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Rachel Sheldrake - Loch Eil, Scottish Highlands, 1986
It was a summer evening in 1986 when I arrived at Loch Eil after a very, very long, lonely train journey from Devon as a timid 18-year-old. I can still remember the walk across to the centre from the station as if it was yesterday, looking up at the building surrounded by Scottish hills and thinking 'Wow, I've got three weeks here; this is going to be amazing' and I was right! I will never forget the hiking through the forest behind the centre or the sea-kayaking on the loch. I won't forget the team-building exercises we did in the grounds or our three-day sailing adventure round to Loch Leven, where we camped on a midge-infested island. But what I remember most of all is the confidence I gained through meeting and living with complete strangers for three weeks, confidence which set me up for life, a life which has included a lot more adventure of every kind. Thank you Outward Bound for some of the best memories ever; you rock!