NOTES and Admin Instructions
Walking with Nature at SOTA Leafmonkey Workshop

14-16 May 2014 (Wed-Fri) 7-10 pm

at SOTA, School of the Arts, Level 5 classrooms

You CAN make a difference!

Sign up for guided walks or join as a nature volunteer at these links’


General links to nature guiding

General nature guiding techniques on wildsingapore

Don’t be THAT guide (Reflections on guiding) by Sean Yap on his blog



14 May (Wed)

6.30 pm: Registration. View books, games, specimens and other guiding ‘tools’.

7.00 pm: Introduction

7.30 pm: Mangroves and marine by Ria, followed by Q&A

8.30 pm: Workshop activities:

10.00 pm: My Pledge for Nature and networking

10.30 pm: End of workshop

Mangrove and marine issues

Online mangrove guides

Marine factsheets, resources and marine issues in Singapore


15 May (Thu)

6.30 pm: Registration. View books, games, specimens and other guiding ‘tools’.

7.00 pm: Introduction

7.30 pm: Forests by Vilma, followed by Q&A

8.30 pm: Workshop activities:

10.00 pm: My Pledge for Nature and networking

10.30 pm: End of workshop

Relevant links


16 May (Fri)

6.30 pm: Registration. View books, games, specimens and other guiding ‘tools’.

7.00 pm: Introduction

7.30 pm: Workshop activity

8.30 pm: Guiding in strange places and strange ways, a series of short talks

9.30 pm: Workshop activity

10.00 pm: My Pledge for Nature and networking

10.30 pm: End of workshop


Relevant links

Don’t reinvent the wheel: Check out and join existing walks

Wacky ways to reach out for nature

Andrew Tay and Cicada Tree Eco-Place

David Tan’s “Singapore Got Wildlife Meh?”
A community documentary, with contributions from Singapore's naturalist community, shedding some light on the amazing animals found in Singapore

The Raffles Museum Toddycats

Chay Hoon’s blog

The Naked Hermit Crabs

and their guestbook

Making sock creatures on the wild shores of singapore blog

Photos CAN make a difference for conservation


Songs about nature to sing along during walks

(thanks to Heng Pei Yan for compiling these)

Pocahontas “Colours of the Wind”

Under the Sea

The Little Mermaid Crab-E-Oke -

The Little Mermaid -

Circle of Life

The Lion King Musical -

The Lion King animation -

Inch Worm

Classic Sesame Street -

The Muppets: Danny Kaye -

Danny Kaye in “Hans Christian Anderson” -

What a Wonderful World

The Muppet Show: Rowlf -

Louis Armstrong -

Rod Stewart -

Michael Buble -

Bein’ Green

The Muppet Show: Kermit - “Bein’ Green” -

Glee version -

Tonny Bennett and Kermit -

Little Things

Sesame Street: Tony Bennett and Lexine -

Tony Bennett and Elmo -


The Muppets: Tony Bennett with Kermit -




14 May (Wed)

“Mangroves and Marine” by Ria

Share key points that struck you here!

Exercise 1: Why do a guided walk?

What you do want your visitors to Know, Feel and DO after your walk? Top 3 things for each category.




Group 1

Nature is...

  • Fragile
  • Interconnected (Don’t think merely about the charismatic creatures but also the little ones) We are an entire ecosystem; don’t tilt the balance
  • There is something they can do
  • We are part of nature
  • Empowered
  • Connected
  • Appreciative / Have the respect for nature

  • Share and speak out
  • Be self-directed and taking initiative

Group 2

- Understanding the effect they have on the environment.

- Seeing different perspectives - different people identify in different ways (cater to these)

- Shock factor → shocking them into action!

- Make them understand things in a more “real” way (how it affects them?)

- Beach-cleaning, helping the ecosystem

Group 3

- Interesting facts to draw attention of other people to the creature to draw them into the topic and to care for the environment. (eg. Sea Anemones explode in fresh water)

(knowing to care)

- Facts unique to Singapore

- That nature isn’t hard to understand, that nature is interesting.

- Volunteer

- Spread the message and knowledge they have learnt on the walk.

Group 4

- the importance of nature (to remember that nature came first and we cannot exclude it from our everyday lives and that we cannot exist without it. in other words get a sense of urgency on the need of preserving and co-existing with nature)

- find out about the wild places in singapore and be aware of singapores’ ecosystem and wildlife. to

- feel that they are responsible and they can act

- love for our environment (CULTIVATE AND DEVELOP IT)

- advocate and be sensitive to spread the news and that we can co-exist we nature

- play a part

- make a blog

Group 5



- making them feel what everybody else mentioned about

1. Tell other people about what you’ve seen

Group 6

1. Singapore has wild life: awareness that there is more than meets the eye in Nature.

2. Importance of Conservation of Nature

3. That they can find things out by themselves, without need for professional help (empowering)

1. Feel a more personal connection to Nature

2. Respect the environment

3. Feel positive about their experiences, feel like they can make a difference, and feel confident to find things by themselves

1. Active learning to find information online and in books, to teach themselves about the environment

2. Share, post photos and reflections

Group 7

To know what we have in Singapore

To have the knowledge of their impact on the environment and to spread it

Responsibility in communal living

One doesn’t have to be a scientist to understand nature

Empowered to make a difference

Feel a sense of closeness, belonging and a greater connection with the environment

In addition to knowing, feeling amazed at what we have

Taking a step further to share the information

Expressing their appreciation for nature in ways that they are comfortable

Feel compelled to go out to nature again


Exercise 2: Why visitors want to join your walk?

Top 3 things visitors WANT to do during your walk

Group 1

- Take photographs (selfies hehe), publicize, assignments

- Understand and experience, to learn more - nature is an experiential thing, cannot be learnt in a classroom setting. Use the 5 senses.
However, sometimes people just want to see the megafauna. Charismatic species. Nothing wrong with that, but learn to appreciate the smaller things too!

- Have fun!

Group 2

Photography, seeing places they haven’t seen before (something surprising), experience nature first-hand, they want to be “guided” and not just walk around themselves (learn more), come as a family outing

Group 3

- Touch

- Take photos

- See new things to tell others about

Group 4

- take pictures (with the animals)

- they want to see different animals (crocodile, monitor lizards, crabs, mudskipper)

-to find out which can be eaten

- to bond

-to get away from urban areas

-to be amazed by wildlife

- to see crabs climbing trees

Group 5

1. Photography, inspiration for artistic works

2. To gain a deeper understanding of our local natural environment

3. Have a break from city life

4. Hear stories (personal perspective)

5. Spend time with friends/family (away from city!)

6. Active engagement with the environment (exciting finds)

Group 6

1. Validation from an “expert” on their queries of the environment
2. Interested in their environment, want to know more, to receive experience help and be able to spot things they usually won’t notice (e.g insects)
3. Exploring their more adventurous side

4. Make friends with like-minded people

Group 7

Photography, see interesting wildlife, family bonding time, for education,  to enjoy the place, because its free; why not. A good opportunity to be led by an experienced person.

Always ask the visitor why they actually came! What can I show you? guiding is always about the visitor

Exercise 3: How do we connect better with visitors for a fun walk?

Top 3 things YOU can do so visitors enjoy your walk

Top 3 things you should NOT do

Group 1

  1. Ask them to do the finding, let them point things out. Connects them better to what they see, they feel special.
  2. Get them to use their senses. Eg. their sense of sound to hear things they hear in the background
  3. How nature relates to their day to day lives. Link nature to humanistic qualities.
  4. Hilarious facts (spiders shoot webs out of their butts)
  5. Ask them why they are there in the first place.
  1. Force facts and statistics
  2. Talk big words
  3. Don’t be a cold guide (be their friend, makes the walk so much more enjoyable)

Group 2

- Share stories (personalize it, its not a fact sheet!)

- Be Enthusiastic

- Let them feel/touch the nature (engage them)

- Ask them questions (let them guess things!)

- Cater to the audience (vary the way you reach out to them)

- Don’t spam with content (too engrossed in your own world and overload with info)

- Don’t neglect certain parties

Group 3

- For children: Play games, tell stories, have a quiz

- Talk about sex (to the right group)

- Talk about their interests and relate to them (eg. religion, relate Garden of Eden: Tree of Knowledge and Forbidden Fruit, used fig tree leaves: Figs are very common in Singapore!)

- Get them to use their senses

- Don’t act like a smart-aleck

- Don’t put down people’s questions

Group 4

- tell which one are edible and which are not edible

- use stories to entice (personal/ history)

- the medicinal properties available

- information overload

- dont have any assumptions on what they dont or do know

- dont scold or shout at them

Group 5

1. Fulfilling their curiosity (asking them why they came, catering to that)

2. Relate observations and experience to their life (relevance helps them relate)

3. Being their friend (and temporary childcare provider;)

1. Don’t focus on just one particular group (e.g. if many age groups)

2. Don’t snub them!

3. Don’t just talk on and on (ask them for their input/personal experience/to engage)

Group 6

- ask
- knowing what they are interested in, if not they’ll get distracted

- Knowing your audience’s background

- Let visitors spot things by themselves

- Take cues from their body language

- Use the senses: bring something they can touch and feel, preparing specimens

- Not too intellectual (when it’s with laypeople)

-No one-size-fits-all plan for all walks

Group 7

-make them feel like their questions are important, regardless how they actually are

-be aware of your visitor’s needs/ age

-highlight things that interest them and respond on the spot

-bring tools to aid your guide (maps, pictures, laser pointers(?) )

No scientific terms

Don’t talk from start to end

Don’t be a record player but be naturally engaging


Exercise 4: Dealing with ‘difficult’ visitors
Your assigned ‘difficult’ visitor and topic

Group 1: Youngest child in a family group finds ANOTHER crab (the 15th time).

What does he want?

- Attention from his parents

- Show that he can find things

- Maybe he likes crabs

What does he not want to do?

- Walk too much

- Look at anything other than crabs

- Doesn’t want to listen, wants to do more (thus he points out crabs)

Group 2: Middle child of three in a family group points out a piece of litter, the mum says “Don’t point at rubbish” and the rest of the family mock the child.

- Show to the child that what they are saying is actually important (yes there is a lot of litter around here and what can we do to stop it).

- Don’t make the parents feel as though they have said the wrong please

- try to validate both parties

- we can now add on to this - what can we do in future? what can we change?

- Maybe they are used to punishing the child for trying to get attention

- Maybe they think pointing out the litter is “extra” or irrelevant (its not important right now)

- The mentality of “children should be seen and not heard” - its a good chance to validate the child.

Group 3: Photographer dad of a family of 3 young kids, throwing food onto the mudflat attempting to photograph a crab.

3 things they want to do: Dad wants to take photographs of animals feeding, Kids want to feed and play with the crabs, They want to see action.

3 things they don’t want to do: They don’t want to hear long-winded talks or hear too much information. The father doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of children.

Group 4: Know-it-all teacher leading a group of teenage students keeps correcting your story about a mangrove tree.

Group 5: Grandma, parents, young kids: they find a big crab.

3 things they want to do: 1. Cook the crab / 2. Talk 3. Want to be heard (esp grandma)

Group 6: Teenaged students not interested, looking at their phones: share with them about barnacles.

Want to do:
- They want to do something that is fun for them
- Go back home due to discomfort, aircon
- Someone who connects with them, about how they feel
- Talk about sex

Do not want to do:
- Not too much scientific information, don’t want a lecture

Group 7: Elderly group of “new citizens” on RC-organised event, share with them about mangrove plant

They want to:

-share their stories

-enjoy travelling with their friends

Don’t want to:

-walk as much

-be told what they already know

Sharing approach:

-allowing them to arrive at their own conclusions based on their pre-existing ideas

Nature Pledge

How will you pay it forward and do for nature after this workshop?

Give us your feedback for the Marine/Mangrove workshop! 


15 May (Thur)

“Forests” by Vilma

Share key points that struck you here!

Canals take away natural streams that contain tons of eco systems with leaf litter for things to live in – natural animals, wild animals.


It is hard but not impossible to take away canals to create into a river. It can take a long time to create a new stream – considering factors of maturity.

Fresh water streams are very rare in Singapore as they are made into canals – this is due to the fear of increase in reproduction of mosquitoes.

Exercise One

Top 3 ways to deal with an unknown critter

Group 1

- Admit you don’t know

- Take a photo and post online in different nature wildlife groups and ask around to find out

- Tell them that you’ll find out and get back to them.

Group 2

-Take a photo (to find out what it is)

-Make a note (colour, size, where you saw it, habitat)

-Google it

Group 3

- Take a photo and post it online. Tag experienced people - someone is bound to answer

- Get everyone excited - pretend we’ve found a new species hehehe

- Wonder if it’s edible / be cautious of it possibly poisonous

- Try to group it into a category based on the distinct traits

Group 4

- Admit that you don’t know and that they are lucky to have seen it

- Ask the group if they know what species it is

-Take a photo, find out what it is later.

-Observe and enjoy the experience

Group 5

- Leave the critter alone (don’t touch it) because it might be poisonous

- Record by taking photos and find out afterwards

- Try to understand the unknown critter by linking it to related topics (i.e. a common feature like feelers of an unknown insect)

Group 6

- ask the experts! (and anyone in the group)

- categorize it, by photo (distinct characteristics!)

- google it and find it out ourselves

- sketch down the critter (helps to remember!)

- stay calm

Group 7

- say i don’t know

- google it (take a photo and email them back after the trip for updates on the species)

- speak about the general info you know about its general species/infer about its morphology

- freak out about a new animal sighting

-if its a bird, butterfly or snake use the nss/wrs app (if you have a phone)

- post on flowering in singapore FB page (if its a plant)

Group 8

-Open it up to the floor and ask them

-document it and google it when you go home

-have a guidebook with you

-put a more positive spin on it and tell the group excitedly that its the first time you’ve come across it, that you’re really lucky to have seen it

Exercise Two

Top 3 ways to deal with “can’t find interesting things”

Group 1

- Talk about interesting photos you have with you

- Share generic facts (history of the forest, terms such as canopy)

- Ask the visitors why they are here, get them to talk about themselves, introduce to them other guides and groups in Singapore

Group 2

-Talk about plants, they’re always there (general structures)

-Get input from visitors as a filler

-Ask them for questions, past experiences (who has been here before, have you seen anything here we do not see today, etc)

-Recce the place first

-Research on the general area first (talk about the bigger picture)

-Reason why you can’t find anything (maybe environmental reasons)

-There will be insects

Group 3

- If an animal can’t be found, you can talk about the habitat instead (i.e. if we can’t find the animal, you can talk about the tree it lives it, etc. Or if a wild boar can’t be found, talk about it’s footprints)

- Tell them the truth, that we’re unlucky we can’t find it today, but that’s why they have to come again!

- Tell them to look more carefully, this way they’ll pay more attention

- Talk to them, make friends with them. Also talk about past experiences in that place, so even though we didn’t get to see anything interesting we can share about how interesting the place is

- Try to look out for the smaller things, not just charismatic species. If we can’t find a pangolin, we can find the termites and talk about the termites - how everything links.

Group 4

-Bring fruits, tree parts etc or a photo album

-Try to observe with other senses rather than just sight to be more aware of the environment (Interactivity/- feeling tree trunks with eyes closed, then guess the tree)

-Playing games. For example, an entanglement game for a deeper understanding of the food web. Push one individual to illustrate the influence of removing a species from the food web.

Group 5

- Ask the audience about other things related to nature so that they remain engaged

- Try to talk about something that is stationary (i.e. plants) so that there will always be something to talk about during the walk

Group 6

- Talk about the plants (they’re always there!)

- Talk about things you’ve seen before, with attached images
- Talk about why you might not be able to find it
* e.g. threats that wildlife in the area face

Group 7

- bring a stack of photocards to show during the walks if the animals are not found or use the nss or wrs app to show images

- talk about the plants. THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE

- look for the smaller animals or other alternatives like insects

- talk about times that they have been sighted and other personal experiences

- explain before that there is no guarantee on such sightings

- use it as incentive to make them come again

Group 8

-show them the guidebook

-tell them stories about your own experience

-ask your audience about their experiences

-discuss possible reasons why the creatures aren’t there

-tell them about specific animals found in that habitat and tell them what they can look out for

-diversify areas of expertise; talk about both plants and animals

Exercise Three

Guiding do’s and don’ts

Top 3 guiding do’s

Top 3 guiding don’ts

Group 1

- Be enthusiastic

- Show concern, make sure they aren’t too hot or tired, plan rest breaks

- Be prepared, read up on guidebooks

- At the start of the walk to ask the visitors what they want to see

- Talk too much or too fast

- Don’t scold people

- Don’t speak in Latin

Group 2

-Include your personal experiences

-Be engaging and enthusiastic

-Use scientific names

-Ramble about one subject

-Do things the group does not want to do

-Do not dismiss anyone (there are no stupid questions)

Group 3

- Give a clear brief before the walk starts

- A short facilitation session so everyone knows each other a lot better, more comfortable setting

- Be prepared (weather check, insect repellent, etc)

- Be aware of possibly dangerous stuff around

- Have fun as guide yourself, when you have fun, everyone has fun!

- Don’t freak out

- Don’t lie

- Don’t feed anything

- Don’t litter

Group 4

- Apply what you preach, for example, if you say that you’re not supposed to jump off the boardwalk and damage the area, don’t do so.

- Dont forget about the group’s needs

Group 5

- Admit your mistake

- Be sensitive to the needs of the participants (service-oriented)

- Be simple and concise (informative not too scientific)

- Relate facts to what the participants already know

- Enjoy and have fun

- Don’t ramble

Group 6

1. Stay Calm

2. Assess knowledge and interest level of visitors

3. Survey your area, know it well!

1. Make the visitor feel stupid

2. Info-Dump

3. Give False information

4. Talk too much about things that are not present

Group 7

- introduce yourself

- make it relevant to them

- converse with them (don’t talk down)

- encourage questions

- drink coffee

- speak loudly and clearly

- stay on the route

- dont allow littering

- dont make up stories and facts

- dont not introduce yourself

- dont freak out

- dont leave anyone behind

- dont speak too fast

- speak simply but don’t speak too simply that it seems like you’re patronising them

- dont handle live specimen

Group 8

-recce the place

-be open to sharings

-respect the environment (tendencies to pluck leaves as a guide)

-respect your audience

-be prepared in terms of knowledge and logistics

-be engaging and know the group’s interests/ needs

-don’t keep quiet

-don’t talk too much, don’t be boring

-don’t be overconfident about how -much you know

Exercise 4: Dealing with ‘difficult’ visitors

3 things ‘difficult’ visitors want to do.

3 things visitors do NOT want to do.

Decide on a specific message for visitors
(Write down on piece of paper and give to Ria)

Brainstorm a sharing approach or story that would

Group 1: Photographer dad in the family complains there is nothing interesting to photograph.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

Dad wants to take a photograph,wants to find something interesting and new.

To have evidence of his discovery.

Wants to stay in the same place until he gets the perfect shot

Doesn’t want to be interrupted.

Doesn’t want to make his kids unhappy.

Message: There's always things to find as long as you look deep enough. 1) Find out what he is trying to look for. 2) Tell him why it's not there 3) Direct the children’s attention so that they can get the dad interested.

Group 2: Young child in a family very noisy: share with the family about the sounds of the forest.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

-Family wants to experience new things and learn

-Family bonding

-Parents don’t want you to scold their child

-Visitors don’t want too much information

Group 3: Young child points out a leaf in leaf litter, mum scolds her and say it’s dirty rubbish.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

Group 4: A nice family who seem to understand English better than they speak English: they find a snake

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

-Eat it

-Take photos of it

-Touch it

-Too afraid to go beyond that point

-Listen to the guide

Group 5: “Smart Alec” dad keeps talking about snakes and asking “where are the snakes?”

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

Group 6: Grandma, parents, young kids: they find a mushroom.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

Go off the broadwalk to look at the mushroom

Bring the mushroom back home to cook

Bring the mushroom home to look at

Draw the mushroom

Stay on the broadwalk

Listen and continue on the walk with the rest of the group

Group 7: Teenaged school children complain about humidity: share why this is important for the forest.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

- go home and lay in aircon

- drink cold drinks

- swim in the kelong

- to stay in the forest

- to listen under those conditions

- to think

-to be sweaty and uncomfortable and uncool

- to be eaten alive by mosquitoes

- humidity is important for rain

- low humidity may result in forest fires

- humidity is productive for decomposition

- even things we don’t like can be beneficial

Group 8: Mum and daughter quietly collecting leaves in a small bag.

3 things visitors WANT to do

3 things visitors DON’T want


(enter after role play)

-they want to pick leaves

as a keepsake

-for their art project/ to make tea

-don’t want to be lectured

take nothing but photographs and leave only footprints


Give us your feedback for the Forest workshop! 


16 May (Fri)

Part 1: Design a Walk

Relevant links

Don’t reinvent the wheel: Check out and join existing walks

Group 1: Rainforest Trail at Botanic Gardens in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do

1. short walk, under 2 hrs

2. want to be able to see interesting fauna

3. different experience, excitement

1. no mozzies

2. not too far from civilisation

3. not wake up early

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

Hey guys!

Have you seen my recent nature photos taken at Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Rainforest trail?


 <- A woodpecker!!

<- and MANY MORE (well, not all..:P)

I’M THINKING OF HEADING THERE AGAIN THIS COMING SATURDAY TO LOOK For squirrels, woodpeckers and many other interesting animals to shoot. I’ve always wanted to share with you guys some of my nature photography skills and hope you guys can join me. I know it’s a Saturday and you guys want your sleep butttttt we can do some shopping and feasting after that! :D

<insert map>

Hope to get your FAVOURABLE reply! (:

Will send you the details about the walk if you’re interested to join in!

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk

- Conduct a personal recce of the area to know more about plausible spots to explore about

- Check weather conditions

- Be mindful of directions and have routes planned out before the walk

- Be aware of access to public transport for transport convenience

- Toilet stops!!!!!

- Insect repellents and personal belongings

- Prep them about things that shouldn’t be done (i.e. going off the broadwalk, feeding wildlife species etc.)

- Know about the wildlife species well enough in order to educate more about nature (exposure; something different from city life)

- Ask about their experiences (i.e. before and after impressions of rainforests, what they think about the walk that was conducted etc.)

- ‘Where shall we explore next?’ :------)

- Conduct short summaries and facilitate the purpose of the walk (reflection?)

- Suggestions on what you would like to expect for future walks :P (doing art-related activities, forming up stories(?) of your own about nature through walks? etc.)

Roleplay start of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:


Group 2: Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do

- Spend time with their friends and family

- New environments and experiences that cant be found in their mundane, busy, urban lives

- Refreshing picnic (candle light) along the broadwalk (they would like a more shady, cooling area)

- See and learn new things in the wild and not in town

- Get bitten by mosquitos

- Walk too far and too long

- Don’t get dirty

- Get bitten by snakes

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

Fresh air, sunshine, NEW exciting experiences! Bonding with nature :) Spend time with your families on our nature walks! Check out our butterfly gardens near the Mangroove broadwalks! We have fireflies in the night, and  too!

Date? Time? WHere to meet? What to bring? How to dress?

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk

-Repellent, sunblock (protection from the environement)

- Umbrella (observe the predicted weather and inform the group

-Safety reminders

- Inform the group of safety precautions

-Remind the group that they should keep their voices down in order to observe more during the walk

- refrain from eating (no feeding the monkeys)

- watch your step!

- Enjoy the walk!

- No littering

-Take a group photo

- Reflection after the walk

(how they feel about the walk)

- conservation

Roleplay start of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:

Tree climbing crabs

Candle light refreshment along the way



Group 3: Lower Peirce Trail  in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do

Spend time with family and friends to bond over a common shared experience

Prove to other friends that they have “been there, done that”

Get a better appreciation for nature and the environment

Outdoor/kinesthetic learning (learning not confined to classroom)

Get bitten by mosquitoes

Lecture on scientific facts (info dump)

Too tired due to duration of trip

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

Hey friends!

   Wanna take a break from the city life? Wanna explore nature and burn some calories? Let’s go for the Lower Pierce Trail together!

  Being one of the largest water catchment in Singapore, this reservoir is home to many interesting plants and animals. You might get a chance to meet the extremely cute Plantain squirrel and long tail macaque! Isn’t this secondary rainforest beautiful?

  Will next saturday, 24th May on an early morning from 8am-12pm be great? We can have lunch together at prata house! Let’s meet at the entrance of the Lower Pierce Trail. Directions are attached to this email! Do come and hope to see you there!

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk

Recce the place to take note of dangerous and interesting facts

Research with nParks brochure

Inform participants on things to bring (umbrella)

Go toilet

Give directions on how to reach the location (nearest MRT/bus)

Bring insect repellant

Stay on the boardwalk to ensure safety of participants

Aware of participants’ needs and comfort level

Remind to not feed the animals, observe

Look out for interesting things/stories based on what you see and share them

Enjoy and have fun!

Debrief on what was the learning points, new facts/info

Bonding over food (prata)

Consolidate pictures to share knowledge

Blog reflection on the experience to expand the reach to public

Roleplay start of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:


Group 4: Berlayar Creek Boardwalk in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do

- See something interesting in the wild

- Take photos

- Take a break from the stress of the urban city

- Hang out with friends and have fun

- Get some blood flowing exercise!!

- Learn something new out of the textbook environment

- Don’t want mosquitoes

- Not too long walk

- No sun for too long

- No long lectures about natural environments

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

Long time no see!

We really need to catch up over a makan session, found a great new place to try some seafood. It’s called Labrador Seafood, looks pretty good - mussels, bamboo clams, BBQ squid and crabs. There’s also quite a beautiful park around the area, nice waterfront, you can even get a glimpse of the Southern Islands. Peaceful and breezy - shall we take a look before we makan? Let’s meet at either Labrador MRT or Carpark C if you’re driving. About 4 pm? How does Saturday, 31st May sound? Better come ah, we haven’t seen in each in months! Give me a call to RSVP if you’re coming.

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk

Recce the place first

Bring along a guidebook

Insect repellent

Remind everyone to bring water

- Be aware of the needs of the people

- Show them around, general introduction into the place, talk about the creature they see there

- Get your friends to look out for creatures

- Talk about zonation

- Short summary/ facilitation session after the walk

- Ask whether we enjoyed / what made it enjoyable?

- What do you think about Singapore now?

Roleplay end of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:


Group 5: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do

-see more nature rather than just climb to the summit

-see special/beautiful insects/animals

-Kampong trail

-Fruit trees season (durians, jackfruit etc)

-more slopes fewer staircases  

-go to mosquito-infested areas

-encounter snakes

-be disturbed by human noise/ cyclist

-bring dogs

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

-interest in photography

-include photos of interesting creatures/plants/streams to see

-market as an outdoors adventure/ relaxing and breathe in fresh air

-de-stress from exams/ work  

-packing list (repellent, walking shoes etc)

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk


-know the animals and plants (esp)

-check for closure of paths

-collect their digital materials/ gadgets!!

-calibrate expectations

-’break the ice’

-”who has been here?”

-shape content to engage the audience (for personal engagement)

-avoid the cyclists

-do not feed the monkeys (no exposed plastic bags)

-stop them from using umbrellas to point at things

-talk about historical value

-use an app to track progress/ trails

-debrief/ summarise
(sg still has a lot of biodiversity)

-different levels of human impact

Roleplay end of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:

-review the route from the app


- link for apps or the app name  that can track routes pls!


Group 6: Pulau Ubin in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends

3 things your friends WANT to do

3 things your friends DON’T want to do


Coconut juice

Spend time together

Not walk too much

Get bitten by mozzies

Get sunburnt

Your email ‘advert’ to entice your friends to join your walk:

The June holidays are coming up! Since we haven’t met for a long time, I hope to be able to catch up with you guys over some seafood… And maybe even see some pretty butterflies!

Top 3 things you (as a guide) need to prepare or do

Before the walk

During the walk

After the walk

  • Come up with a packing list
  • Locate and recce the area you would like to bring your friends to beforehand, and plan out the activities for the day e.g. where to stop and talk

Remind them to drink up

point out interesting things (and link to food)

mini photography competition

Ask participants to share experience, what they liked, etc


Roleplay end of walk

Links to good info that you found out during the exercise:


Part 2: Sharing Guiding in strange places and strange ways

Share key points that struck you here!

David: Guiding with specimens

Andrew: Sharing with drawings and games

Chay Hoon: Sharing through Clay Modelling

November: Other Wacky Ways!

Part 3: Design a strange way to share

Group 1: Passerbys in a shopping mall

Pseudo lucky draw or game to draw them first into the exhibition(sure win)

A message is embedded into the "prize"

Have food related booths example free Ching Tang samples with the ingredients in display jars accompanying the Ching Tang

Free food samples!

Shock tactic - “Panda Stew!”

Group 2: Your colleagues/classmates

Wacky way → Sharing through an exhibition with other students in school. Sound installation with noises of nature in an urban environment (during a meal)

ADopting and sharing a temporary pet (catepillar) and releasing them with your friends. Wacky souveniers. Mini-event of releasing the emergence of a butterfly with your colleagues in an office.

Ciculating a unique, exotic and wacky photo of animals. (Super macro shots)

Insects are great for getting kids interested

Spot the insect / mini animal in SOTA. Finding / spotting nature in an urban environment. report via social media. talk to them at morning assemblies.

Art installations ?

Group 3: Your neighbours who freaked out after finding wildlife entering their homes

Assure them and calm them down (tell them the reason (food, environment) for their presence like food, not agitate them to

Hotline number (Acres if the organism is still present, or nParks hotline) Acres will release them back into wildlife habitat

Link the reason for animals’ presence to us humans encroach into their area/natural habitat

Storytelling (for example, wildboar as zhu pa jie)

Finger puppet show to kids of the family (mini dialogue as improvisation)

start a wildlife watch facebook group for your estate! Tanglin Halt Wildlife Watch

Create a local infographic for what to do when you find an injured animal to share qioclkly with neighbours / friends

Group 4: Netizens on stomp who misidentified a monitor lizard as komodo dragon

- Don’t offend the netizens

- Don’t put them down,you want to educate
- Want people to appreciate, not fear

Comment: Wow that’s so cool, it’s so big, it’s great that you noticed that! However Komodo Dragons are usually much more larger-- This is a monitor lizard. It is interesting though, We don’t normally see monitor lizards in Singapore, you have a really sharp eye! Actually if you’re interested, there’s a photo of a Komodo Dragon here - you can check it out. We actually have two types of monitor lizards - The Clouded Monitor and Malayan Monitor, and they do grow quite large, but definitely not to the extent of a Komodo.
Komodo Dragons grow to a really large size, and are similar to alligators in size.

Another way: Act it out in a video

Group 5: Your friends who are food lovers that enjoy seafood

Go for chilli crab or whatever seafood (who doesn’t love eating) - dissect the crab - explain the parts - talk about anatomy - links to the function of the body (appreciation for bones??) - brings people closer to the idea of food having a source (realise what we’re eating is something that had life)


-seafood restaurants with live display - talk about those endangered species



Group 6: pri school assembly

Forum theatre

Peform 75% of a play, get kids to decide the ending and perform it

dress up

give the children a few choices of ending, which has more votes, get them to act it out

Nature Pledge


Give us your feedback for the Walking with Nature at SOTA workshop series! 


How to get to SOTA

How to reach the SOTA classrooms

What to expect