Genevieve Hibbs
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Genevieve Hibbs - Bisham Abbey, 2001

I believe that I attended the first Outward Bound Course that was open to women.

I chose kayak canoeing as my first outdoor activity. I think that all those who did that earned the British Canoe Union certificate. The instructor was a British Olympic instructor. He told two of us that we should train for the next Olympics.

That was not an option for me. I was going into nurse training, the hours were too long and the nutrition too poor. Several years later, I had to cross a lake in Canada in a dugout canoe without instruction. I did many figure of eights but eventually reached my destination.

I went canoeing again recently.

My second choice of outdoor activities was sailing. That was in 14 footer racing yachts. I had already skippered a six berth yacht on the Norfolk Broads.

Since then I had 4 sea voyages and 2 recent cruises in big ships.

I had trips with my friends in their narrow boats including a summer maiden voyage from Birmingham via Goole and over the Pennines ... That prepared me well for many canal and river planning challenges when I was a councillor in LB Hounslow 2002-2010.

I recently celebrated my 80th birthday by hiring the Elsdale 2 for my party.

Outward Bound certainly contributed to my very interesting and fulfilling life.