Marc Lester
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Marc Lester - Loch Eil, Scottish Highlands, 2010

As a pupil at secondary school, I attended an Outward Bound course in 1999. I was in fourth year and it wasn't often you were given the chance to participate. I grabbed it with both hands!
I spent 5 days at Loch Eil in the Scottish Highlands with a dozen pupils from my year group, some of which I had never spoken to in my time at school. By the end of the week we were all best friends!
I remember our Instructor was called Doreen and we participated in activities such as Abseiling, Canoeing, Gorge Walking and Raft Building. We were mixed in with other schools and I had one of the best times of my life. My favourite part of the course was Jacob's Ladder which involved climbing a very high structure while being tied up in all the relevant safety equipment. Being afraid of hieghts, I found this particularly challenging and daunting. However, I managed to complete it with the support from my team mates..... That was 1999!

I'm now a secondary school teacher (Design and Technology) and I have been on an Outward Bound course twice in my capacity as a teacher. Each time I go, I have a better and more valuable experience than the previous time. The most recent being in March 2010 when I travelled to Moffat (The Well Road Centre) with 5 of my colleagues and 24 pupils. It was a shorter course this time, but it was still full of great activities and we all took so much from that weekend. It was designed as a study weekend with several OB activities incorporated into it as part of our new Curriculum for Excellence. The pupils had a fantastic time and are still telling their stories to this day. The Raft Building was excellent and very wet! We even had some swimmers in the freezing loch! A group of us took part in a Mountain Biking challenge which was another highlight. However, my personal highlight was the Night Line walk on the Saturday night. We travelled deep into the forest in complete darkness and wandered through a trail with only eachother as guides. The only light we had was the moon but even that didn't help much as it was clouded by the trees. As we neared the end of the walk, we took a breather to learn about the different constellations of stars. In the silence, it seemed like there were things moving in the bushes and trees, obviously most of it being in your head... Someone asked me if I was alright to which I replied "Yes, but I'd much rather be back in the minibus..."
Overall, every experience at Outward Bound has always been a very enjoyable one and one which I have taken so much from.
I can't wait til the next one - March 2011 !!!