Developing Potential Through Outdoor Challenge – Outward Bound

We’re proud to partner with Outward Bound New Zealand – one of the country’s leading organisations for showing people their full potential through outdoor challenge and adventure. For the month of September we’re fundraising for the Outward Bound Schools program across all of our New Zealand stores. All proceeds go directly to support young people.

Read on to view the heartfelt stories of 2 participants whose lives have been positively impacted by Outward Bound.  

Aria Blair – Roberts, Taurapa Southland School course

Aria Blair

“I had the privilege of attending the Taurapa Southland Outward Bound schools course last year – as the recipient of a scholarship.

To my surprise, my teachers said I showed potential for a leadership role but I needed some help with my self-confidence to achieve this.

I have already achieved a few of the goals I set for myself at Outward Bound – I have been made Head Girl at Central Southland College! This time last year I would never had though that possible. What I learnt at Outward Bound really helped me get the role.

Another goal I set for myself at Outward Bound was to explore my cultural heritage. Being Maori and growing up in rural Southland, I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to embrace my culture.

I’ve also developed a better understanding of who I am. Outward Bound taught me I can be the person I want to be.”

Dan Roberts, Ka Mahi scholarship Classic course

Dan with his Watchmates at Outward Bound

“I come from a family where things have always been pretty tough. We never had the kind of money that the other kids at school had.

My last year at high school was particularly tough, and I thought a lot about suicide and self-harm as an escape from a life that I hated and had no control over.

After calling Youthline for help I ended up being a volunteer and being able to support other young people going through a tough time. Through my volunteering I was awarded an Outward Bound Ka Mahi scholarship.

I consistently struggled with the mental aspects at Outward Bound – nothing was physically beyond me but once I got negative thoughts into my head it became a real challenge for me to get through an activity.

Like our first day at sea on the cutter. It was the one time where I thought Outward Bound had defeated me. I was thinking “I’m out of here man, I can’t take it anymore”. But the next day it was just amazing.

I felt so alive! And more incredible was that I was skipper! Despite the conditions, everyone put their trust in me.

I’ve always had low self-confidence and doubted my ability to do anything up to standard. Being in a watch and having 11 other people rely on me improved my confidence and self-esteem 100%.

My whanau and friends can see a change in me too. I’m now looking forward to (hopefully) starting an electrical apprenticeship and being there on the end of a phone at Youthline helping others as much as I can.”

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To find out more about Outward Bound and the courses they offer, visit their website.