Mike and his 14-year-old daughter Emma embarked on a Leaps & Bounds adventure, the Outward Bound course for parents and teens.
I was really looking forward to spending time with my daughter Emma as she starts to contemplate her place in the world. I wanted to share with her an opportunity to experience a truly beautiful place like Anakiwa. In the end, I not only created a stronger connection with Emma but also found the incentive to keep pushing hard for the things that matter in my life. I now know keep reflecting on what those things are and act upon them.
A shared language
"It’s sometimes challenging to find the opportunities and language to relate to a teenager. Equally I suspect teenagers can often view parents through a lens that we don’t understand.
Outward Bound provided my daughter and I with a ‘gift’ of experience and language/stories that we now share. The experience redrew our relationship to some positive degree and has made it easier to talk about the key messaging that came out of Leaps & Bounds."
A dynamic duo
For me, the course wouldn't have been the same without our two exceptional instructors, Angus and Jorge. Here's how I'd sum them up:
- Integrity – they kept to their word, they were fair, they had complete trust of the watch.
- Personalities – they were assertive without being over-baring. Injected enough humour to keep a balance between keeping spirits-up and maintaining respect
- Judgement – they helped managed the dynamic between older and younger when it came to the activities and reflective exercises
- Experience – they shared their knowledge and a lot about themselves in the process.
- Team-work – it appeared to us that they worked well as a team. They played to one another’s strengths and worked as a cohesive partnership when both in front of the watch.
Removing my self-imposed limitations
"It’s very easy (possibly more so as you get older) to limit yourself for a whole bunch of reasons. I was surprised that after 8 short, but tough days, I had an experience that is now ingrained within my decision-making processes.
Outward Bound reminded me, in a powerful way, to use each moment productively, do things that matter and are positive, and keep asking the question about what matters to you and the community.
In other words don’t stop growing – keep pushing yourself in a healthy way."