Life After An Outward Bound Summer

We caught up with Liam Baxter, aged 19, three months after his Skills for Life Award course and asked him for an update on what life is like after his summer adventure. This is what he had to say:

Three months on from my summer with Outward Bound® I feel that it’s really important that I share with you not just my stories of adventure, but also what I learnt and the difference it made to my life.

Before the Award I had always believed that I was resilient and had the ability to push past my limits but I’d never actually had the opportunity to prove this. Taking part in the Skills for Life Award gave me this opportunity and, most of all, the confidence to continue pushing in my personal life.

Throughout the course our instructors Oli and Reece, shared a ton of different diagrams, models and habits for our team to consider and apply to life in the outside world. However, it was the experience of putting these into practice that really helped us remember. There’s no better way to appreciate the value in having a growth mind-set than standing on top of Cadair Idris (893m up) with your team in the battering wind and rain.

I have come away from the Award promising myself there’s absolutely no reason why I now can’t go and push myself even harder. I can now go into an unknown situation with the confidence that I can deal with whatever stands in my way.

I have even taken this one step further and took the opportunity to put myself in a new situation by going to Malta by myself. I will be a UK representative on a leadership programme with 100 young leaders from other Commonwealth countries. I know that the experiences I went through during the Award will definitely give me the skills and confidence to make an impact at this event.

7 Habits Treeb

For example, during the Award we talked a lot about Covey’s Habits (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and looked at different scenarios and when we might need to consider them. As a team we were always tested on whether we were being the most effective team and discussing what we could have done better.

Often in my life I now relate back to those habits, sometimes even annoying myself, knowing that beforehand without this knowledge I would have taken the easy option. I have even got to the point of using them to share with the young people I work with (I’m an activity instructor) and pass the transferable skills on that Outward Bound gave me.

Alongside Covey’s Habits we were also taught about the importance of looking outside of our comfort zone. We agreed as a team that although it was ok to stay in your comfort zone it would also mean you never go further than expected and only experience what you’re used to. That’s why I chose to go to Malta, to reach into my stretch zone and seek out new experiences.

I believe anyone that has completed the Skills for Life Award will come out with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Whether you’re a beginner having never climbed a mountain before or an activity instructor like myself, everyone definitely realised something new in themselves and achieved something different.

Liam Baxter 


Liam attended The Outward Bound Skills for life Award course at Aberdovey in summer 2015. To find out more about the Award or to apply for one of our Outward Bound Skills for Life Award Scholarships click here.