Our family’s First camping experience

[ Sponsored ]

Our first camping experience. This is a dry run for many more camps to come 🙂

I have a dream.
One day, I wish to bring the kids hiking (read our hiking journeys) followed by camping.
Imagine waking up in the forest, near to a valley or waterfall, watching the sun rise together.

Dreams start small, and when we saw White Sands’ Urban Camping invite, we quickly jump on the “urban” adventure. The itinerary sounds Fun!
White Sands - September Outdoor Fun

Camp site was next to White Sands at Pasir Ris, which easily accommodate 60 tents and above. This is not your usual campsite like Pasir Ris or East Coast 🙂
Camp setup under the hot sun! Work faster and we can hide in the shade. We brought our own 8-men tent, which is slightly bigger than our neighbours’ haha.
setting up a camp

We will share our camping shopping list and recommendation in the next camping post (happening very soon!)

Last weekend’s Urban Camping package was $50, but first 50 signups got to bring back the 4-men tent worth $49.90 too.
We heard the package was sold out 🙂
white sands Urban campers

Tent interior, ours is a 8-men tent from Winning (about $110). We got 3 airbeds, I was not prepared to sleep on the tent material and feel the mimosa underneath haha (unless I am in No4).

We would recommend a tarmac (the blue lining) as it provides another layer of protection for your soles, and against drizzles (or urine).
camping tips

Be Prepared, Scout’s motto. Not only camp fire, but character building, independence and more.
I tried to influence the kids to join the scouts, but they need more motivation.

The scouts were running around helping the campers setup their tents or start their BBQ fire. Thank you!
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping4

One of our first challenges was orienteering. We can navigate without a compass, seek out the scouts and shopping directory for the next clue, navigate White Sands Mall tenants to complete our puzzle.
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping3

This was a great opportunity for the kids to figure out the clues themselves, I just took photos :p
When we work as a team, nothing is impossible.
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping2

Never mind small or big fire, we learn how to use fire starter and charcoal. Scouts were on hand to help families 🙂
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping8

Once kids know how to sustain the fire, they took turn to flip the food to prevent overcook.
We saw many families helping out with each other, sharing “charcoal” or even chairs and tables.
Strangers become friends, I love the community atmosphere 🙂

Our dinner taste especially nice, knowing how much effort and smoke we had to endure haha.
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping7

Barbeque is fun, once the fire starts. Mommy and Boon Xin joined us halfway after their shopping trip 🙂

Our BBQ dinner (fishball, crab, chicken wings etc) were all inclusive in the “Urban Camping” package (sponsored by Gurney Drive). What a steal!
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping5

Looks good right! Although we got some burn chicken wings and sausages, the overall experience was Fun and a good learning opportunity.
family bbq experience

Luckily, we did not send our ham, sausage and fishballs to the cook-off competition (another camping activity). Other teams got prawn and fish, too elaborate and delicious!
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping9

Looking at the crowd and enterprising families, I would say White Sands’ Urban Camping campaign was a roaring success!
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping6
white sands camping

(Last activity before we sleep)

Night walk to Pasir Ris Park (end point was supposed to be beach) but we had a quick detour and headed back. Too short, and too bright 🙂
Perhaps the kids in our group are still too young.

You might notice that participants can park their cars next to the camp site, and we got to shower at Pasir Ris Sports Complex.
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping14

No stars, as Singapore is normally too bright (light pollution), but we play aeroplane chess and read some books. Light sleepers will have problem dozing off as campers sleep late, and we could still hear kids running around near 11pm.
white sands camping photos

The unseen volunteers and scouts. Thank you for making everything works! Many campers are first timers, your assistance helped us to settle down quickly. My kids are definitely keen to explore more campings in the future 🙂
export 20160903 04 Pasir Ris Urban camping11

Good Morning, Starbucks and sandwiches await 🙂
We woke up around 0630, clear our bladder and prepare to dismantle our tent.

This is too good to be true, I need to remind kids that real camping are more hands-on and need to spread our own kaya 🙂

With this camping experience, we are ready to venture further.
3D2N might be a stretch, some will miss their smelly pillows, but I am confident there will be less resistance if I broach another Camping outing 🙂

Thank you White Sands and Singapore Scouts for the fun event!
Families who are considering camping, but concerned about amenities would love Urban Camping’s concept (hey 7-11 is just 50m away hee hee).

Do look out for future holiday events from White Sands on their website.

We would recommend you to pop by “Tan Family Chronicles” camping post too. They inspired us to go camping and enjoy the great outdoors.

*More camping photos uploaded on our Fanpage album.

Olive backed sunbirds so cute!

A pair of “Olive backed sunbird” has decided to build their nest right outside our corridor!
讲鸟话 has double meaning in our household (literally bird-talk, I cannot use TCSS as a bit crude for kids haha).

The past few weeks have been an amazing journey as we watch our tenants build and nurture their family.
Olive back sunbird nest

(Above photo taken 2 days ago)
We suspect the chicks are only 4 or 5 days old, we had heard some soft chirps from the nest.
Wow, not one but two chicks!
The weaker one is always in the shadow. The alpha will always pop out when it sensed food is around.

They grow fast, are always hungry (and getting noisier haha), and we heard the chicks will fly off in 3 to 4 weeks time.

(Two weeks earlier)
Mummy Bird was patiently incubating day in day out, she only flew off occasionally to feed. She was so tactical we only realised her “camping” after two days.
Olive back sunbird chicks

We were so impressed that we gave our tenants a hashtag #skb小鸟 (skb = SengKangBabies). Follow us on our Instagram for the latest bird story.
Olive backed sunbird

(Roughly 4 weeks ago)
We woke up to find the nest on the floor! We felt so sorry for the hardworking birds, I quickly improvised and tie the nest back to a sturdier stem. We waited and waited, the couple came back to inspect and certify the nest after 3 days.

(Research told us that it is common for Olive backed sunbirds to leave their nest alone up to 7 days after completion)

Problem was our nest dropped and was never really completed, it is smaller than usual. Feels like a 5-room to 3-room downsize, and we are worried the chicks will have lesser space to manoeuver.

Hardworking Mum multitasking, from building nest to incubating to feeding and now bodyguard.
Olive back sunbird photos

We suspect they are borrowing twigs, barks and souvenirs from neighbours pots and plants haha 🙂
Is that tissue paper for the inner lining? Quite elaborate and intrinsic, a masterpiece of a nest.

(Video taken 5 weeks ago)
Please watch the amazing nest builder in action, (Video Link) : Busy Olive Backed Sunbird parent building nest

(03 March 2016)
And this was how it all started, we first spotted this handsome bird outside our corridor. It got accustomed to us and started weaving. We found it unbelievable for a bird to settle so close to us, what a good learning opportunity and experience for kids.

Did some image research and realised this is the Olive Backed sunbird, the one with blue chest is male. This species of birds are very common in South East Asia. (Female only yellow)
bird corridor

Our little bird story continues, and we hope generations of Olive Backed sunbirds will recycle our humble nest.
Interested in birds, checkout BESG blog 🙂

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
* Updated 2016 Apr 15 (Video link)

0.20 – house keeping yucks!
0.40 – Fledging, stretch
1.01 – hummingbird-like hovering!

*Update 2017 Mar Season 2 link **