Toddycatsposter 2004larger
Do you have a passion for nature and the environment? You can do something about it – join us!

1. Find out more about our programmes: see our list of programs and read news of events of relevant programmes at this blog.

2. Attend one of our events to see how we manage an event: registration, communication, guiding approach and interaction with the public.

3. Understand our working style – our programmes are all long-running and are are mostly more than 10 years old. We achieve this by a system of mutual respect and by keeping out faint-hearted individuals:

  • Invest sufficient time in project design and establishing detailed operational procedure.
  • Define specific objectives for each programme, not get too ambitious but improve a little each year.
  • Avoid major, short-lived collaborations.
  • Not demanding excessive and unnecessary time from volunteers; this is but one component of their lives!
  • Limit the number of events per programme to 3-4 per year.
  • Keep emails to a minimum – Toddycats are expected to read and respond promptly.
  • Be early for appointments and not require reminders.
  • Fire unreliable or inaccurate individuals (yes we fire volunteers!) and peacefully retire dormant Toddycats to the alumni roll.

4. Practical issues

  • We usually meet in National University of Singapore usually between 7pm – 10pm; we try to avoid weekends. Notice of meetings are provided well in advance and are usually scheduled ahead of each year in an annual calendar. These are limited to 3-4 meetings per programme.
  • We use GDocs and GCal extensively which cuts down the need for physical meetups; so using gmail is inevitable!

5. How can volunteers help?

  • Guides (most programmes) – you need to be a reasonably effective communicator and learn: read up reccomended references, observe experienced guides and ask questions (OJT), learn safety and other operational procedures and pass your guiding trials. We demand accuracy and empathy from our guides, who share rather than lecture.
  • Project Management – we need volunteers who are responsive on the internet, able to manage lists and minutes, set up registration and schedules, update operational procedures and keep tabs on a programme.
  • ICCS Site Captains – we need volunteers who are interested in participating in mangrove and beach cleanups, able to evaluate a site under your care for cleanup operations, help new organisers understand the operational procedures, and function as a facilitator during the ICCS Workshop and Briefing (see ICCS News)
  • Supporting roles – there are important roles for each programme in registration, photography, safety cyclists, last man on some guided walks and logistics.

6. Filling in the form

Non-NUS undergraduates, fill in this form at:

If you are a NUS undergraduate, fill in this form:

We don’t give out mugs, t-shirts, meals or CCA points. The reward is working with committed individuals and contributing to the well being of nature and the environment in Singapore.

Joelle Lai and N. Sivasothi a.k.a. Otterman,
Coordinator, The Toddycats!
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
National University of Singapore.