Tim Noble
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Tim Noble - Aberdovey, Wales, 1979

Been there, got the cufflinks !

At an evening reception at Barclays Bank where I worked, I heard about the Outward Bound experience and with an offer of 3 weeks off work, I leapt at the chance to go "camping" !

That was 35 years ago and little did I know that those 3 weeks were about to change my life for ever. At 18 years old in a mixed team of 6 boys and 6 gorgeous girls what could be better. But in life there is a saying - if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is!

Being left in a forest alone in March on the Welsh mountains with just a plastic sheet and sleeping bag, was my first rude awakening. Forbidden from trying to find my colleagues in the pitch dark, this tough lad from North London, just stood there and cried his eyes out.

The next morning seemed like the next month. When that Landrover came to collect us, I was so happy and for the next 2 weeks, we all learned the meaning of team spirit. Stick together, help the slow or tired or injured.

The group of us bonded really well and I would love to know what happened to them. The 2 girls from the police cadets? The tough scouser from Cammell Laird ship yard on Merseyside who sadly didnt make the full 3 weeks.

Many years later I was fortunate to take part in a corporate charity fund raising Outward Bound weekend event in the Lake District but being a fund raiser, much as I loved it, this was not a patch on the emotional challenge of my teens

Not one week goes by when I dont recall with fond memories the Aberdovey camp, and the soul searching I went through. I found it so challenging and humbling. Even as I write this I am welling up.

I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take part to grab it with both hands !