The Admin staff arrived on day one extremely enthusiastic and excited to be back at Outward Bound Australia one year after their own NYSC program. They were picked up from the airport and taken back to base for a tour. The admin staff used the remainder of the day to prepare themselves for the NYSF internal program which will be delivered to staff on days 3 and 4. The planning continued into the night and there was little sleep for some!
Day 2 started with the Admin staff being introduced to the DISC personality test by an Outward Bound Instructor. The session was then supported by the group splitting off into 2 little groups to complete several initiatives to help kinaesthetically with the learnings.
After lunch the Admin staff used their time for preparation in anticipation for the arrival of the group staff, mid-afternoon. On their arrival afternoon tea was served and a general welcome was done. The group spent the rest of the day socialising and getting to know each other.
The Admin staff ran the day with little input from Outward Bound instructors. The groups appeared to be doing a lot of dramaturgy and presentation preparation for their NYSF projects. The groups had a late night finishing at 11pm.
Today was the last full day for the admin staff at OBA. The participants ran the day working with the group staff, continuing on with their presentations and dramaturgy themed sessions. Dinner that night entailed a 3 course meal catered by OBA staff, special guests from OBA and the NYSF community were also in attendance. The night was a great success with the goal being to provide students the opportunity to mingle and network.
Today the groups said goodbye to the admin staff as they departed back to their homes; leaving the 2 staff groups to split and commence their Outward Bound journey with their instructors. During expectation sessions throughout the day the groups are feeling a safe environment to express gentleness, acceptance and openness to one another.
The day involved several initiatives to introduce the group to teamwork, these activities succeeded in creating awareness of group dynamics and communication. The giant ladder was the next session and this focused on goal setting and it was great to see everybody engaged in at least one supporting role throughout the activity. Colour mass was the last activity of the day which was focused on bringing out the creative side of expressing their opinions.
Group 2 had a similar day to group 1, completing all the same activities and initiatives in the morning focusing on teamwork and communication. The afternoon commenced with this group under pressure with their presentations being assessed by Outward Bounds RTO for their competency in creating and delivering a project. Everybody did exceptionally well.
Group 1 started the day on the giant ladder and had lots of fun working together to try and reach the top (no easy feat). The group then started preparing for the expedition and the next few nights away from the comfort of a bed and technology.
The group then walked approximately 5km to their campsite where they were taught important skills in living outside in a wilderness environment.
Group 2 started the day with the Learning & Development department delivering there presentations for their competencies. All participants presented well and were given feedback for learning at the conclusion of their presentations. After this the groups then prepared themselves for their expedition section and headed off on their 5km walk to camp.
After an exciting first night out in Ingledene Forest both groups had some reflective time where they could walk solo for a short distance identifying and questioning their values, we call this the Values Journey. The groups enjoyed the activity and the peaceful environment in which it was conducted; away from all the distractions of modern day life. Two more big activities followed – the Leadership Wheel and the Box initiative. The Leadership Wheel is a study designed to identify leadership traits whilst the Box initiative is designed to highlight the importance of teamwork. While the group was unsuccessful with the box initiative they were enlightened by the activity, and how easy it could have been to complete if they had worked together more.
The big and final day out in the bush! Day 8 consisted of a short hike up a steep hill to the gully crossing activity. This activity was designed to be the final test for these NYSF participants, an activity where they would have to all work together. The activity involved setting up a 15m low ropes bridge, belay cable and a pack lowering system to safely cross the gully. The group was given no preparation time for this activity and were briefed up on it on their arrival, 3 hours was the time limit. The group succeeded with the activity with less than a minute to spare which awarded them with a section of a map that had to be used to find their food. The night was busy for the groups having to conduct de-issue and bush cook.
The 2 groups were up early, doing last minute pack up and a final debrief to conclude the program. Well done to all participants from the NYSF 2015, Outward Bound Australia is sure that you will continue to utilise your new found skills and knowledge in positive ways.