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Hadlee Edmunds' Outward Bound adventure December 2021

Hadlee Edmunds —

The adventure started at the Picton Interislander Ferry Terminal where everyone gathered for our adventure.

We had to have our temperatures taken then boarded a ferry that took us to Anakiwa Camp. I was nervous as the adventure was real now. On the trip to Anakiwa we sang songs and mingled. When we arrived, we were greeted with a Māori welcome. Then cell phones were taken off us for the 3 weeks. Since we were in COVID times, we had to be tested as everyone came from a different destination within New Zealand. We were the first ones to use the RAT testing (cotton bud up the nose) and thankfully we all tested negative.

We were shown around the camp and settled in. The key to our cabin was hidden up a tree. We were given a rope which we used to hoist someone up to get the key, great team bonding.

Everyday started at 5am with exercises and then a 3km run. Over the next three weeks we went tramping, sailing, used high ropes, completed an obstacle course and climbed trees. We also spent two nights (solo) alone in the bush, with only two carrots, two apples, two flat jacks and scroggin. I spent these days/nights sleeping as I was so tired. I slept really well until a rat came into my tent, trying to get my rationed food.

The most challenging activity was one of the hikes where the heat and the endless hills were mentally challenging. I had to really push myself to finish the hike.

There were 12 people; 6 males and 6 females in our watch (Hillary). I made new friends. We all did many activities that required a team effort. We got to know each other and what our strengths were.

One funny memory I will share. We were on one of our tramps when someone stood on a wasp nest. Next thing I knew we were all running in different directions. I got stung on the leg and then one got up my shorts and stung me you know where! I stripped off down to my undies but there was another wasp in my top. The wasp stung me two more times on the chest. Those Picton wasps sure are vicious!

On the second last day we had to run a ½ marathon (21.5km) which was hard for me. I am a sprinter not a long distance athlete, certainly out of my comfort zone. I completed it in 2 hours 20 minutes. I ate like a horse after that.

The stand out memory amongst many was on the sail boat. It was really cool as we slept on the boat deck at night with just a fly net covering us. I was really tired and emotional when Outward Bound finished. I went out of my comfort zone, connected with the outside world and made good friends.

I would do it all again if I had the chance.