Mark's Story

Before his Outward Bound course Mark lacked a lot of confidence in his abilities and this often resulted in problems with behaviour. His day-to-day relationship with many of the teaching staff was tense, and he found it hard to trust or communicate with teachers. He would struggle with certain tasks but would often decline help if offered, and instead of persevering with problem solving, he would give up quickly and start misbehaving.

During his Outward Bound course Mark developed a more ‘can-do’ and positive attitude and began to work with his team to complete team tasks, instead of giving up. He began to understand how his participation within a team could ‘make’ or ‘break’ the team morale. He thrived in this environment and appreciated the level of trust that was offered to him.

He rose to this challenge, which in turn had a positive knock-on effect with his interaction with teaching and Outward Bound staff. He also improved his communication skills with peers, learning to share his feelings and experiences, which was a big step as he often finds this a huge challenge.

Since he has been back in school, his behaviour has improved and he has a more respectful and trusting relationship with teaching staff. His communication has improved greatly and he will now ask for help from certain teaching staff. He participates more positively in teamwork and understands better the results of his actions. Outward Bound was the perfect environment to encourage him to work on certain skills and learn more about himself and how his actions and attitude can affect others.

He is beginning to believe in himself and has even taken the step of joining a sports club in the city centre – a huge leap forward as this involved meeting and working with a whole new group of individuals, and he is feeling proud of himself for taking that first step to get there. I really believe that the Outward Bound experience played a vital part in this latest chapter in his life.

Case example provided five months after Mark’s course by Heather Darling, Active Schools
Coordinator at Queensferry High School, West Lothian.

Mark, 13

All case studies and quotes included on this site have been provided directly by individuals involved in our courses. All individual young people’s names have been changed in order to protect their identity.