Dads for Life (DFL) Camp 2018 was a highlight in the nation-wide Celebrating Fathers movement to recognise the important role fathers play in their families and to encourage active fatherhood. 200 father-child pairs participated in the fun-filled, sports-themed camp which began in the afternoon of 16 June and ended in the morning of 17 June –Father’s Day!
Coinciding with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the overnight camp was filled with activities to facilitate father-child interaction and conversation. These included the national launch of the DFL Family Trail @ Kallang on the Locomole App; a Parkour Challenge; friendly futsal matches between the DFL Football Team, guests, and celebrities; as well as ‘LIVE’ screening of World Cup matches.
Singapore Sports Hub was the venue sponsor for the action-packed, annual two-day programme organised by Centre for Fathering-Dads for Life (CFF-DFL) in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement, Kallang Wave Mall, and Old Chang Kee. The camp was also made possible by its official insurance sponsor, Etiqa Insurance.
Treasure Family Bonds
At 3pm, Guest of Honour, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, MP for Mountbatten and Deputy Speaker for Parliament, kicked off the camp activities at the OCBC Square, encouraging dads to cherish their time with the children as the father and child bond cannot be measured. “It [the bond} is a treasure…enjoy that treasure,” he said.
As the DFL Family Trail @ Kallang went ‘LIVE’ at 4pm, campers set off in teams to discover heritage landmarks around the Singapore Sports Hub. Co-designed by Singapore Management University students and Locomole, the interactive mobile trail allows dads and kids to bond over games and photo moments through the use of augmented reality.
It boasts location-based technology to enhance their experience of exploring an area, as well as a “To Do” feature tailored for them to chat, take photographs/videos, and share on Social Media.
A Much Anticipated Camp!
Mr David Sim was glad to be at DFL Camp 2018 with his daughter, Dana Joy. “I have been looking forward to this for a while. Last year, I signed up for it but fell ill the night before. This year we are here!” He appreciated that the trail and App prompted conversations through questions such as: “What do think about your family?” and “What are three words to describe your family?”
“This is useful, as I seldom have a chance to stop and think about these things,” he explained.
Inspiring Dads to Impart Life Skills
Designed to inspire dads to communicate with their children and impart life skills through value-based learning, the trail gets them to discover sporting experiences and fun activities together, and redeem reward coupons to enjoy special offers. Tackling the trail in teams, campers can also start friendships and build a parenting support network.
All the teams took on a Parkour Challenge at one of three destinations along the trail. David’s team had a good time at their Parkour pit stop. “We got to watch our fathers ‘suffer’ through the exercises,” said Dana Joy, tongue-in-cheek. The jolly, buoyant and humorous group took delight in posing for a snapshot that depicted the dads as exhausted, having survived the trail and tasks. The team members’ ability to laugh at themselves was contagious.
Uplifting Moments and Memories
At dusk, dads and their children relished the rare chance of a night out in the National Stadium, nestled in cosy tents along the inner perimeter of the track on the 100 Plus Promenade. Casting their eyes to the horizon at dinner time, they were treated to Singapore Airforce jets and helicopters zooming past, practising for the National Day Parade. The serendipity of catching the uplifting aerial spectacle was merely a bonus to their day chock-full of adventure-learning activities.
Father-child bonding activities abound even after the sun went down. Some ventured into Kallang Wave Mall to use vouchers they had received at the camp, while others remained in their tents to chat.
Enjoying Each Other’s Company
Mr Lim Chong Wei and son, Caleb, popped into a shop called Saint Game to try out the Lego Indiana Jones game on the Xbox. “We played as a pair to solve puzzles and complete quests, ‘failing miserably’ at it despite ‘helping’ each other out. It was our first time, so we simply enjoyed the process and did not focus on completing the tasks,” said Chong Wei.
They also caught a ‘LIVE’ World Cup match on the large screen set up at the OCBC Square, as part of Singapore Sports Hub’s Festival of Football. It was a night to remember. “My favourite part of the camp was pitching the tent with my dad and trying to sleep outdoors for the first time,” said Caleb.
At dawn, everyone arose for lively morning exercises and a scrumptious breakfast before breaking camp at 9am. Full of energy, they returned to the OCBC Square, joining the 10,000 crowd that turned up for Dad’s Day Out to celebrate Father’s Day with myriad family-centred activities.