I’m Harry Easton and last week I got back from 21 days at Outward Bound. Where I had no phone, no books, no music, nothing.
I spent 480 hours with 10 other people from all over the country.
All of my other watchmates in the Cook Watch were also recipients of the Roy McKenzie Scholarship. We all received the scholarship as we were identified as potential leaders in some shape or form. This made for a really interesting group of 16 and 17 year olds from all areas of life. Some were prefects, some had to help provide for their families, some had very bad and unsafe home lives and some had it very easy in their lives like me. This caused me to change my perceptions and assumptions of others and gave me bonds with people I would never have if it weren’t for Outward Bound.
Outward Bound was the most interesting and eye opening experience. It honestly changes your life. It gives you many new experiences. In my case, my watch got to spend 4 days rowing and sailing in our scholarship boat the Sir Roy, out in the Queen Charlotte Sound.
Other cool things I was able to do were, paddling in a waka, tramps, high ropes courses, water activities and the list can go on and on. They present a lot of challenges to you too, both mental and physical, for example, running a half marathon, camping out in the bush in floods and sailing in 100km/h winds. But the biggest challenge they present is the 2 nights by yourself in the bush. Just you, a bivvy and limited food. Your entertainment is nature.
Outward Bound has taught me many valuable things, but the biggest takeaway from my course is what I’ve learnt about myself. The instructors give you many hard things to think and talk about.
I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and the life and leadership skills I was able to obtain at my course. I would like to thank Mr Hall for putting me in the running to go to Outward Bound, and the Roy McKenzie Trust for picking me to be the Otago recipient of the scholarship.
I will never forget my time at Outward Bound. If any of you boys get the chance to go on Outward Bound, take it. You won’t regret it.