By Dave Challis, part of the summer adventures team and former instructor.
It’s a day that only happens a couple of times a year… if we’re lucky.
Even before you look outside, you can tell something’s different, the world feels strangely quieter. Something incredible has happened silently in the night.
When you draw the curtains to take a peak, a cool rush of air confirms your suspicions as a pristine world of snow and ice is revealed. It’s days like these that everything changes.
Days like these, where stories become the stuff of legend. With the roads covered in snow and the cars replaced by sledges, the possibilities seem endless. Stepping outside wearing virtually every piece of clothing you own, just to keep warm becomes perfectly normal, if not acceptable.
However, not everyone greets the sudden arrival of snow with the same sense of adventure as I do. For some (often adults), this strange and unfamiliar world can bring a sense of impending doom.
But let’s take a moment to reflect on what happens during these rare days of shared national adventure. Everywhere looks fresh and new, lots of things you took for granted yesterday have been transformed.
You have to rethink a lot of things. The journey to school or work becomes more of a challenge, but it’s matched by an equal sense of accomplishment when you finally get there.
People think more about others. Checking in with your neighbours and loved ones to make sure they’re okay and share in the excitement. You’re more likely to help or get help from a stranger too!
An Outward bound adventure is like having a snow day, every day.
You think a little more about what to wear. Fashion goes out the window when you look enviously at the person in the large coat and cosy looking hat.
You make the most of it. Sledges and snowmen appear everywhere as you embrace the moment, knowing it won’t last forever. And by the end of the day everyone has a story to share.
Then as the snow finally melts away, we start to make plans and review what happened. What would we do differently? How can we better prepare next time?
It’s snow days like these that often leave a lasting impression on us all. From learning to adapt to new situations, to bonding with people through shared experiences. Just like Outward Bound, a snow day takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in situations where you’ll do and achieve more than you think.