‘There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.’Kurt Hahn (founder of OB)
They will identify strengths in themselves that they never realised they had
Everyone has untapped potential, the only problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify part of our personality that could really benefit us or others around us. Strengths such as determination, teamwork and responsibility may sit inside us for days, weeks or years until we have and experience that allows us to demonstrate or see it in ourselves.
OB allows kids to take responsibility and leadership in activities that activate these hidden strengths. Leading a group in the wilderness, helping other members of the group during tough times and working as a cohesive team are all situations in which kids can excel and illuminate skills and strengths they never knew they had!
They will make new friends and learn how to communicate with others
The ability to interact and communicate with others is changing in an online world. Quality face to face communication is becoming rarer and many people struggle to make close, fulfilling friendships.
Outward Bound puts kids in situations where they have to rely on others for support, where interactions are natural and participants form strong bonds as they work together to achieve a shared goal. Free from other distractions, kids are free to connect genuinely with others, to share common interests, experiences and fears. This level of communication creates understanding and awareness, a key part of finding familiarity with others and making good friendships.
They will make memories you can’t get from a smart phone
How many hours per day is your child spending on their smart phone or similar digital device? Our world has become centred around screens, the quiet joys of being outdoors and exploring the natural environment have been sidelined for and online landscape.
Our courses are a kind of digital detox. All are run without the use of familiar technology allowing kids to reconnect with the natural environment and the other people around them. The experiences we provide kids are sensory, they involve sight, touch, smell and create powerful positive memories that last for a long time. Building a tent together under the open sky, learning how to navigate through wooded forests and support to each other as they reach new heights during rock climbing. These are all experiences unfamiliar to many of our youth and can have life changing effects on the way they see the world and others around them. So switch off the phone and and come outside with us!
They will learn life schools through interesting experiences rather than from a book
‘For the things we have to learn, before we can do them, we learn by doing them’AristotleWhat do abseiling down the face of a rock, kayaking down a river and cooking a meal over an open fire have in common? You can read about them in a book, but you can’t feel and learn from them until you’ve experienced them. Outward Bound specialises in non-formal education and learning by experience rather than teaching from a book. When you learn by doing activity you learn faster, better and in a more interesting way.
When you go outside to learn, your senses are heightened and you can see directly how your learning applies in the real world, creating a much more engaging experience for people of all ages. Learning this way also involves critical thinking, problem solving and decision making and bridges the gap for kids between learning and practice.
They will have enjoy doing things they might have never thought of as fun
We all need fun in our lives and sometimes the things we enjoy doing can be hidden in surprising places. Climbing a hill in wet weather, pitching a tent in the dark and sleeping outdoors all sound like activities that kids would protest and avoid. It’s amazing how adversity and challenge can also bring the most rewarding and memorable experiences, even though they might not seem like it at the time! Rock climbing and abseiling may give you a gut feeling if you’re afraid of heights, but the joy of conquering this fear in a safe environment with the support of your team can be the best feeling of your life.
Outward Bound is the perfect place for kids to escape the increasing number of stresses and expectations they live with and experience the joy of being in the great outdoors amongst good friends.
A better idea of how they can contribute to their communities
An important aspect of being on an Outward Bound course is the development of awareness of self and others. This awareness is learnt through the ‘community’ of other kids that do the course with them and the activities they participate in. These experiences encourage an understanding of how we fit within a group and how we can contribute and help others.
This awareness of contribution and support is something that goes well beyond kids experiences at Outward Bound and helps them understand what they can offer to their communities at home and society as a whole. This might be in the form of helping out with volunteer activities, supporting their peers or running projects at school.
Re-learning to think creatively
We are all born with natural levels of creativity. It’s part of us and we use it every day as we navigate the world around us. So often in life we face predictable challenges, how to get to school, equations and. Challenges and problem solving at Outward Bound aren’t straight forward and require kids to think differently to how they do in school or in their day to day life. Sometimes you have to think sideways, upwards, downwards or inwards. There is no traditional success or failure, only the chance to challenge yourself and grow your inner boundaries.
Kids will be faced with a range of different challenges on our programs, from how to plan for a multi-day hike, how to face fears rock climbing and how to work well as a team. Each of these activities test kids to think in new and exciting ways. These new ways of thinking can be taken back to schools making kids more adaptable, resilient and open to facing new challenges in their lives.