Amanda Dunman
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Amanda Dunman - Rhowniar, Wales, 1978

Whilst I was used to being away from home on my own, going on a 3 week Outward Bound Course at 17 years of age involving 6 train changes and meeting lots of young women in my own age group I didn't know, was part of the adventure! The Outward Bound experience was not the first residential of my life as a young person, so I went with the attitude of "being up for it" and excited by the prospect of time off school as well as doing lots of adventure activities. I remember liking Rhownair and looking forward to getting stuck in. It was shock to discover some girls were terrified and called home most nights.
Looking back there are things we did that I am sure would never meet the outdoor standards of today - going into slate mines with candles for light and abseiling into pitch black on a basic rope and sling; abseiling cliffs at Barmouth again with only a small sling and no second safety rope; being dropped off by a minibus as a group and challenged to "get back to the centre - here's a map"! And the tents! So big and heavy! And going up Plynlimon at night with no head torches. All part of the adventure for me, but for the first time being with a bunch of females who had very different reactions and ways of dealing with it. I learned a lot needless to say about others and myself. Like needing to recognise not everyone had the same confidence or outlook as me, that team work was important and that leadership was about a lot more than telling everyone I knew where I was as I charged into action!
I remember the army came for training on the zip wire which a number of girls decided was suddenly worth putting make up on for!
When I got back to school the Head Teacher read out my Outward Bound Report in front of the whole assembly. 30 years on I am still enjoying and loving the outdoors. Thank you, Outward Bound.