An amazing 3 weeks at the Outward Bound School

Well mid way through last year I got an opportunity through my work with the Red Cross New Zealand to go on a fully funded 3 week course at the Outward Bound School based in Anikiwa, Marlborough Sounds. (Actually only 20mins away from home)

I grabbed it with both hands, packed my bag and arrived one sunny day for what turned out to be one of the most fun and crazy times of my life.

We dump our gear, meet our 13 other watch mates and it's straight out in PT gear for a run in the mud.

I wont give away much else of what happened course wise (gotta keep it a surprise for anyone who might do it in the future) but I was challenged both physically and mentally, not to much myself but others did it real hard, especially in the first few days.

As with most things it is what you make of it, I was having too much fun and was too tired the rest of the time to have more than one morning of homesickness when I really wanted to get home to my family and dogs.

A lot of the things and places I already knew and it was fun to share that knowledge, the bond you build with people when your living with them every day for 21days is something that was surprising considering we had only known each other a matter of weeks, and it makes it very rewarding to help your watch mates in some way, big or small because when your tired, cold wet and hungry a little thing can seem like the greatest gift.

Anyway here's some pics to show a very little of what we went through:

Very full packs for a multiday trip in the rain:

Plenty of laughs were had:

And we celebrated it all on the last day by planting a Watch Tree:

To cap off this post, if you ever get the chance to go on one of these course DO IT!!!!

You won't regret it.

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Comment by Te Hopo on January 6, 2012 at 20:13

Good on ya Rich, might be seeing you sometime then somewhere.

And Scott, it's very easy to see how that could happen.

I was just getting over my depression at the time and found this helped pull me out.

While there there was one punch up in another watch and the fall out rate is high, things definitely got tense in my watch at times when people were near breaking but faced up to things well enough and got through.

Comment by Scott Hamilton on January 6, 2012 at 18:53

I lasted 4 and 1/2 days at outward bound, got to a point where I was about to take to a guy there and realised that I do not do that sort of thing and it was time to leave before I did something I regreted. Got back to town and was diagnosed with clinical depression, so I would say that was a major problem for me on a course where they break you down and rebuild you. Plus I had my last cigarette just before getting on the ferry, so could have been a bit strung out as well. Big ups to anyone who completes the course.

I do have to say, at least it looks like someone on your trip could sail the cutter, we had to row the whole way. The guy in charge of the sailing of the cutter was the guy I was going to have.

I regret not having finished the course everyday.

Comment by Richard Marlow on January 6, 2012 at 18:38

I'm the Programme Coordinator for Otago :)  I didnt go to Chch in Feb, but was there in Sept.  Sorry just saw my typo lol, I was watch 561 not 569!


The troopy is my baby ;)  I hit a milestone last year - driving it back from Wanaka, ticked over the 40,000k mark!  OB has been very generous this last year with RC - we had several more scholarships offered towards the end of the year, so we had 3ppl (myself included) from Dunedin go!


On a slightly different tack, I see OB are now offering scholarships to LandSAR volunteers as well - absolutely brilliant that they are supporting community-based organisations! Big ups to the OB Trust :)

Comment by Te Hopo on January 6, 2012 at 14:52

Shackleton 558 for me.

Awesome Richard, I'd heard there were two other scholarships available, so what do you do with the Red Cross, ERT or an employee down there?

I meet a whole bunch of the Dunedin team and got to drive their beaut Troopcarrier during the February quakes.

Comment by Richard Marlow on January 6, 2012 at 11:05
Looks like you enjoyed yourself! I also went via Red Cross in September, Kupe watch, 569 :). Totally awesome experience and highly recommended to all!

Comment by Ryan Johnson-Hunt on January 6, 2012 at 8:20

Sounds like a great experience! Thanks for sharing with us. My little brother did the same course in high school, he really enjoyed it too.

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