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Outward Bound 2019

Looking back on Outward Bound 2019, we don’t regret a thing. Our journey started at the small town, Rathdowney where we were told we were mountain biking 19km to our first campsite. This was not the kind of start that we students were expecting. We would have to say that day one was the easiest by far. This was just the start of ten days of intense mountain biking and hiking through the New South Wales National Parks.

The struggles we faced, pushing our mountain bikes up the large hills and navigating the speeds on the winding downhills, in the first four days made everyone so grateful for the easy access we have to transport. However, we were all extremely grateful to be seeing the sights, even with sweat beaded on our brows and our hearts pounding in our ears as it was not something, we would do on a day to day basis, or maybe ever again.

At first light every day we would pull our tents down in what were sometimes sub-zero temperatures being bold and starting cold were the words we dreaded each morning! We hiked mountains, crossed rivers, cycled through mountain passes and walked at the base of waterfalls. The views spectacular, but it was the time we all spent together that made this trip so special.

We were all pushed to our limits physically, mentally and emotionally. We worked as a group to ensure we got to camp before dark every day. Along the way, we faced some of our biggest fears like abseiling, snakes, spiders, bad hygiene and cows, cows can be scary too!

Although we were not the happiest or friendliest bunch whilst we were hiking, especially when we had run out of toasted muesli, at the end of the day, sitting around the campfire, we got to know more about each other. Sharing stories and learning a more about one another, bringing us closer as an Outward Bound family.

One of our biggest achievements as a team was reaching the top of Mount Jerusalem. This was a massive day and the moment we reached our campsite, after hiking for 7 hours with small breaks, there was a collective sigh of relief. Every night after long days of hiking we would do our duties, setting up camp. Everyone waiting with anticipation for the cooking team to serve everyone some tasty ‘zuchi’ and cous cous. The meals we cooked over the open fire were always great, especially when the chicken group were on duty as the meals they produced were by far the favourite.

By the time day nine came around we had all developed a big appetite. On the last days we were eating bits of wrap bread off the ground and sweet chilli and mayo coated carrots. It was hard to say goodbye to Yak and Jennie and of course the emergency meal we carried with us for ten days.

Throughout the Outward Bound experience, we all were expecting a sudden change in ourselves, but now realise that you can only understand how the experience changed you when you are back home with the things you missed so much. On returning to civilization we hope to continue friendships and keep the Outward Bound family we began, alive.

Thank you to the Firkins foundation and Ms. McFarland for making this trip a possibility. Without them both we would not have been given such an amazing opportunity and the chance to realise, ‘there is more in us than we know’.

Jessica Craft (Year 10)