Hero photograph
Outward Bound  - Mika Cottle 

Outward Bound - Mika Cottle

Mika Cottle Year 13 —

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to go on an Outward Bound three week Mind, Body and Soul adventure in December 2018 with 13 other students from around the country.

In those three weeks I learnt to sail a cutter, white water kayak, tramp up four mountains in three days, stayed in the bush alone for two nights, did plenty of community service, completed a high ropes course and the 13 strangers of Cook watch 648 became my family. I also completed a half marathon and plan to run another one later this year. Outward Bound is incredibly fun and has many highs, challenges and lows.

One of my biggest challenges I faced was the solo in the bush as I am scared of the dark. It sounded very daunting to me. If I was asked before the course how I would cope staying two nights alone in the bush with only a tarp, sleeping bag, two carrots, two apples, two flapjacks and a bag of nuts, I would have said I will never be able to do that. I learned I needed to have a growth mind set and add ‘yet’ on to the end of my sentence. To my surprise once I changed my perspective I actually enjoyed the time to reflect on how far I had come since the beginning of the course and got over my fear of the dark! All it took was a positive growth mindset!

Another huge realisation for me occurred after the journey, which was a combined trip of two days sailing and three days tramping. We arrived back to base camp at 10pm; cold and wet, ready to get some dinner and jump into bed. However that's not what our instructor Lacey had planned for us. She jumped into the bus wearing a lifejacket and announced we were jumping off the jetty. She then said “a wise man once said, there is more in you” and that really resonated with me. Once I had jumped off the jetty I realised that there was more left in me which was such a cool feeling to find. I can't wait to keep pushing my boundaries to find that feeling again.

Outward Bound is an experience of a lifetime. I have learnt so much about not only myself but others as well. I have made lifelong friends, lifelong memories and learnt lifelong lessons. I have gained so many new skills both practical and leadership that I can’t wait to put into practise this year. Outward Bound solidified my values and what I stand for as well as who I truly am. I would like to say a huge thank you to my sponsor, the Otago Community Trust who made my dreams become a reality. I would also like to thank Otago Girls’ and my family for their ongoing support throughout my journey. I could not recommend Outward Bound enough to anyone. If you ever get the opportunity to go, take it.