9 ways to make the most of your Outward Bound experience
Coming to Outward Bound® with an open mind is THE best piece of advice we can give you. The experience of returning home feeling confident about yourself and proud of your achievements is a great one.
What do we mean by an open mind? If you truly believe that the experience you are about to have will be a good way of realising your aptitude and interest in new things, then this along with effort and practice will ensure you gain more than you ever imagined possible.
1. Be curious: Ask questions and seek understanding. Ask about what you are doing and why it is important
The confidence to ask these questions in the first place sometimes takes courage. At Outward Bound we want you to be curious and discuss your understanding. The outdoors, the environment, the adventures we have and the learning that happens on the way will bring up questions and thoughts.
2. Be brave: Try new things
If you are open to trying new things, 1. you can say you actually did them and 2. you might enjoy it so much you want to do it again. Often we surprise ourselves with what we thought we’d like and dislike. This might be as simple as trying new foods; meeting different people; climbing a mountain or being out in the rain!
3. Think about a goal, something you can practice to build your confidence
We all have things we’d like to be able to do better. Maybe it’s being on time or getting organised. Practicing small ‘good’ things can lead to positive habit formation. Even better you could aim to realise and acknowledge what you are great at.
4. Enjoy the outdoors
The view from the top of a mountain can be amazing. Sometimes it’s watching a bird land on the lake or the light shifting through the trees. Appreciating beauty and your surroundings, especially when they are green is good for your well-being. Leaving behind technology and wifi can also be an interesting experiment. Notice what you do differently.
5. Practice the art of team work and communication
Be open to different ways of doing things and others' ideas. As a team, the more creative you are the better. There will be many problems to solve and ways to achieve your task. As you develop, notice your own and others' behaviours and skills too.
6. Embrace the challenges. You will surprise yourself as to what you can achieve
Believe in yourself and trust that others will support you. There will be challenges along the way, including disagreements or failure. This is normal. We talk through it. Come to a decision and learn from the situation. It feels good to have worked it out, especially when you go on to achieve something amazing.
7. Motivation: Work out what you need to be at your best
If you work and play best with lots of sleep, then ensure you get plenty. You will awaken with the energy you need for a big day outdoors. Look after yourself in other ways too. Drink lots of fresh water and eat healthily. Often this affects our mood and energy levels too. Aim to be able to say ‘yes’ to all those incredible opportunities.
8. Fun. Have lots of this
Smile, it’s infectious. Laugh with people. Hug someone. Tell somebody they did great. All of these actions generate great memorable moments, even when it might be tough or difficult. Seek out the positive and tell yourself you’ll be fine, because you will.
9. Celebrate your success
Give yourself and others a pat on the back. Acknowledge their efforts and your own. Remember the great times and chat about them, especially the adventures you had and what you learned. Take this home with you and apply it to other parts in your life and work.