I caught up with Heather Jeffs about her 10-day voyage on the Spirit of Adventure in January this year.
Heather’s mum first raised the idea of the Spirit of Adventure with her when she herself went on Outward Bound last year. She came home all enthused and said to Heather, “Right, you are going on either Outward Bound or the Spirit of Adventure.” Heather chose the Spirit as she liked boats and thought it might suit her better.
Heather left from Bluff with 50 or so others bound for Stewart Island and surrounding areas. She had a basic idea of what she was to expect but didn’t fully know what she was in for.
I was interested in what a typical day on the boat might look like. Heather explained that everyone is in teams and you work in these teams to get things done. Everyone has a turn at being their group's leader for half a day. Crew members are up at 6:30am for some basic warm-up exercises and games. Then you do a duty, which might be cleaning or meal preparation. An upshot was that the food was amazing!!
Whilst sailing the ship, Heather learnt that basic techniques and teamwork were essential. Heather identified communication as a key skill that she developed during the experience. She is better equipped now to recognise what makes a good leader. Personally, she feels like she is more confident in her daily life, communicates better and is continuing to develop leadership skills.
Heather is working towards NCEA Level 2 this year. She would like to have a good Basketball season and is enjoying lifting weights and would like to enter a competition this year.
If you are reading this and it has sparked an interest in the Spirit of Adventure or the Spirit of New Zealand, Heather recommends you just get out and fundraise and do it. It isn’t 100% intense all the time and you get to meet some great people. Hagley College supports students wanting to go on a voyage and can offer some fundraising opportunities. You can find more information here.
On the last night of the voyage, all students write a letter to themselves and when you get it back you receive information about how to go back as a leader. Heather has every intention of doing that and I don’t doubt she will make that happen. I interview a lot of students (one of the best parts of my job) and Heather’s energy and enthusiasm really stand out to me. When she sets herself a goal or has her sights set on something I am confident she will do everything she can to make it happen. One of Hagley’s ‘go getters.’ Thanks for sharing your story, Heather!