Roland Richardson
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Roland Richardson - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1976

I was sent on the outward bound by my employers 'Chatham Naval base, where I was doing an engineering apprenticeship. It was the hot summer of 1976. I was there for 4 weeks!
I have so many memories but will be brief. I particularly remember being woken up every morning at 6.30am, getting my shorts and tee shirt on, then running around the Tarn (Lake) about a half mile round, then jumping in! Luckily because it was the Hot summer, it was quite warm, & definitely woke you up.

We were in a dorm with about 10 other boys, I was 17. I remember there were so many activities, most were energetic and of a sporting nature, but we also have quizzes and a talent show evening. I remember meal times with a Scottish guy who was a supervisor, he said grace before food which went
'some have food but canny eat ,some have none but want it, we have food and we can eat, so bless oh lord we thank it' (In a broad Scottish accent)

I recall being on a 3 day expedition to walk up a number of peeks & have vivid memories of walking through thick fog on top of a mountain when out of the fog we see our Team supervisor, Running along with no shirt. He ran past us, & just said 'hello guys' and carried on running. We were all gobsmacked!

One incident that spoilt it a bit for me, was the day we had the rope course challenge. We had to complete a circuit using rope ladders, commando crawl, rope swings etc. I completed this no problem. I then decided to do it in reverse, which meant crawling along the horizontal rope, sitting on it as someone threw me a swinging rope to grab. Un fortunately as I leaned forward to grab, the rope I was sitting on moved back, meaning I missed & plunged about 8 foot head first onto the root of a large tree. Luckily we had just completed a first aid course, so the rest of the guys & the supervisor had a real life drama to deal with. I had a number of stitches and concusion which meant me staying in the sick bay for about 3 days.

We canoed on deepest lake in England (Wastwater) Walked up the highest peek (Scafel Pike) Spent 3 days on our own under a plastic sheet with ants crawling on you, Were taken out blindfolded at night in a truck, given a map and a compass & told to get back to Eskdale by morning, we had problem solving, Circuit training, Orienteering and almost every activity you can think of.

It was certainly one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life.

Thank you Outward bound & especially everyone at Eskdale

Roly Richardson