Raymond Toms
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Raymond Toms - Moray Sea School, Burghead Scotland, 1972

I went to Moray in 1972 as part of my management development at IBM in Croydon, Surrey. It was an exciting and daunting experience. Scotland in the middle of winter! Hiking and camping - OK. Rock climbing - OK. Sailing - not so sure. Sea Kayaking - on the schedule but eventually cancelled even with one instructor for each of us.

It was a challenge to my fitness. I was never athletic, so did I stand a chance against 18 year old Police cadets when I was a 26 year old in an office job? I was certainly fitter by the end of the course! I never thought that I would have a language barrier, unless I came across a rural Scot. Yet it took several days for me to fully understand my Geordie tent-mate from Newcastle.

Snow, snow and more snow - mixed with whiteouts. What an adventure. Too much for one unfortunate who did not follow the dress code and got hypothermia - when we were up a mountain. We quickly learned to make an igloo to warm him, whilst a mountain trained instructor, dived off the mount - literally - to roll down to our truck as quickly as possible and organise a rescue. Learning to rock climb, abseil, sail across to Cromartie, cooking in the snow, mountain rescue techniques and much more.

This is only a brief recollection, but I am so glad that I went to Moray. I was told by a friend at IBM that several attendees on Outward Bound became good managers because of the confidence they had gained on Outward Bound. On the other hand, several left the company, having found the courage to try new things. I was one of the latter. Which is why I am now in Australia. I was pleased to find Moray Scotch in my local bottle store, so have raised a few glasses in salute to my time there. I was sad to learn that Moray closed soon after and am glad to here that it will be commemorated with plaques.