10 things to do in Singapore in Forest School style

With the growing awareness of forest school and its style of learning in Singapore, Coach Darren’s Forest School Singapore present to you, a list of the little things we could do in Singapore, that allow us a glimpse into the forest school methodology of learning and experience.

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1. Climb a steep hill (Find one you are comfortable, that you know you will not roll down upon tumbling. Tips: Fall forward at all times during the climb, Sit down if you lose balance during the descent)

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2. Carve some wood sticks with a sheath (Sheath is basically a knife. The therapeutic feeling of having little wood pieces shave off the sticks, like losing the pressures of life from a long day. The blister at the end of it, gives so much pride as human)

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3. Build a den using just the material around you (You may wonder whether this require Bear Grylls survival skill, but honestly, it isnt so complex. All you need to do, is be creative, think out of the box, and try. The first attempt definitely looks more like a den for cats then human. But make sure you have fun.)

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4. Explore a park unrestricted (Warning – Will be judged for going into the un-trek path. Now the trick here, is to watch for path within the forest, that look like it has been walked on, usually those are safer to explore compared to the adventurous routes that require my magic machete)

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5. Throw stones you pick up as you walk (The sensation from this action is pretty therapeutic, feels like we are letting go of the burden in life, while moving forward with some Hmph and Pump. I found out about this from imitating my children in the woods, especially the hyper kids. Love them)

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6. Jump into puddles of water and mud (“The mud is dirty”…. This line, gotta change. We are  in the world now, that our keyboard has more germs and bacteria then the toilet. So for mud to be dirty, I dont think so. Mud and puddles of water along the greens, are there usually for less than a day, Singapore is so Hot… AHHHH, water “boil” off so easily, there is no chance for stagnant water in the greens, enjoy the splash and craziness in it)

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7. Come to a decision together, without a single person feeling compromise (Sounds easy, but this is probably one of the toughest thing to do, because of the last part, WITHOUT A SINGLE PERSON FEELING COMPROMISE. Most group decision, happen by compromising the group of people who doesn’t has as much power, but to make a consensual decision with no compromise is how we empathize and understand others concern)

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8. Start a campfire with just the items around you. (Maybe with some matches at most, the sensation of staring into the fire that you start, with the help of mother nature, makes one feel alive.)

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9. Stalk an animal to observe how they behave (Instead of social media stalking, why not go around the neighborhood following a cat or some monitor lizard, reliving childhood once more. Oh you can also revise your hunter instincts, for what purpose however depends on you =)

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10. Sit in a circle. Listen and Share your thoughts, without putting any shared thoughts down. (This is not a group therapy session, but a sincere sharing of thoughts, feelings, without Judgement, tough as it sounds, it actually just require one brute to discipline and hold down, the fast mouth who are quick to judge, give it a shot, find someone to role play the brute, and have a go =)

Forest School Training – Snowy Sentiments

Two weeks ago, Coach Darren LLP sent Coach Darren to Sheffield, UK to attend Archimedes Forest School Education’s, Forest School Practitioner Training Open Award Level 3, it is a recognise practitioner certification to practice and lead forest school session in UK. In this, Forest School Training Series, we catch a glimpse of the activities and experience, that Coach Darren had, during the 5 days training.

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Coach Darren – Snowy Sentiments

On the 2nd day of the course, myself and 4 of my classmates who stayed over in the log cabin, woke up to get ready for class at 9.00am. I settled into class, and started reading on the portfolio that was given for all of us, to prepare ourselves to be great forest school practitioner.

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The morning begins with a reflection for everyone, our instructor told us to go around the woods at the back of the log cabin, pick up stuff we like from the ground, and build ourselves something to represent our reflection for Day 1. It can be our feelings, our thoughts, what we learn, what we do, or what this journey means to me… Anything. As long as it comes from ourselves. Many of us shared about the things we learnt, some of us decide to share about our feelings (sentimental here), some of us share about our vision and journey. I shared about the feeling of journeying there from SG, feeling lonely, but embraced within the forest school community there, and feeling home. And how that will energise my journey back to Asia to start the Forest School Movement.

 


Then we went on to learn about tools and the forest school methodology, experience in a weather, that kind of look like its going to snow again. The wind was blowing a little hard, the chills begin to kick in. So we move ourselves into a hut, and continue our learning and sharing. Everyone chip in with our perspective and experience with children and the woods. It felt so right.

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Shaky camera caused by the wind (And yes my shivering arm)

We made our way back to the classroom to warm ourselves up and do lunch, before we head out once more to learn how to tie knots that hold under tension and releases easily, as well as a pulley kind of knot that holds well for pitching up tents in between 2 trees. We find ourselves tying knots and pitching tents in the snow gradually, this time the snow came down a lot, we even had a small bout of snow “ball” fight. Hahaha. It was crazy cool and absolutely amazing for me at the moment.
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We capped the day off with our one last tool, the billhook. We learnt to split wood using that tool and a hard wood to knock on the top of the blade. We had quite a good bit of laugh and fun there, trying out the billhook, splitting our wood. My group laugh a little too much, cos we ended up the last of the lot to end the day.

 

 

The class ended, and we kind of kick back and relax (those few of us who stayed over in the cabin), while the rest braved the weather to return home. The weather can really sap lots of energy out of everyone. A good cup of tea can really warm up the spirit and mind in those weather. After dinner (Tea – in Manchester lingo), we kind of hangout a little while together, getting to know each other, haha. But there are some tinge of silence and slow warming up there from everyone. But I still feel home =) It was warm (Though snowing)

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Coming up …… DAY 3