City Harvest Children’s Church kids had a great time at an overnight camp at the Bird Park.
By Dawn Seow
Going to the Jurong Bird Park may not be a big deal for the average Singapore kid, but for this group of children, it was a most unusual experience: they spent a night with the birds in Asia’s largest bird park.
The afternoon of Nov.19 saw 29 excited children from City Harvest Children’s Church waiting eagerly at the gate of the Jurong Bird Park. Besides the element of fun, the camp also aimed to teach the children how avian keepers and veterinarians work together to keep the 4,600 birds in the Park in the pink of health. The children were taken on an experiential tour that explained the different adaptations of birds, interesting amazing facts about our feathered friends, and how they could do their part for wildlife conservation.
Fang Xinwei, the program organizer of the camp said, “We planned this event because we wanted to have a holistic program where our children get to learn about birds in an up-close and personal way. On top of that, we wanted our children to get to know friends who are not from the worship services they attend.”
The children spent the afternoon touring the park in the Aquatic Birds and Lory Loft Flight Aviary Guided Tour, learning about birds that are found near or in water, as well as the chatty parrots.
Jurong Bird Park is the only park in Asia with an in-house Avian Hospital. In a specially-arranged tour to this hospital, the children learned what happens when birds fall sick and what the recuperation process is like. Xavier Chee, 8, was fascinated with the injured birds he saw at the hospital. “There was a duck in the hospital undergoing a check-up because she couldn’t lay eggs.”
The most memorable part of the overnight Bird Camp was definitely the Night Confidence Walk–at least according this young man. The walk paired the children up and they had to brave through the dark paths in the Bird Park lit only by light sticks. Being a brave little boy, Chee said that he was not afraid during the walk, and it was quite enjoyable. “I could sense a lot of birds flying past. Some of them were sleeping and I could hear them snore.”
As for 10-year-old, Nicole Soh, she remembered walking past the Birds of Prey, where she could hear the sounds made by the birds, and the African Waterfall Aviary. “I felt a little scared in the beginning, so I prayed. After praying, I felt better and could enjoy the night walk!” she said.
At the end of the adventurous day, the children retreated to the Penguin Coast for the last highlight of the day: a sleepover with the penguins. As they snuggled into their self-built tents, each of them went to sleep with a smile on their faces.