Back to alumni stories
Rosalind Evans - Devon on Ashburton, 1960
I went to the Dartmoor Outward Bound course in February of 1960, I think, maybe a year later. I found the whole thing immensely challenging. Dartmoor in February was cold and inhospitable, and got very wet often. I was in Dart Patrol. My memories are various. I got involved because a friend of mine in the Sixth Form at Welwyn Garden City Grammar School, who was a Prefect (I was not), told me that Herts County Council were giving Scholarships for OB courses, at the sailing centre for three weeks learning to sail and it would be in June. I had done some sailing with my brother and wished to improve. We both wrote the required essay to try to win, and I won - February, Dartmoor!! A surpise. Two other things stand out - the girls in my patrol were a revelation to me, coming from a comfortable middle class family, educated, about to take A levels. One girl was from Tate & Lyle factory in Bristol where she was a sugar packer, had never seen a cow let alone wild and windy moor. And didn't she do well! And the other memory is the final three day event where we were dropped off in the middle of the moor, with rucksac and provisions, a map and a compass and told to get home. We failed abysmally (I cannot remember the circumstances) but set off in exactly the opposite direction we were supposed to and spent two days happily plodding along wrongly until suddenly adults came to find us - we were walking in slightly dangerous country, unexploded armaments, etc. The thing that I remember is that no one was cross with us, we had tried, in their eyes we had succeeded. No one suggested we should have read the compass better. I don't think it altered my life, but I have good memories . Did it make me a changed or better person? Don't think so - just a great experience.