I like to think I’m a pretty adventurous person – from climbing trees and stemming doorways as a child to caving, hiking and rock climbing as an adult, I always thought that my kids would be the same. It turns out that they are far more like their father than me in this department. Nevertheless, I am working hard to address that.
During a recent trip to Singapore, we took the boys on a Forest Adventure in Bedok…
Courage is not the absence of fear but the willingness to act in spite of it.
The Forest Adventure in Bedok is very much like Sky Trex in Malaysia. It is a tree-top rope course with a series of challenges you need to get through. They have a kids’ course with 16 challenges and a grand course with 34 challenges. Like Sky Trex, you really need to book ahead for this one or you’ll likely miss out.
Even though the boys have been to Sky Trex and Funtopia where there are also rope courses, it is still an experience that forces them out of their comfort zone. Balancing on unsteady structures several meters above the ground is a big step for them and it has taken repeated exposures to help them master their fear. After observing the boys during this trip, I am pleased to say that they made tremendous progress.
G1 was so quick and confident crossing each challenge that it was difficult to recognise him as the boy who once struggled with anything remotely adventurous. He was so keen that he went a second round! I know who will be accompanying me on the Big Adventures when he’s tall and heavy enough to meet the minimum height and weight restrictions!
I used to think that G2 would be my adventure boy. Ever boisterous and eager for excitement, it was confounding to discover that he didn’t quite take to these adventures like a duck to water. He has inherited his father’s acrophobia. Strangely enough, he loves the flying fox but he can’t walk across a wooden plank suspended a couple of meters off the ground. Go figure.
The Forest Adventure in Bedok is a closed loop – once you get on, there is no getting off until you complete the whole course. Or rather, you cannot go back to the start unless everyone else behind you goes back too. In my heart of hearts, I feared that G2 would get scared and want to back out (especially after the way the balked at the Low Ropes in District 21). I convinced myself that we had one adult to each child so we would manage them just fine.
For some unknown reason, the rangers put all the kids together at the front and the adults at the back. The only way we could help the kids was to shout out words of encouragement. I thought it was a recipe for disaster and my fears were proving right when G2 balked on the second challenge. He stood there shaking his head with tears threatening to spill, ignoring all our efforts to motivate him. I was looking over my shoulder, counting the number of people who would have to backtrack to get him off the course. When I looked back at him, he had bridled his fear sufficiently to step out onto the swinging foot board. He completely blew me away with his willingness to persevere through to the end.
What was his real motivation? I suspect that the secret to his success was his friend who went ahead of him. Even though she was also terrified, she, too, overcame her fear and pushed through to the end.
Even my biggest boy, DH did well that day. DH is an acrophobic and this course was way more challenging than the junior course at Sky Trex. The challenges with the wobbly footing are the ones that incite the greatest fear and he blazed through them like a champ!
Perhaps there is hope for my city boys after all…
More Activities in Singapore
There are loads of other Sights and Sounds in Singapore. Here are a few more that we’ve visited before: