Welcome parents, teachers and participants to the 2014 Southern Highlands Regional Community Program blog.
This blog will provide an opportunity for you to gain insight into the Year Nine and Ten students’ seven day journey of self discovery while on their Outward Bound course in the beautiful Namadgi National Park. You can expect regular reports and photos every few days, so don’t forget to bookmark this site so you can check in regularly to read about the student’s experiences and adventures while on Outward Bound.
Outward Bound’s combined schools RCP’s are a strategic initiative designed to foster growth in communities of regional Australia, and allow not only the youth of the area but the whole community to benefit from an Outward Bound program.The program aims to create a dynamic partnership in the local community through a shared experience, enabling participants to understand that they direct their future through their self-beliefs, attitudes, choices and actions. The 2014 program will see 23 participating students from the Southern Tablelands regions of Bowral and Mulwaree, Moss Vale and Goulburn.
This program was made possible thanks to the generous support of Boral Community Partnerships. Boral assists disadvantaged youth to experience Outward Bound through a contributions to the Australian Outward Bound Development Fund to assist Youth in Need. The Boral Partnership with Outward Bound, which began in 2003, is an important part of Borals broader commitment to corporate responsibility. Boral and Outward Bound continue to work together to produce the leaders of tomorrow.
Arrival day! After a packed lunch, the participants headed straight into the field, hiking 3km away from basecamp to their first destination. Once there, the group played some name games and icebreakers, then had a session on expectations while on Outward Bound. The thermals were definitely put to good use on the first night in the chilly Canberra weather.
The group was up early to pack up their campsite. The group was a little slow, as they are still getting to know each other and learning to work together. The big challenge for the group was to apply their crash course in navigation. Their next destination was 3km off track, via a ridge to their service activity.
Our community service activity develops an ethic of giving back to others and the environment. Here in Namadgi National Park it involves planting native trees with local volunteer Tim Booth. The group will head back to base tonight in preparation for the high ropes activity tomorrow.
The group had to cross a river to get back to base. After the recent rains in the ACT this turned out to be quite a slippery initiative. A few participants got a bit wetter than they had anticipated but were in good spirits throughout the journey.
Upon returning to base they participated in an initiative called ‘The Cube’ which involves getting each person through a life size puzzle. The Cube requires teamwork, planning, and effective communication to be solved.
After a session on goal setting, the group tackled the famous high ropes course at National base. The heights involved in the ropes course can be the most nerve racking and exhilarating part of the program, and a chance to overcome many perceived limitations and fears. The group finished the evening on a high with a bush cook-out involving a cast iron pot in coals.
Today was a big day! The group were out of bed at 5am to ascend the mighty Mount Tennent. Mount Tennent has an elevation of 1,375 metres and the view from the top is spectacular.
Teamwork, encouragement, and pure determination were required to get there. The participants came back down the mountain and hiked to a new location to camp for the night.
The group really got around the National Park on day 5. They hiked from Bushfold’s Flat to Booroomba Rocks and then on to the Honeysuckle camp-site. At Honeysuckle they had two hours of solo time – a chance for each of them to find some space to themselves to reflect on the past few days. The participants wrote letters to themselves, which will be mailed out to them in six months’ time.
This morning the group hiked to the abseil site today. A few of the participants had to conquer their fear of heights to take part in the abseil. The group was very supportive of each other, cheering when everyone had completed the descent.
After lunch they hiked to ‘Lego Land’, an affectionate name for a series of granite boulder structures. Lego land is an area of magnificent beauty that overlooks the valley below. Fortunately the weather had cleared up so that the participants could really take in the view. Their instructor gave the group a brief history of the area, which included the geology of how the granite block structures were formed and the significance of the area for indigenous people.
The group enjoyed exploring some the structures, and going through the tight squeezes between the boulders.
On the last day of their adventure the participants headed back to National Base. They scrubbed their packs and ground-sheets, and then had a ceremony where they were presented with certificates and Outward Bound Australia wristbands.
The level of excitement and inspiration in the group was very obvious and some close friendships had formed during the program.
Outward Bound would like to extend a huge thank you to Boral for providing this wonderful opportunity for students from the Southern Tablelands!
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