NIE Green Club

We are a group of nature enthusiasts from NIE whom have gathered to discover more about nature together. This blog is a record of events, activities and discoveries we've made.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Nature Guide Training @ Chek Jawa Wetlands

It was fair weather on 29th August. We were excited to embark on a new journey, being a nature guide. We took a bumboat ride to Pulau Ubin, then hopped on a van to Chek Jawa Wetlands.

Upon reaching Chek Jawa, we headed towards the visitors center to have a short briefing before going to house No. 1. Since we were early, we had a short rest at House No.1 and further briefing was given by July.

Information gathered at House No. 1

  • Nature guide training will be conducted on the last Saturday of the month.
  • We need to commit a minimum of 6 months in a year for nature guiding.
  • Training is such trainee guides will follow, observe and assist the guides during guided walks. After several sessions (about 3), trainee guides will be eased into guiding by being a co-guide during guided walks.
  • For each training session, trainee guides need to familiarize themselves with at least 3 flora/fauna found at Chek Jawa.
  • The purpose of this trip is to observe how Naked Hermit Crab (NHC) volunteers conduct nature guided walks along Chek Jawa boardwalk.
  • We were also informed to observe interactions between participants and nature guide.We are encouraged to be brave and interactive to share knowledge with a lot of people in a group.
  • For a pleasant guided walk experience, it is best to keep groups small and manageable. A group size of about 10 or less will be best.
After briefing, we went to visitors center to meet NHC volunteers. We were grouped into two groups, the photography group led by Ms Ria Tan (NHC), and a big group led by Ms Chay Hoon and Kok Sheng (NHC).

We took different paths to explore nature at the boardwalk.Please refer to the link to see the paths taken :

Nature guide guidelines shared by NHC volunteers

  • Assume that participants do not know the flora and fauna surrounds Chek Jawa. Therefore, we need to scaffold this knowledge for the participants.

  • Start the guide with safety rules (similar to SBWR training - see the above event coverage.

  • If we see anything that's interesting, we can highlight it and show to them.
  • We are to note 3 observations made for the day.
Some of the interesting things noted was,
The Bird post
Bird houses were setup along the coast for migratory birds to raise their young. We will know if the bird house is used if half of the entrance to the bird house is closed.

We can also share with participants that Pulau Sekudu is just across Chek Jawa. We can only see its top part due to high tide.

Kok Sheng shared his knowledge of the various types of habitat around Chek Jawa. At this stop, he shared about the vast inter - tidal area (in front of the boardwalk) which was covered by high tide.

We passed the rocky shore and was informed of how the rocks are shaped by the sea.

We stopped for a brief moment near the Sea Hibiscus flower and was lucky to see a blooming one. Chay Hoon shared with us that it will turned purple by evening. However, this depends on the weather for the day.

We searched for mud lobster crab which is a beautiful creature. We found out later that November (NHC), took a video of the mud lobster crab.

We saw lots of tiny crabs and they have electrifying colours. Kok Sheng excitedly looked out for a blue electrifying one. A point to note, these crabs are unlike eel, they do not have electricity in their bodies.

Can you spot a crab in this picture?

We passed the Jejawi Tower where we can see a vast area of Chek Jawa and birds.

After a few more stops, we made our way back to House no. 1 for a short rest and debrief before we head home.

We enjoyed our first nature guide training at Chek Jawa.
(The photography group with Ms Ria Tan )

A debrief by NHC followed by a reflection of our guided walk by NHC.

After we bade our goodbyes, we waited for the van to come.....

We had a meaningful learning journey and went home.
Resources for self - study :
Chek Jawa guidebook by Ria Tan and Alan Yeo (Can be found in NIE and NLB libraries)
Role of a nature guide:
Being a good guide:
Don't be a bad guide:

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