Maverick MORGAN PROBERT attended a 21-day Outward Bound course in December – and had the time of his life.
Around 150 participants were met with a welcoming powhiri. I was allocated to Batten Watch 588, and I was well aware that I would get to know the 13 other participants and 2 instructors very well over the next 3 weeks.
I created a couple of personal objectives before starting the course:
A) to give everything a go and develop a ‘jump in’ mentality;
B) to develop leadership abilities that I could use back in the ‘real world’.
A highlight of my OB experience was the High Ropes Course. The aim was not to finish the course necessarily, but to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves. We all supported each other all the way; that showed me the value of team support. I also learnt the joy of pushing myself to do crazy-as things that I would never have thought I would – or could – do.
Days 10 to 12
Thom led us out into the forest in the middle of the night, leaving us to fend for ourselves for the next 36 hours. I was absolutely alone. It was a jarring change. I remember distinctly that the first few moments of silence after Thom disappeared was probably one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
I spent a lot of time pondering my life and where I felt I was going, which was a very rewarding experience. When I rejoined the group, I had filled my notebook with several pages of such observations, which I continue to reflect on.
One of the key lessons I learned today is that, as far as feedback is concerned, you always have to be open to the possibility that there’s truth in what someone is telling you. As Cherie cryptically said: “If four people are telling you that you have a tail, you better stop and take a look”.
The instructors left us with some final words and thoughts, and one of them told us the secret of life. Complete a course in the future and you might just find out what it is!
We boarded the ferry and found ourselves ‘outward bound’ from Anakiwa. One of the greatest things that I learned was that leaders don’t necessarily lead; I don’t have to always be the first in line to take on new challenges, instead I can show leadership by supporting others in their attempts to challenge themselves.
I was part of an amazing alliance, feeling a sense of camaraderie the likes of which I’ve rarely experienced. I knew I’d changed on a deeply personal level, and that I was coming home a different person. Outward Bound was life-changing like that, and it’s the greatest experience of my life.
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