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Give Outward Bound a go – you won’t regret it!

Teens who get the chance to go on an Outward Bound course should grab the opportunity with both hands, says Flaxmere College student Julia Mitchell.

The Year 12 student says her three-weeks at Outward Bound have given her improved confidence, courage and motivation, helping to set her up for another big adventure; studying family law at university in Hawaiʻi in 2022 after her final year at college.

Outward Bound runs a number of courses from its base in Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. They include the School Leaders course for years 12 and 13, designed to help senior students develop their leadership and team skills, and understand their own values and how they impact on their personal decisions. To attend students have to be able to be able to run three kilometres in under 25 minutes and pass a medical.

Julia had some idea of what she was in for as her sister Shannon had completed the same course previously and “couldn’t stop talking about how great it was”.

The course did not disappoint. “It was brilliant,” says Julia; from the challenges she faced and the skills she learned to the new friends she made.

Parts of it were tough – especially the three-day hike which took them to the top of Mt Royal. “On the middle day we went up really early so we would see the sunrise, but when we got there it was snowing. But that was great because I had never seen snow.”

The most fun was leaping off the rocks into sea and swimming through caves.

A highlight was camping alone in the bush towards the end of the three weeks, armed with just a one-man tent, a sleeping bag, carrots, an apple, scroggin and energy biscuits. “Solo was in the last week and was a time of self-reflection; thinking about everything we had experienced,” said Julia.

“After two-and-a-half weeks of living with a dozen other people, it was also a nice quiet time.”

The leadership and self-reliance skills she had learned will be of real value when she heads off to Brigham Young University for further study. Julia, in the yellow helmet, is a strong advocate of Outward Bound: ‘Give it a go!’.

Like her sister Shannon, Julia is now an advocate for Outward Bound. She is advising Year 11 students to apply to go during their Year 12. “Talk to the school and put your name forward; you won’t regret it.”


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