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Welcome on Board!

Boarding Orientation Activities

Written By
Caitlyn Anne Tan
Secondary 4, Individual Programme (Artistic Swimming)

Faithe Odelia de Souza
Secondary 4, Shooting Academy
(both Boarding Captains)

The planning of the Boarding Orientation activities by the Boarding Captains started as early as November last year (2021), at the three-day Student Leaders Training Workshop planned by the school’s Student Leadership team. The Secondary 1 student-athletes checked into Boarding on 3 January 2022, and the Boarding Orientation Games took place on 3 and 4 January 2022.

On Day 1 of the Boarding Orientation Games, four Boarding Groups split into different locations. The main aim of the Day 1 games was for the boarders in the same group to get to know one another from the various academies. We divided ourselves into groups of five for safe distancing, and we played a total of three games - Whacko, Bingo and Who did it?

During the Bingo game, boarders were given a piece of paper with 16 questions like ‘Find someone whose birthday is in February’. Boarders will then be given five minutes to go around their group and find different people who match the questions and write down their names. This allowed Boarders to know each other’s names which is always the start to a new friendship. At the end of 5 minutes, those boarders who did not manage to complete all 16 questions were asked to draw out a forfeit from the forfeit box. I was glad to see everyone having lots of fun and getting to bond with their boarding mates.

For Day 2, we curated a Scavenger Hunt game for the Secondary 1s. 57 Secondary 1 boarders were split into teams, and each team was led by a Boarding Captain who played the role of an Orientation Group Leader (OGL). The main aim of the Scavenger Hunt was to familiarise the new boarders with the facilities around Boarding, such as the sickbay, laundromat and “The Chill Connection” (TCC). There were five locations that they had to discover and find from the clues we gave them. For example, the game played outside the Laundromat room is called “Know your clothes”. Each team would choose one of their members to be blindfolded while the others would direct and instruct their teammate to collect the clothing items on the laundry list. The new boarders also learnt to change their bedsheets and make their beds from the “Speed Bed-making” game. Most of the games were designed to relate to a boarder’s daily life like sending laundry for wash and making their beds in their rooms.

“Personally, I enjoyed both the planning with my team and being an OGL on the actual day of execution. Watching the fellow juniors in my team put on their thinking cap to figure out the different places mentioned in the clues, really made the long days of planning worth it. I found the Student Leader Training Workshop really useful. We learnt how to plan events and transferred the skills we learned into our planning. One of the key takeaways from the planning of the Orientation was how important communication is and how it can affect how things turn out in the end.”

“The game ‘Don’t Spill’ held at the indoor track was my personal favourite. The teams had to transfer water from a big pail to a one-litre bottle by using a plastic cup that had small holes at the bottom and on the sides. As I was watching the Secondary 1 student-athletes play, I could see their creativity come to life as they came up with different ways to transfer as much water to the bottle without spilling. Some of them started using their hands to transfer the water instead of using the cup with holes in it. The workshop taught us to lead the Secondary 1 boarders in the games and how to prepare for any problems that may occur during the Orientation. My role during the Orientation was to be an OGL, it was my first time being an OGL and it was an amazing experience. I got to know the Secondary 1 boarders from other academies and it was a thrill to see them having so much fun.

One key takeaway from this experience was the day of check-in. I got to welcome the Secondary 1 boarders and guide them to their respective rooms. I also got to have a chat with the parents as many of them were feeling stressed out about leaving their kids. I have learnt many things during this Orientation Programme and although it was an emotional rollercoaster planning it, on the day of the Orientation, I knew it was worth everyone’s blood, sweat and tears when I saw the big smiles and heard the cheerful laughter from the boarders.”

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