Guest blog by Stephanie, a young carer who shares her story of gaining her Outward Bound Skills for Life Award in summer 2017:
“We often associate learning with a classroom. Whenever we think of learning we picture a school. However learning goes way beyond this, people are capable of learning and growing as an individual without the need for an enclosed environment.
The Outward Bound Trust is a prime example of this, they allow young people the chance to learn in an environment that is like no other.
This summer I took part in the Outward Bound Skills for Life Award at The Trust’s Loch Eil Centre and it was by far the best experience of my life. Skills for Life taught me many things over the course of nineteen day. Some of them obvious physical achievements and abilities. I learned how to canoe, navigate using a map and compass, how to survive in the wilderness and I even climbed to the summit of Ben Nevis. These achievements where phenomenal for me.
However there were also many mindful abilities that I learned that took a little bit more thinking and time in which to develop and be recognised. I personally believe that the mental achievements are so much more valuable. During my Outward Bound adventure I learned a lot about myself – I learned to have confidence in myself and others. I learned to put my trust in other people as well as having to trust myself, whether that be facing a personal fear or making a team decision. I learned to believe in myself and I realised that making friends from around the world isn’t as scary as it first seemed.
From self-management to making the most of new opportunities, Outward Bound has given me the chance to grow as a person. So yes, all the physical achievements and activities I’ve taken from the course were unforgettable, but they have led to moments that have changed my life. These new found mental abilities will stay with me forever and they will continue to grow and develop.Outward Bound has taught me how to be more resilient than ever, I’ve learned that plans don’t always go the way you want them to so you have to be accepting and flexible. Acceptance is something I’ve came to terms with extremely well and that’s all thanks to the Skills for Life Award. Maybe something doesn’t work out the way you hoped or you are having a rough day, but I have now learned how to accept and embrace these situations and to make the most of it.
All of this was of course only made possible through all the people I met and that helped me: My sponsor, who supported me through The Trust’s Scotland’s Next Generation project, my clan and all the staff at Loch Eil. I have to give a massive, personal thank you to my instructors Allan and Chris. Without these people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow as a person: They were always by my side, not just helping and supporting me but making my experience at Outward Bound truly unforgettable.
These people have made me who I am today and I couldn’t be more grateful.”