Craig's reaching new heights he never thought possible

My Course, Inspirational

My name is Craig and I am a proud OB Alumnus. But I am not like most students who attend. I am 24 years old and I have had four strokes. These have left me with difficulty walking, slightly slurred speech, and minor fine motor skills reduction. I have to use a walker or a mobility scooter to get about.

I believe my condition has actually been beneficial to my growth as a person. I have learned many life lessons and developed characteristics such as tenacity and perseverance that I would not have had otherwise. I have a degree in graphic design and also studied computer science. I work in IT and write and perform poetry as a creative outlet.

Last year I had the amazing privilege of being able to attend the Outward Bound Activate course. Activate is an adapted course that allows people like me, who are not so physically able, to experience the challenge and adventure of an Outward Bound course.

Craig

I went into the course with a bit of a bad attitude, thinking it wouldn’t challenge me and that I’d be held back by others in my watch. Over the duration of the course, I learnt that there are more benefits to working as a team rather than an individual. I learned to be patient and tried to help others out a lot more.

The true test for me was during the high ropes. I had become close friends with one of my watch mates and we were both confident with heights. He wanted to do the hardest version of high ropes, I decided I was going to do it with him. I got about two thirds through the course when I reached the part I knew would be challenging. I froze. It was only through taking a deep breath and listening to the cheers of support coming from my watch mates that pushed me through the remainder of the course. When I reached the ground, the support worker who had assisted me with unclipping and re-clipping my equipment along the course, admitted he thought it would be tough for me and was proud I had finished it.

(High ropes) was the highlight of my OB experience, pushing me to my absolute edge and beyond what I thought I could achieve. The high ropes nearly broke me, which I did not believe Outward Bound could do. But I pushed through.

Credit break.theresistance

There’s no way I could have completed the course without all the safety gear provided by Outward Bound. The instructors make all the activities as genuinely adventurous for us and that means they must ensure all the gear supports this. With around 1700 students going through Outward Bound every year they are constantly having to replace the equipment and follow ongoing rigorous safety checks to ensure it’s fit for purpose.  

As you can imagine, all this specialty equipment is a big cost to Outward Bound. With your support we can ensure that there’s enough gear for all the watches to use, so that everyone, no matter their ability, can enjoy Outward Bound. Any contribution, large or small, is an important step towards another student realizing their potential.

 

I'd like to help students like Craig stay safe at Outward Bound