National Youth Science Forum – 2016

Welcome to the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) blog for 2016. It is day 4 of the program today which means the kick-off of the Outward Bound component of the program.

Day 1 of Outward Bound – 13/07/16

Today the participants are at our National Base in Canberra. The participants were put to the test this morning with the Giant Ladder climb. The Giant Ladder activity tests resilience and the ability to work together in a team to achieve to reach certain vantage points. A really positive vibe is emanating within the groups as they successfully completed the Giant Ladder challenge.

Reflecting over the past four days, the participants engaged in a painting activity that aims to put all of their emotions into a visual and tangible gift that they can later take home.

For some participants the biggest challenge of the day was the physical elements to the Giant Ladder, and overcoming fear of heights.

“Completing the climb was very fulfilling, and it brought everyone closer together as a team”.

Tonight the group are looking forward to an Outward Bound catered dinner.

Day 2 of Outward Bound – 14/07/16

This morning the participants geared up for day 1 of their expedition. After clearing out from what was home for the past four days the group soon hit the top of Mount Tennant, where they descended to partake in a reflection activity. The reflection activity provides the participants with an opportunity to focus on themselves without the input of the group. This activity is one of the most impactful activities on Outward Bound as it helps to bridge values and give clear direction.

Later that night the warmth of the fire was very welcomed and group reflected on what had been that day, and the challenges faced.

Some of the biggest learning/s for the day was around scheduling and time management. Often getting large groups to and from different points is a really large logistical task. Well done to the team for reaching their checkpoints in great time today.


Day 3 of Outward Bound – 15/07/16

It was a chilly morning as the group were up and ready well before sunrise. After breakfast the group got straight into off track navigation, an activity where they could put what they has learnt into practice without the input of our instructors.

It was great to see that each of the participants’ had developed new skills in navigating in the bush, and taken the leadership to ensure a timely arrival for their next activity – The Box Challenge.
Without giving too much away, the box challenge is whole group activity that tests the group’s leadership and initiative all within a limited time of a few minutes. If you succeed in the box challenge a well-deserved treat awaits……we can’t tell you too much but ask the group participants for some more information as to whether they conquered The Box Challenge.

Today the group felt a mixed range of emotions; the early cold start really got the team moral down but eventually the day heated up and the team functioned really well which picked the team up. Some of the biggest challenges for the day was the early rise, and steep hill climbs – a very physical day at Outward Bound Australia.

Day 4 of Outward Bound – 16/07/16

This morning the group had another early start, as they continued to navigate through to their final checkpoint. Chants were heard through the camp, and the team was eager to finish their Outward Bound component of their program. But before it was back to base a few more challenges were put in their way. The Bridge and Flying Fox challenge was on the cards for the group to collectively complete. As a step up from yesterday, these challenges really tested how far the group had come and enabled them to show what they had learnt over the past week. It was a delight to see how this highly functional group worked together to complete these challenges well under time.

A well deserved rest awaited the group as an easy bus ride returned them back to our National Base. Later that night the group discovered that had lots of left over food, and decided to host a delicious cook up … what a feast it was!

After the feast the group participated in a debrief discussion. Often this is a very important part of the Outward Bound Program as it shows us, and the participants the impact that our programs have. Words such as proud, enthused, satisfied and mateship were heard throughout the camp that night.


We wish all of the participants the very best for their future endeavours and we hope to see you back at Outward Bound Australia. A very big thank you to the National Youth Science Forum for making this experience possible.

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