James Campbell
Back to alumni stories

James Campbell - Loch Eil, Scottish Highlands, 2009

During the summer of 2009 I volunteered to take part in a three week Outward Bound Classic course. This course involved me leaving home for three weeks to go to the Loch Eil Centre.

During the course, we did a multitude of activities from orienteering to expeditions, or raft building to a morning activity we called 'jog and dip'. The 'jog and dip' was one of the most tiring and exciting activities at the centre, it involved getting up at 6am, stretching and jogging for about twenty to thirty minutes then came the icy shock of jumping into the loch. We jogged down to the dock, put on the life jackets and jumped in one after the other. As you can imagine the loch was freezing so most of us tried to get out as quickly as possible but many of us were so hyper after the first dip we went back for another.

My favourite part throughout the whole experience was doing something I would never have dreamt of doing, climbing to the top of Ben Nevis. We climbed Ben Nevis during our four day and three night expedition which involved walking with those heavy bag packs to destinations that we picked out on a map and camping there for the night. Our instructor, Scott, told us that on the first week he would help and support us a lot then as the weeks went on he would grow more distant causing us to support ourselves and he would occasionally meet with us on the third week to help the walking wounded.

We were organised into clanson the first day and our clan was the Fraser Clan(number one :D).over the course of the three weeks our clan had its ups and downs, our good times and bad times. the one thing i miss about outward bound was the amount of random, pointless banter(no boom-boom? :P) that went on.Another great moment over the three weeks was the 'solo'.we were left alone at destinations close by to each other to think about how far we had come since the begining,or catch up on some necessary sleep.

one long lasting memory was the pillow fights(yes you read that right :P) that most of us guys had during the time there.sorry dennis :P. the three weeks were just mad, so much going on every minute of the day.

Overall the experience was a great one and was very challenging not just for myself but everyone who was there. The only problem i found with the three weeks was that it went too fast. just by typing this out i wish i could go back just to do it all over again. Thanks to everyone at the Loch Eil centre for everything that you did for me. and hope to hear from you soon. :D