Andrew's Outward Bound journey

Andrew (aged 16) has completed three Outward Bound adventures, this is his story so far... If you've got an Outward Bound story that you'd like to share with us please send it to:

My name is Andrew and I'm here to tell you a little about myself and my Outward Bound journey. I'm 16 years old studying AAT accounting level 2 and have a passion for the outdoors, which I found through Outward Bound.

How did my Outward Bound journey begin?

It all began when my secondary school took me on my first adventure to Loch Eil at Fort William. The course lasted for 1 week and during this time I climbed the mountain next to Ben Nevis, as Ben Nevis was a little large to climb in Year 8. When my adventure ended at Loch Eil it left me hungry for more, that’s how it all began.

What Happened next?

Feet Poking Out Of Tent

The next part of my journey was the most amazing. We had been back from Loch Eil around six months and I was offered the chance to go on a Serious Adventure, but this time in a different location - I would be heading west to the Welsh coast of Aberdovey in summer. This adventure was funded by the Annington Trust, who I am enormously grateful to. I made new friends and improved my communication skills (as I was extremely shy at the time) and learned lots of new skills. During the week I got to meet all sorts of people from as far as Singapore and Italy to as near as Wales. Taking part was one of the best decisions of my life.  

One year later, I wanted to try the next level up: The Skills for Life Award. However, in order to get there I would have to do a lot of fundraising. I signed up to the Award in the hope that I would make even more friends and also take my first steps towards overcoming my fear of heights. The Award did not disappoint, from kayaking and mountaineering to rock climbing and abseiling I can confidently say that I made lots of new friends and conquered my fears.

My most memorable highlight was the self-led expedition where friendships really were made as we were put through our paces to complete a four day expedition without any instructor, it was amazing. When we completed the programme and became Skills for Life graduates I was proud to tick off another amazing milestone in my Outward Bound journey.

What does the future hold?

For 2018 I have decided to crank the adventure level up another notch and return to Aberdovey to take on the Ultimate Expedition. The reason I chose the Ultimate is because I believe I can accomplish Outward Bound’s most challenging programme. The outside is what inspires me to achieve and I’m looking forward to nineteen days camping under the stars and scaling the Welsh mountains from peak to peak, I simply can’t wait.

However, there remains one final hurdle before I can take part and that’s to raise the funds needed to go – a challenge in its own right. I have already fundraised my deposit by offering my services as a gardener and am now writing to local businesses for help with raffle prizes.

In Spring I intend to raise even more through a sponsored bike ride from Grantham to Peterborough totalling thirty six miles. I have chosen this route because I recently moved house from Grantham, where I lived when I undertook the Skills for Life Award, to Peterborough, where I will live when completing the Ultimate Expedition – the perfect way to symbolise my journey. If you would like to donate and help fund my journey you can find a link at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading!

You can follow Andrew's progress on twitter with @Achieve_Great1 and donate via his website.