Igniting the Spark – How I became an Outward Bound Instructor | Outward Bound Australia
April 10, 2019 3:41PM

Igniting the Spark – How I became an Outward Bound Instructor

From participant to trainee to group instructor, Chelsea is living out the circle of life – Outward Bound style! Part of our fabulous team in our Northern Region, Chelsea describes her journey from participant to group instructor. Like her own experience as a teenager Chelsea now cherishes those moments when young people come up to her and say “Thanks for a great experience!”

The first experience

My journey to a career in Outdoor Education began when I was in year 9. My family had received a letter promoting a fabulous opportunity to take part in a 7-day Outward Bound adventure. The adventure took teenagers into a dynamic environment in the Australian Alps and enabled them to discover their true potential, build stronger relationships and gain a clearer understanding of one’s self. Growing up in a small country town, I was comfortable in the outdoors and spent more time riding my horses than spending time with other people, putting me in a bit of a ‘Chelsea Bubble’. So, for me, that Outward Bound adventure was a way to challenge myself and hopefully make some new friends.

My Outward Bound journey was a pinnacle moment for me. My group instructor was amazing and I still remember the impact that they had on me. Being a self proclaimed introvert, I never saw myself working with youth in the outdoors, especially as I always wanted to become a horse trainer. However, a seed was planted and a new career opportunity began to take formation.

Becoming a trainee

I was accepted into Outward Bound Australia’s staff in training program in 2017. Shy and introverted, I was thrown into a small living space with 11 other people. We became such a close knit team during the trainee-ship and had many memorable experiences together. We developed skills and knowledge in abseiling, canoeing, navigation and  multi-day expeditions which helped us confidently and safely take teams into the wilderness. We also learnt facilitation skills and I realised that whilst horse training is different to being an Outward Bound instructor there are similarities. Young horses are, funnily enough, quite similar to teenagers: Tough to convince, have a hard time understanding and listening and can put up a darn good fight when they are thrown into a challenging situation!! At Outward Bound we teach, facilitate and mentor young people to be their best. Our natural classroom is a dynamic environment where possibilities are broad and expand young people’s abilities with the guidance of an instructor. After completing the training, no matter whether there is rain, snow, wind, challenging groups or unforeseen situations, we know we have the skills to look after each team member and can see the benefits of Outdoor Education in developing human potential.

Completing the circle

I had this fantastic moment a few weeks back while I was with another bunch of young people. I was informed that a participant from another group knew me. To my surprise and excitement, he was a participant I had at the beginning of the year and he was back for another adventure – ready to continue his learning. He thanked me for his previous program and informed me he hoped to become an Outward Bound instructor when he was to leave school. And it’s moments like this that I realise I have made a difference and were the one to ignite a spark. That’s why I am an Outward Bound Instructor!

Interested in helping others be their best. Find out more about Outward Bound Australia’s staff selection process by speaking with one of our team 1800 267 999.

If you would like to create an Outward Bound Australia blog please get in touch with us by emailing mailbox@outwardbound.org.auWe would love to hear from you!

Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


April 10, 2019 3.41PM

Igniting the Spark – How I became an Outward Bound Instructor

From participant to trainee to group instructor, Chelsea is living out the circle of life – Outward Bound style! Part of our...

January 21, 2019 3.46PM

Can resilience be taught? Well nah, but yeah…

AJ attended the 14-day Scenic Rim-to-River 2018 expedition courtesy of her employer Inspire Group. As a passionate learning design...

January 21, 2019 2.06PM

Young Explorer – Rainforest January 2019

Welcome to the Rainforest. We’ve got a great bunch of Young Explorers ready to start their adventure! Follow along and see s...

January 21, 2019 2.02PM

Young Explorer – Australian Alps January 2019

Welcome to Young Explorer – Australian Alps! We have 32 very adventurous young people, 2 groups and 4 instructors ready to s...

January 14, 2019 4.04PM

Navigator – Rainforest – January 2019

Welcome to the Navigator blog for our team on expedition through spectacular Rainforests in Nth NSW. We hope you enjoy keeping up ...

January 14, 2019 2.23PM

Navigator – Australian Alps January 2019

Welcome to everyone to the Navigator – Australian Alps adventure. Everyone has arrived safely and excited to meet their inst...

January 07, 2019 9.01AM

Summit to Sea 2019

26 days 16 crew 1 Adventure of a lifetime Welcome to the Summit to Sea blog for 2019. Updates will occur every couple of days. We&...

December 27, 2018 2.08PM

Boundless Leadership: Soak in awe for growth

Insights from Zoë Routh Zoë is on a mission to encourage big thinkers with big hearts to make a big difference. She is passionat...

December 10, 2018 9.42AM

Scenic Rim to River December 2018

Welcome to the first Summer Scenic Rim to River The adventure has started with all 11 team members geared up and ready to go. Whil...

December 07, 2018 10.17AM

My mum is sending me on Outward Bound adventure…

So your Mum (or Dad) have sat next to you on the couch and clear their throat.. ”Ahem…[insert your name] or darling etc. I’v...

November 27, 2018 12.06PM

Staff in the spotlight: Meet Kevin!

At Outward Bound Australia we have an amazing diversity of passionate staff. Meet Kevin Neff. Kevin hails from the USA and has bee...

October 31, 2018 11.22AM

Feedback: Learn how to give it, learn how to take it and do both – regularly! 

Guest Blogger: Ben J Kelly Ben has a wide range of job experiences including as an officer in the Australian Army and working as a...

October 23, 2018 10.27AM

Bush Cook Tips – Get Your Roast On!!

If you’ve ever been around a campfire and someone is cooking something delicious you will know that feeling of excited antic...

October 01, 2018 11.35AM

Australian Alps Navigator | October 2018

Hello, and welcome to the blog for Outward Bound Australia’s Navigator program! This blog will follow the adventure of the ...

October 01, 2018 11.34AM

Australian Alps Young Explorer | October 2018

Hello, and welcome to the blog for Outward Bound Australia’s Young Explorer program! This blog will follow the adventure of...

October 01, 2018 10.08AM

A Teacher’s Perspective

Guest Blogger: Mark ‘Shrimpy’ Shrimpton Mark Shrimpton began his Outdoor Education career obtaining a Bachelor of Educ...

August 30, 2018 11.46AM

The first 12 months – An Instructor’s Journey

8 years ago Jennie was a young person on an Outward Bound program thanks to the support of her local Lions Club. Describing the ex...

August 30, 2018 11.34AM

5 reasons to go on your next adventure!

Have you ever been caught Googling your next adventure at work? Looking out the window at your university lecture day dreaming of ...

July 30, 2018 12.36PM

Summit to Sea – An Opportunity Like No Other

Recently starting her career as a teacher, Rearne Bray looks back on her Summit to Sea adventure in Team Watson from the start of ...

July 18, 2018 5.27PM

Reaffirming our dedication to Environmental Stewardship

“We have a strong commitment to living up to our environmental ethos. Ensuring that wherever possible, we make the earth a b...

May 07, 2018 4.05PM

Navigator – Success backed up by Research

Posted by Caroline Bowman and Michael Peoples Recently, 28 young people from a variety of backgrounds and geographical locations c...

November 15, 2017 9.58AM

Women of Courage – What inspires me about the program?

It has been my honour to plan and program coordinate two Women of Courage programs this year. Welcoming beautiful and courageous w...

September 20, 2017 4.25PM

Rainforest Navigator, Spring 2017 – Youth Development Program

Welcome to the Blog for our Spring Rainforest Navigator Program which is starting this weekend on Saturday 23 September from our b...