A ‘Hort’ Amazing Race

Braving the blazing heat, 33 Wesley Youth Centre (WYC) children, youth, staff and volunteers enjoyed an outdoor garden adventure on 13 May 2023. The fun excursion at Hort Park concluded Cycle 1 of WYC’s OWL Reading Programme. Youths from the other three programmes (Tuition, Recreation, Park & Play ‘drop-in’) also joined the excursion. It was a heart-warming sight to see the six to14-year-olds befriending one another and actively participating in the day’s activities. Former OWL Reading ‘graduates’ even returned to reconnect with the newer members!

Amazing Race 

Youths and volunteers were divided into three teams based on their age groups. Teams had to locate 10 different plants, trees and structures in Hort Park within 90 minutes—an enriching opportunity to reconnect with nature and develop teamwork and resilience. 

For many, it was their first experience at a gardening and education hub. The youths collaborated to locate the race items. Although some of the items were challenging to find, they never gave up, asking park rangers or reading the park maps for assistance. Some of the children even resorted to calling their friends from the other groups for hints. Not knowing that each group had different tasks, this created some pandemonium amongst themselves. Their efforts eventually paid off when the older group located all the items. You could see their sense of achievement as they learnt more about Singapore’s flora. 

Youths and volunteers on the Amazing Race
Capturing the moment of finding a race item

Belonging and Befriending

Laughter and cheer could be heard during a friendly match between the eight to 10 year old boys after the race. The boys could not bear to miss their daily soccer match, usually played at the playground between  Blocks 25 and 26 Jalan Berseh, next to Wesley Youth Centre. Watching them demonstrate their soccer prowess, a sense of belonging and camaraderie was palpable. The group bonded over their love for soccer and a strong friendship started at WYC. 

WYC youth actively playing soccer

The younger children aged between six to seven years old happily explored the themed playgrounds at Hort Park. Many were  climbing the rope pyramids and bouncing on the seesaws excitedly, encouraged and energised to explore nature with their imagination.

Younger youths bouncing on the seesaw

WYC staff Calvin Fong said, “It was an enlightening and rewarding experience to see the youth, staff and volunteers befriend [one another] and develop strong relationships. Being able to serve at WYC and watch the youth blossom is an enriching journey and I am glad to see the youth feel a sense of belonging over time.”

For over 15 years, WYC has been a familiar sight at blocks 25 and 26 Jalan Berseh. WYC’s mission is “In Christian love, bless and befriend youths and their families”. WYC aims to provide youth with opportunities for leadership and recognition, experiences of friendship and a sense of belonging. WYC has various programmes to develop the children and youths in their physical, social, emotional and cognitive abilities. 

For more information on Wesley Youth Centre and volunteering opportunities, visit WYC webpage

To enquire about WYC, please contact Peter Wong at peterw@wesleymc.org

Photos courtesy of WYC

Read also: Little Candles – a Light of Hope ; An Eggciting Easter at Wesley Youth Centre

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