort, Maximum result”.

We all know about Angry Birds, but not many of us had build a catapult before. With zero engineering skills, and some “raw” materials, families and teams were supposed to build and mold everything from scratch (yes, the Birds too).

Checkout the video below when teams destroyed the Pigs’ castles. Quite Fun and satisfying when Angry Birds destroyed the Towers!

All these team building tasks encouraged us to work with one another.

Hey, kids learned that too many cooks spoil the broth too. Too much instructions flowing around.


Campers need not worry about sanitation, as toilet and shower facilities are good, and there is hot shower too 🙂

 

The main Function room is our meal room, playground and bedroom too. Kids mingled with each other and when night come, sleeping bags were laid out.
Day 1 was designed to let participants get comfortable with each other.

One of the Biggest challenge with parenting is trying to get our kids to “Listen to instructions”.

My kids are easily distracted, or they are sometimes over-confident. We would soon realised that Teamwork and following instructions will make overcoming Day 2’s tasks slightly easier.

 

A Beautiful Sunset to bring us near to Day 1’s closure.

Sunset Sentosa

We had a nice Campfire and BBQ, plus a lot of Sing and Dance from families. The older kids perform a skit about “One Day in the life of a Mom”. with the usual dragging-child-out-of-bed, homework, housework etc.

Parenting duties are mostly taken for granted and unappreciated, it was a nice gesture to see the kids playout their “parental” roles, showing everyone how much we love our parents. Kudos!

 

Our family sang “One Call Away”, but Superman sang so soft with Boon Yee and Boon Xin hiding behind the parents (haha).

Hello why so Shy? The kids love to sing with gusto at home leh.
Kids, nevermind if people laugh at us, or if we act the fool.

As long as you believe in yourself, we can overcome many hurdles and reach new milestones. We must at least Try and give our Best Effort 🙂

We woke up to Day 2 and diy our Breakfast, Pasta and spaghetti.

Then it was Challenge Hourglass, the tall structure which will validate our team-building skills.

High elements brought many of us out of our comfort zone. The kids handled their fears better than me, and that made me so proud!

 

To be honest, my heart would miss a beat if I should witness my child slip and dangle on his or her harness! How do I save him when I myself am scared?

But it was precisely these “dangerous” moments when we learn to trust each other, and grew a bit more confident so that that we can overcome our own fears. “We can do this!”

One week after our camp and climb experience, Boon Xin told Mom she wanted to go back Sentosa and climb again!

I was beaming as the Mrs told me girl’s wish. This is considered weird, as Xin was terrified up in the Tower, holding onto me tightly.

Either Boon Xin really enjoyed her death-defying stunts, or she is confident that Daddy will always be there to support her.

We had to coax her multiple times before she join us up the Tower. I did promised her that she can opt out at the first Cage. She hesitated for a long while before deciding to exit.

I was so happy that Boon Xin trusted me and climb the first layer with me, she even calm herself down to wefie 🙂  #OneProudDadMoment

Girl, hold on to my hand. Daddy will support you.

As we go round and round the Hourglass, look up and you will see Uncle Kelvin 🙂

 

A moment’s breather, before we face the rock wall. Actually we had to skip a few obstacles due to impending rain (lucky me haha).

 

As we climbed higher, it gets more challenging. Some obstacles can only be overcome with teamwork. HATE the swingings of the tyres or the planks!

I am very proud of my boys, they both went beyond their own fears and followed me up the structure. In fact, Boon Wee (no1) even surpassed me in conquering more obstacles!

I was most worried about Boon Yee (no3) as I could only take care of Boon Xin (no4). Boon Wee the older sibling tried his best to guide Yee along.

Kids displayed determination and independence across the obstacles. Step by step, swing by swing, we cleared another hurdle.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp, splendid view from top of Hourglass

 

Celebrate every stage with a photo. Felt so proud of Kids’ achievement,

At 25m, no matter how prepared you are, or how good are the coaches, you will be the only one leaping off, ALONE! Pardon me if I was shaking too much.

Video (Youtube link) : Para Jumping off the 25m platform is optional. I needed coach Deep to push me off the ledge.

The panoramic view can only distract our  attention for a while.

To be honest, my mind was blank standing at the edge of the para jump. My legs felt so heavy and I had to ask coach Deep to pushed me off :p

Comparing the jump to our ascend up the tower, the JUMP effort (or fear factor) is only 3 to 5% of overall fear.

 

Back on ground, after some Hi5 and packing, we were ready for lunch. As it was Mother’s Day weekend, we got to enjoy an extra cake with our Moms and spouses 🙂

Kudos to the bunch of Instructors! (Deep, Kannan, Wan, Irwin, Erwan, Sidek).

These chaps really exceeded our expectations and brought the participants along for an entertaining 2D1N of activities.

Ultimate Challenge! Camp declared Mission success 🙂

When it come to facing our own fears, everyone had their own kryptonite. Some hate Heights, some do not like to socialise, and some do not like to “perform”. My kids are shy and refuse to sing or dance along haha. They were so malu (embarrassed) to perform infront of a stage.

That’s when parents and peers step in to encourage each other to step out of our comfort zone.

Again, kudos to the Fun (and super Game) participants and coaches, you guys really make our 2D1N stay memorable!

Image Credit Cheekiemonkies

Para Jump: Participants need to be above 40kg in order to enjoy 1.5s of Free Fall. May you and your family achieve new milestones together too 🙂

Para jump Sentosa

Thank you Focus Adventure and Cheekiemonkies for the FUN and challenging invite. More Fun photos uploaded on our Fanpage album.

Camping In Singapore, Pasir Ris Park

Camping In Singapore was a new milestone for us.

2D1N at Pasir Ris Park, and the packing activities started one night before.
As first timers, we did not want to forget something, so we brought everything out except the sink :p

Our camping barang barang. Besides the camping equipment, we packed in SPORTs too. Bikes, skateboard and soccer 🙂

Camping site secured, goods unloaded. We got two bikes and a skateboard for our supply runs (water and snacks).

Do a quick sweep for debris or broken glass, ensure you are not under coconut tree’s kill-zone!

Before we venture further, you need to register your camping interest at Nparks website (and get the AXS receipt) beforehand. Registration is free.

Once you arrive in designated “Area 1”, and identify your choice spot, proceed to setup camp.

1)Pull the four corner

2) Slide in the rods diagonally, more hands work faster.

3) The rods-intersection at the top (roof) will meet at 90 degrees, ensure a good knot so tent will not deform. We hold all four corners and bend the rods towards the ground (ready to be hammered in).

4) Knock the pins into the ground (with mallet or shoe) to secure the four corners. It can be windy and we do not want our tent to fly away.

5) Tata, our camping tent completed! The final step is to cover our roof with a “rain fly” shelter (blue colour), in case it rains.

We took 30 min to setup our camp and 15 min to pump the air beds.

Camping In Singapore

Time for some fun sports activities. Add Kites, swimming or hammock for more options. Waterbombs anyone? We spotted some otters too.

Meanwhile, Daddy took a short nap on his comfy sofa 🙂
I jokingly told the kids we had to rotate sentry duty.

Our camping furniture, the 4-legged seat is much more comfortable than the tripod seat. Mosquito coil and headlamp is a must, get an overhead lamp (30W should be bright enough) which can provide illumination from the roof.

Handphone’s flash light might be too glaring.

Our 8 men tent is spacious for our whole family. Enough legroom for 1.8m Daddy too 🙂
We would recommend a layer of tarmac for additional cushioning against rough floor, and perhaps protection against small rain. Have a small mat in front of entrance so kids will not bring sand into the tent.

Airbed is a must (not optional) if you are no longer a teenager, or unless you like the sensation of pricky mimosa or pebbles along your spine!

Toilet and shower facilities. We are in Singapore, so a lot of our creature comforts are readily available, including 4G, food and sanitation.

No wonder some say camping in Singapore is Glamping (Glamour + camp) hee hee.

Our zhi char (煮炒) dinner, delicious chicken wings to sweeten our virgin camping experience.

Surprisingly, the humble Maggi was the highlight for our camping trip. We did not BBQ this round, so a mini “campfire” with army-style mesh-tins got the kids excited!

Yummy Maggi and hotdogs, kids are glutton, blame it on all the nice food 🙂

Hope they do not assume all camping experience are always so “luxurious”, I will only pack sardines and jam+ bread for them next time.

大舅 visited us and brought durian supper haha, muffins from our lunch.

 

YEAH, our camp experience was a major success, securing 90% satisfaction from 5 out of 6 campers. (Shall not let you know who is less enthusiastic about outdoor camping)

Most of us love the GREAT Outdoor and Freedom!

No3 Yee still wish to zen out the morning chill.

Packing up, Pasir Ris Park is still very quiet, with the occasional joggers and cyclists.

 

Thumbs up for our camping experience,  I hope there will be many more “staycations” soon.

Video (Youtube link) : Teamwork 分工合作, we get everything done faster

Additional tips for Camping In Singapore :

– Number 1 rule, do not litter.
– Number 2, do not eat or fart inside the tent

– You can grab most of your camping needs at Decathlon, Beach Road or Winning.

– Camping cost (estimated): $125 8man camp, x1 Airbed $25, Pump $13

– If camping at Pasir Ris Park Area 1, nearest carpark is “Car Park A”  (GPS 1.379728, 103.959770). Car park rate 2230 to 0630 maximum $4, $0.50 per half hour other timings.

– Bring a trolley to cart your heavy baggage and equipment along

– Our staycation was too warm overnight, perhaps we should face the tent-opening towards the sea for additional breeze. Add 3 to 4 usb fans to ventilate the tent.

– This might be common sense, pitch in daylight and under shade. It will be challenging in low light to find the strings, hooks and alignment.

– #CommonSenseToo, ensure tent-opening facing away from BBQ fumes

– Go easy on the tent’s zip and anti-insect mesh, kids might pull too hard and jam the zippers

– Organise the Tent interior, food, toys, beds so everyone know where to find their stuffs. We would recommend phones and chargers to be kept in those waterproof 10l duffel bag (in case in rains at night)

– For security reason, adults should sleep nearest to tent entrance. In case someone goes to the wrong tent or kids sleep-walk or someone thought your bikes are OFO or Obike.

– Families might like to camp within 10 minutes walk to toilets, in case you need the loo at 3am

– Bring your camping permit with you, in case Police spot checks.
– Standby socks and pants or spare blanket in case weather turns cold

– Light sleeper bring ear plugs along. We were entertained by Aloha’s Karaoke till 2am and overly friendly (and loud neighbours) who were fishing till 3am!

– Wake up earlier the next day (like 5.45am) to catch a glorious sunrise

** Camping and hiking list for your reference.

 

First timers will struggle to setup a tent, it is not intuitive for me and there are no user manual.  You might take up to 60 minutes for first setup.

We had to hone our pitching skills at a Sengkang knoll before we went LIVE at Pasir Ris :p

Camping had not cross our mind earlier, until we saw Tan family’s camping village! (read here and their helpful FAQs here). Hope to join them one day 🙂

– Pop by our first camping experience at White Sands shopping mall here
– More photos uploaded on Facebook album
– Instagram itinerary hashtag #skbCamping

Camping In Singapore is a FUN experience for our whole family. We would like to try camping at East Coast Park or Sentosa (available during 2017 Mar holidays) next.

Daddy Child bonding at Dads Adventure Hub

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Last weekend was a memorable day for me and Boon Yee (no3) at Dads Adventure Hub. We had signed up for a one-day Adventure Camp with Dad, organised by Centre for Fathering.

Daddy and son got to understand each other better through Rockwall climbing, Dark-maze, high elements and a (charred) BBQ dinner.

Daddy Child bonding
Daddy Child bonding

Our playground, Dads Adventure Hub at the Tennery (Junction 10). We heard this “playground” is sponsored by Far East Organisation, the indoor facility meant families can enjoy the activities 365 days, regardless of inclement weather.

After a few rounds of ice-breaking games. We got to know the other parent-child grouping better.

Ice breaking was designed for Daddy to know more about his child too. It was embarrassing that I did not know the name for Boon Yee’s best friend and form teacher.

Our instructor gave the analogy of a lost-child, if the parent cannot tell Police or School the child’s class, teacher, best friend, or hangouts. It would be harder to conduct a search.

Let me go through some of the FUN, and confidence-building activities at Dads Adventure Hub.

I got to admit, some moments were nerve-wrecking, especially when my 28kg Boon Yee belayered me (75kg) up the Rock WALL!

Dads Adventure Hub
Rock climbing Dad and son

Yee : ” Daddy, Sit on Harness, Lowering!”

1) I am not the only Dad who had doubts when your child ask you to “Sit on harness” and crew gets ready to lower you. In my mind, I was thinking “ARE YOU SURE? ARE YOU READY? ” in between perspiration!

You should see the Dads’ faces when they touch the floor.
** Relieved and Pride! ** 

Dilemma for some of us. We want our kids to be confident lads, but when we saw the little ones struggling with the rope (literally), and Dads dangling 5 metres up (cough)…

On the other hand, I need to try very hard to conceal my own fears, and instead give my boy a broad smile and thumbs-up.  It is optional but highly encouraged to shout “Good Job Boy!” haha.

I guess we parents sometimes over-protect our kids too. Or we like to underestimate (undermine) the child’s ability.

(Disclaimer– Do not start asking your child to diy-belayer you, we had safety officers and assistant belayers at Dads Adventure Hub to make sure everyone go back in one piece)

The kids generally had problems beyalering, due to their smaller sizes haha. As the Dads descended, kids started to float and harness would made their crotch uncomfortable ooops.

Photo below proved that we can always rely on our family and community to stand by us. (Hello Winston from http://blogfather.sg)

To be fair, I had belayered Boon Yee up too, my adventurous boy loved the climbing and dangling experience.

2) We both love the Dark Maze. It was so dark we could not see our fingers. The illustration below is not drawn to scale or even correct orientation, but it does highlight us as guinea pigs crawling through a series of obstacles before we found the exit.

Tunneling in pitch dark zone, “swimming” under thousands of balls, and gingerly feeling our way forward, upward. The kind Organiser even  planted some SLOPES for Daddy and child to roll-over!

Under such dire circumstances, Daddy and child had to rely on each other’s judgement and navigational sense.

Daddy empowering their child to Lead the way. In life, we would not have an answer for everything, sometimes we just need to TRUST our kids’ judgement to make their own decision.
.

Boon Yee’s summary says it all. Teamwork!
Be it Right or Wrong turn, we can learn from our experience.

3) If high elements are too easy, we can always blindfold the child. The child would need to have complete faith in his parent to guide him across the obstacles.

Dad : “Son, grab the rope infront, stride your leg to reach the other plank, balance yourself etc etc. This was definitely a challenge for kids and adults alike!

Boon Yee struggled initially, but once he got comfortable (and confident) with my instructions, he was able to navigate through the obstacles without any mishaps.

If we fall, just pick ourselves up again.

I gave him some confidence booster before we embarked on our course.  I hope I managed to convince Boon Yee that he can count on me and family for guidance and support.

Dads Adventure Hub

4) Hello Wake UP! Our sausages burnt already. Poor boy is tired after a whole day of activities.

JOKING, our chicken wings were burnt to a charcoal crisp too! The fault was mine (not Ah Yee’s) as I sucks at BBQ. I always manage to overcook my food #DaddyCannotCook hee hee.

In Life, the path ahead might not always be smooth, but we have to put in our best efforts!

Nevertheless BBQ was fun, give us credit for trying our best. I did remove the charred skin before sharing the otah, wings and sausages with boy.

 

At the end of the session, parents had to expressed their affirmation for our child. I am always impressed with Boon Yee’s Big Heart and ability to forgive 🙂

My Son Boon Yee, I love you.

 

A big shoutout to the friendly instructors and fellow Daddy child kakis.
You guys made my Saturday a memorable one 🙂

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

On a side note, Boon Yee made me a proud Dad recently. He joined me for a simple run, but I enjoyed his companionship tremendously.

My only wish for my kids is for them to be Happy.
If they are Happy, I am Happy 🙂

 

If you are looking for a way to bond with your child (in a structured manner), I hope you will find Adventure Camp with Dad challenging and fun.

I did not cover some of the events and activities, as I believed some suspense would be good for you to explore with child 🙂

Check out some other bonding activities with my boys.
– Boon Kang Farm stay 3D2N (at Koref)
– Our hiking explorations
Taman Negara exploration with Boon Wee