The Anakiwa experience
Having recently returned from Anakiwa, Devon shared his Outward Bound experience with us:
"When we got there we were thrown completely in the deep end. Our first challenge was to rock climb blind folded. It was actually quite fun, I just thought about trusting in myself and trusting in the people around me. Some of my watch mates freaked out so I encouraged them, saying 'you can do this, we are not going to leave you, and we will not let you down."
Living in the moment
"One of the hardest things for me was to letting go of worries and fear, to learn to live in the moment.
I did not have the easiest start in life being born with meningitis and asthma and spending months and months in hospital. This really affected me and I have always been the sort of person who worries about what is going to happen. Worrying about my family and what we are going to do.
My watchmates and the instructors around me really helped me to relax, live in the moment and accept what is coming next."
Nobody left behind
"The highlight of my course was standing on the top of the mountain after a three day tramp and knowing that we made it together as a watch no one was left behind. It was a really hard tramp, I was getting really mad and angry at 2am in the morning and we were still walking. People were getting slower and slower and I was thinking can things get any worse. Finally we got to the end of the tramp at 3am in the morning and I was like YES we made it, the pain is over!
I talk with my watch mates all the time. We keep supporting each other."
Looking to the future
"I think everyone should have the chance to do Outward Bound.
I had a troubled life with health problems and moving around a lot. It was hard not making any friends and going to so many different schools. It wasn’t my choice, it wasn’t my fault, but it was hard, people got really sick of me. I want to encourage others to be strong. I want to tell people don’t let the past ruin what you have now. Look at me here I am 20 years old, I have a good job, I have good friends.
I want to open my own bakery one day. I want it to be the sort of place where people can smell the bakery from across the road and they just want to come in. One of my specialties will be tarte tatin, it’s like an apple turn over but baked with butter and brown sugar, it is really good. It may take me five years but I now know I can do it. I am willing to do what it takes.
Outward Bound has taught me to give 110 percent into everything, to do it even when you are scared, just put your hand up and say I’ll do it.