09 July 2010

The first of the Guides of Singapore Shores workshops!

Finally after months of frenzied planning, today we launched the mammoth GSS! It's the Guides of Singapore Shores workshops, not the other shopping extravaganza.
We are delighted that 70 people made the time to come for the introduction to our shores and to guiding!

It was a vortex of chaos in the set up, but somehow, every essential piece of equipment, each job that needed to get done, miraculously came together! Many thanks to the valiant volunteers who turned up early to fix everything from making sure all the equipment was working, aircon on, toilet paper in the loos, chairs laid out, reception fixed up, and Jun even managed to find a whisper of wifi to allow online registration for walk-in participants!
It was heartening to see so many people who turned up for the event. The reception desk has never been so busy!
And the shore guide was a big hit, literally flying off the table. Alas, I didn't bring enough for all. I'll bring more at the next session, don't worry.
Then I spent a gruelling one and a half hours going through (I thought quickly) some of our favourite shores, their status and threats and how ordinary people are making a difference for them. I spent quite a bit of time belabouring safety issues and whizzed through guiding issues. I attempted a demo of a bad guide and a good guide with November acting very well as a difficult child, and Abby as an annoying mother. The participants were very sporting and laughed at my lame jokes and I don't think too many fell asleep.

I barely scratched the surface of the issues and information, so there's a long reading list below for more background.

Then it was time for our favourite part: the workshops were we all learn, share and Do! As usual, everyone was sporting and there were lots of animated demos of various ways we might deal with difficult situations.
This group was particularly enthusiastic!
We all had fun as we learned from one another.
Thanks to all the veteran guides who acted as facilitators! And the Scouts Association for the great venue!

This is just the beginning as there's lots more exciting workshops on the various ecosystems coming up in the weeks ahead!

The "Guides of Singapore Shores (GSS) Workshop" is a collaboration among the Blue Water Volunteers (BWV), The Leafmonkey Workshop and wildsingapore with Supporting Partner, The Singapore Scout Association.

Upcoming workshops
15 July 2010 (Thu): Reefs and Coral Rubble
22 July 2010 (Thu): Rocky Shore and Coastal Forest
29 July 2010 (Thu): Sandy Shore and Seagrass Meadow
5 August 2010 (Thu): Mangrove animals and plants

More details on the Leafmonkey Workshop.

Meanwhile, here's the reading list of some of the issues I covered today.

Reading list

About our shores
More about Cyrene Reef on the blog and facebook page

Mega fauna on our shores: Dugongs and dolphins and sea turtles and otters

Threats to our shores

Marine debris
Mass death at Chek Jawa
Mass fish deaths at Pasir Ris
Flaring on Pulau Bukom
Oil spill
Coral bleaching
You CAN make a difference
Here's more on how to make a start

Volunteer and NGO efforts

Guide training
Other volunteer groups
Shore bloggers latest marine shore posts

Recent government efforts for our shores
Tides and the intertidal
Guiding tips and guiding principles
homepage with lots of tips for Station Zero "Every inch of the shore is alive"
Online information
Fact sheets on common marine life with a photo index if you don't know the name of the organism.

Book list (links refer to online version)


  1. It was indeed a great session last night! I am looking forward to the upcoming ones.

  2. Thanks Shao Wei for dropping by and encouraging me with a comment! I look forward to next week's session too! See you then.



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