3 new campsites to be built by 2032, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

3 new campsites to be built by 2032

Primary and secondary school students will be able to level up their outdoor education from 2032 at three new campsites offering better outdoor facilities and activities, replacing seven campsites that will be closed out of the current eight.

Two of the new sites, Outdoor Adventure Learning Centres (OALCs) at Mandai and Sembawang, will have access to nearby nature reserves and waterways like reservoirs and beaches, which will offer students richer outdoor experiences such as expeditions designed to deepen their understanding of nature.

“This will enhance the capacity and quality of outdoor education, which contributes significantly to the holistic development of students,” the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Feb 23.

The sites will be able to accommodate a greater number of students by utilising land more efficiently, and will include improved infrastructure to support multiple camps simultaneously.

The Mandai campsite will be developed on the site currently occupied by the Mandai Executive Golf Course at Upper Seletar Reservoir after its tenancy expires. It will be able to accommodate larger-scale camps by uniformed groups.

The Sembawang OALC will be developed near the beachfront PAssion Wave @ Sembawang, facilitating water activities like kayaking and canoeing and allowing uniformed groups to participate in land and sea expeditions. 

Details on the third new campsite will be released at a later date.

The enhanced camping experience will instil relevant values like resilience, responsibility and adaptability in students, MOE said.

“These experiences also help to build students’ confidence, enable them to appreciate diversity within a team, and help students develop a strong foundation for active and healthy living.”

Together, the three new campsites and the remaining OALC at Dairy Farm will be able to cater to 100,000 students a year.

Dairy Farm OALC was retained after consideration of schools’ programming needs, and its proximity to surrounding green spaces that support outdoor education activities, said MOE.

The MOE-run OALCs in Changi Coast, Jalan Bahtera and Labrador, as well as four campsites operated by uniformed groups – the Singapore Scout Association, Girl Guides Singapore, Red Cross Youth and the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade – will eventually be returned to the state.

The current campsites meet the needs of about 60 per cent of schools, and some schools have had to rely on holding their camps at their own premises or other locations that were not the designated campsites, both of which are not designed for outdoor adventure learning, MOE said.

The ministry added that the exact locations and development of the new campsites will be guided by environment impact assessments that will start in 2025, including assessing the feasibility of conducting water activities at Mandai OALC.

MOE said it is also consulting with the National Parks Board, the National Environment Agency and PUB, and has also engaged nature groups like Nature Society (Singapore) and Singapore Youth Voices for Biodiversity.