Hazel Moucka nee Lennox
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Hazel Moucka nee Lennox - Rhowniar, Wales, 1978

On Friday 17th March 1978 I boarded a boat from Belfast with Kimberley Carson and Sharon McIlwaine and travelled overnight to Liverpool. I was 15 years old and to this day can still see the dock side as we waved goodbye to our parents. We had met once before we travelled having each won a scholarship for our Outward Bound course through a competition run by our Education and Library Board. We spent the next day travelling by train from Liverpool to Aberdovey with changes at Crewe, Shrewsbury and Dovey Junction before a bus ride to Rhowniar centre.

The first party to arrive we had time to unpack and settle in to what was to be home for the next three weeks. I was allocated to Berwyn Dormitory and my instructor was Roger Daynes. There were 13 girls in my dorm.... the three of us from Belfast and

Susan Elliott - Greenfort
Janet Page - Birmingham
Jo-anne Martin - Birmingham
Penny George - Hertfordshire
Debbie Hognie - Suffolk
Andrea Farrell - Hertfordshire
Jane Pearce - Bristol
Fiona Brooks - Gloucestershire
Dawn Vincent - Bristol
Jackie Prout - Buckinghamshire

For this information, apart from messages and signatures on the rear of my photograph I'm grateful to my "log book".

It made interesting reading three years ago when I suggested to my own daughter that an Outward Bound course would fit very well into her Duke of Edinburgh programme. We poured over my daily writings young and niave now with experience but oh so heartfelt to a young girl far from home at the time

First impressions... "well it was more than I expected...... once you start talking to other girls we all seemed to get on well"

My daily entries contain information on timetables and details of menus together with my experiences of making "a fool of myself on the rope course"; and practising abseiling and climbing - "I really enjoyed it so things didn't seem so bad"

So many activities that have made a lasting impression packed into such a short space of time. And every aspect of my development covered - physical, social, emotional..... apart from the hillwalking and necessary map reading classes, route planning etc we had drama; communications; team building!!!

My impressions - I recently had a reunion with school friends from high school - 1978/81. They remembered my Outward Bound course so I must have made a noise about it on my return! My memories are all good of outdoors, building friendships, overcoming obstacles. My log book tells of a girl who had ups and downs and many challenges; who wanted to go home but then was having fun; who even at 15 realised that she had had a life changing experience.

As a mother who has seen her own daughter come from Outward Bound a more mature, all-rounded young woman I'm a number one fan for this type of activity and experience for anyone!!

As a ps.... I'd love to know what happened to those other 12 girls over these last 32 years!!