My adventure, by guest blogger Liam Baxter
Liam Baxter, Skills for Life Award achiever, gives us an insight to his summer adventure.
Where do I start… this summer I was looking for a challenging opportunity to test and push myself to the limit and oh boy did I get one.
The 19 day Outward Bound Skills for Life Award course featured two five day expeditions, an enhanced adventure day and lots of expertise on how to work as a team and the importance of moving outside of your comfort zone.
I foolishly assumed that the first few days would be nice and easy. A calm start learning everyone’s names and basic skills before we went out on our first expeditions. I was wrong. After the first night we were thrown into the deep end, literally! The first challenge was to jump off a jetty into freezing cold water - a ‘jog and dip’. This was already a tough test for some, but as we froze together it also brought about a feeling of spirit to the team, despite us being complete strangers less than 48 hours ago.
After a successful few days working as a team, learning about important values and listening to our instructor’s horrible puns, we were ready to ‘branch’ off for the first expedition. It was awesome! We navigated up mountains, canoed, rock climbed and scrambled, eventually reaching our destination on day 5.
This was the perfect way to challenge us as a team because despite the above sounding delightful, at 9pm at night when you’re lost and can’t find your campsite, that’s when you have to step up, ‘stick’ together and work as a unit. My highlight was the chance to sleep in a shelter which I made using the wood and moss around us and it was waterproof-ish! For our enhanced adventure day we decided to do gorge walking! It was a fun new experience that I loved and hope to do again!
Final expedition time! A real test. Just the 7 of us and a route which we made and presented to the Aberdovey staff. The 5 days were hard but amazing at the same time. All of us were pushed to our limits. We ascended up Cadair Idris on an unknown route that looked near impossible at points. The perseverance in our team was something I still remember and am proud of. I heard many negative quotes on the ascent and yet we carried on going. The weather was horrible and the fog was making it very hard to see, and yet… we made it. That feeling of completing the impossible, is something which this course has taught me to live for.
The whole experience was one which I will never forget. I got the opportunity to meet lifelong friends and collect lifelong memories. If you’re in doubt of whether to sign up that’s part of the course! Take the first step into the unknown… you won’t regret it!
Thanks to my instructors Oli and Reece too!
Liam attended The Outward Bound® Skills for Life Award course at Aberdovey in summer 2015. To find out more about the Skills for Life Award click here or follow #SkillsForLife on Facebook and Instagram.