Paul Smith
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Paul Smith - Devon on Ashburton, 1971

Came across this site by accident and was catapulted back 40 odd years to my youth and an experience that left an indelible impression with me. I was an Army Apprentice from Camberley and there was one other army guy in the group. The rest were a mixture of ‘civvies’. I can remember a Welshman, a Cockney, a German and an American. Our instructors were Chris and Mike (Mike had two dogs named Scruffy and Fleas). Some of the names on the back of the photo are: R (Richard I think) Ashton, Keith Moore, K Kerr, Clive Key, R Bass, Chris Hoffstaedter, Arthur (can’t make out second name).
The course was grueling to say the least and really tested any weaknesses. My particular fear was heights and I can remember being encouraged to take a step across a ravine at height. It was probably about 12 inches wide but seemed like 12 feet to me! Also remember vividly potholing and the poor overweight guy being pushed and pulled through a very small hole! Of course jumping from the bridge was another test and not knowing what was in the water 30 feet below didn’t help! The treks across the moors were great and helped by the special flapjack we were given to eat – it was probably just flapjack but was the food of the gods after a day trekking. Really hated the solo overnight on the moors and heard all manner of animals trying to get under my bivouac with me!
Best memory was canoeing down the estuary to the sea and white water canoeing – brilliant!
Thanks Outward Bound for an amazing experience.
Paul Smith