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Outward Bound 2022

On the 5th July, I was privileged with the opportunity offered by my Dean Miss Winter to go to an Outward Bound Course. The course I took was called “Mind Body and Soul” and lasted for 21 days. On the morning of July the 5th, my first challenge to overcome was having to fly independently from Auckland to Blenheim, Marlborough, as it was the first time I had travelled alone.

The Mind Body Soul course is an action packed adventure preparing young teenagers across New Zealand who may be willing to go to uni, learn a trade, take leadership roles in school or even gain social skills, mind body and soul allows teenagers to spend time with their instructor and other strangers from across the nation through different challenges.

When I arrived, myself and many other 16-18 year old students were sorted out into our watch groups of 12-14 people. I was thankful for my watch group of 12, we were called Kupe 691.

Every morning we would start the day off with a P.T session (personal training) early at 6:30 am, then we would start a 3km run and finish off the morning run with a jump off the jetty into the freezing cold water.

The rest of the day was a mystery as we were unaware of the challenges that were thrown at us. All the activities that I was fortunate enough to have completed throughout my 21 day course included tramping, kayaking, waka ama, sailing, community service, rock climbing, orienteering, high ropes, solo experience in the bushes, 30 km marathon and so many little activities.

After every scheme, we would finish the day off by jumping off the wharf, which was a pain to do in winter.

Throughout the course of 21 days, myself and 12 other strangers across NZ who I am happy to call family, were pushed through physically and mentally challenging obstacles.

Out of all the activities, my personal favourite was the solo experience where each person is placed into a specific site within the bushes alone for 2 nights. It was an opportunity for us to gain confidence to be alone, but also it was personal time to reflect on things we never really had the time to actually consider in our busy lives.

I really enjoyed how Outward Bound has also been able to push me mentally. I will definitely treasure our late night talks out in the bushes staring out into the starry night, crying as we share our deepest and saddest moments of our lives and how that has shaped us to be who we are now.

Aside from all the challenges I was so pleased to have shared my laughs, cries and pains with 12 amazing teenagers across New Zealand who I still stay strongly connected with. I feel that because of our strong trust it has taught me more about being myself as I move back into the real world and not worrying about what others think of me.

Overall, from this experience I have learnt the skills to push myself to my full potential in activities that may push me both mentally and physically. Given that I was not an outdoor person, this experience has definitely pushed me past my breaking points many times, but I am proud to say that I was able to accomplish these challenges to the best that I could and now I feel more confident that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind towards.

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