Local Jindabyne girl, Tolina Davis, recently took part in Outward Bound, an outdoor education experience aimed at taking young people on a physical and mental journey of discovery and personal growth.
Tolina is a 16-year-old student at Snowy Mountains Grammar School. Having heard about the program in the school newsletter and hearing of the experience some of her friends had, she decided to give it a go. From September 22 to October 3, Tolina and her fellow Outward Bounders travelled 67km, rafting for32km. They also took part in rock climbing, abseiling and, Tolina’s favourite, caving.
“There was a moment after we had abseiled down into a cave where we were told to turn our torches off to experience what it is like to be completely blind,” said Tolina, “The pitch black was incredible and was a really influential experience.”
Tolina says that she thoroughly enjoyed Outward Bound and would encourage other students to take part if they have the opportunity.
“Over 12 days strong bonds were formed, great memories were made, personal boundaries were extended and
I became determined never to doubt, or put limitations on myself,” she says, “On Outward Bound you find strength in yourself, and help to find it in those around you. This combined strength then allows the team to move forward and achieve together what could be seen as individually unrealistic or unobtainable goals.”
“There will be bumps, bruises, tears and sweat, but there is no better feeling than to take your pack off at the end of the day, look at the map, look at your surroundings and realise your accomplishments, both personally and as a team.”
“To have an experience like this was a revelation. I had the opportunity to choose to push hard, to learn and to strive and I took it. I was able to find my physical and mental comfort zones and extend them in a safe, constructive environment.”
For those willing to give Outward Bound a try, Tolina has this advice – “Seize this opportunity and make it what you most want it to be. Become better than the person you thought you were – learn, explore, adventure and challenge what you know and discover what you don’t. It’s worth the effort!”
Outward Bound has spurred on Tolina’s leadership skills, and she plans on running for School Captaincy as a senior at school. She is also currently working towards her Duke of Edinburgh Award and plans to chase down a career in aviation or interior architecture once she finishes school
*This article originally appeared in the Monaro Times on 11 November, 2015.