Outward Bound was Life Changing

We recently received this job application from a former participant...

We recently received this job application from a former participant...

It was on a 12 day program in VS that I fell in love with Outward Bound. My group had walked off the bus and gathered in a circle, anxious of what this experience would prove itself to be. One of the girls stood a little to the side, she had jet black hair which she wore down so that it covered most of her face. Every now and then you would get a glimpse of a face full of makeup. She was shy and unwilling to engage.

As the days progressed, I spent time quietly in her company and listened to her story. As many young girls do, she struggled with body image and fitting in with her peers. She also expressed feeling her life on the Earth wasn’t important. Though some of the things she talked about were concerning I felt it important to keep her on course and in the present experience.

As more days went on, I learnt that with encouragement and guidance and her natural determination she would try her absolute hardest to achieve whatever challenge was in front of her. She hiked Mt McCloud, she made it to the top of the rock face, she abseiled cliffs and most importantly she started to form connections with the other girls on course.

By day 5 she had washed all her old makeup off. By day 7 I heard her laughing with newfound friends. By day 9 she tied all her hair back. No longer did I see the hidden face that had stepped off the bus, but a face full of self-worth, confidence, and friendship.

It was through this course that I realised the greatest gift Outdoor education allowed us as instructors to offer was a pathway that showed people how to have a greater sense of love for themselves and those around them.

So far l have lived a life that has pushed me to grow and develop my leadership skills, and with each experience is continuing in that same direction. My first big experience in leadership was in Africa as a 17 year old, teaching 90 girls English and life skills. My other great teacher of leadership has spanned over 20 years with my love of horses. I was fortunate enough as a fiery six year old to have an equally fiery horse come into my life. Since that moment, horses have become some of my greatest teachers. Horsemanship teaches you the importance of leadership. When working with a horse they have one main question, “am I the leader, or are you?”, and they will ask you this many times throughout your relationship with them. It taught me to ask myself what is a good leader? How do I demonstrate that so that my horse wants to work for me. How do I become a good enough leader to instill a trust in them to take the jump, cross the river, go off the well-known trail. Not only did they teach me to lead, they taught me to have courage, to be balanced and to always look where I wanted to go.

I’ve been working within management at our family business which has a staff of fifteen and have really enjoyed learning about the different elements of business and having a chance to grow more within a leadership role. It’s been 3 years and over that time I trialed many different styles of management, and sadly I can’t say I always got it right! Over the last year I decided to put all my focus into building a happy team as I learnt this was more in keeping with who I was. I thrived and as a result my team thrived.

To be honest, Outward Bound was life changing, not only for me but for many of my friends who went through the internship. I watched friends with a huge amount of love for this organisation burn out, from an imbalance that wasn’t good for their own personal wellbeing. So it is with all of these things in mind, that I reached out to Outward Bound. To see if there was an opportunity within the leadership team, to put all of the things I’ve learned into practice.


Anonymous by request.

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