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Georgina Taylor - Aberdovey, Wales, 1989
I was sent by my school as I was struggling with my mental health & with life generally as a 17 year old. The experience was transformational - I found my place in a group, had a go at every activity and surprised myself that I could do more than I thought, eg managing a rock climb over an overhang and going through a narrow underground tunnel. My biggest challenge was “the grot pot”, part of the ropes course - you had to jump from one platform to another, then jump to a rope that hung above a pool of mucky water (rumoured to have kitchen waste in it!) and from here swing to a net and grab hold of the net. I didn’t see anyone else fall in but I must have fallen in around 15 times consecutively. I became absolutely determined to make it. Everyone else on the ropes course had stopped what they were doing and were watching but I felt in my own very focused head space where I just kept going back and trying again. When I eventually made it I felt enormous exhilaration and very proud of myself for not giving up. This lesson has stayed with me for life. I do have a photo that someone took of one of my attempts. I also still have the handwritten notes from my fellow participants that we all had to write about each other at the end of the course and my log book and badge. I’ve stayed interested in the outdoors and in pushing myself physically ever since as well. The course was life changing. I was lucky to be funded partly by my school and partly by my county council.