Monday, June 18, 2012

From the instructor's mouth: Part 3

Have you been thinking about what you'll do this summer? Perhaps you just applied for your first ever Outward Bound course! If you're still thinking about it, make sure to comment on the blog, post on our Facebook wall, or tweet at us to save $250 on enrollment.

And if you're not quite convinced that an OB course is what you're meant to do this summer, we have Megan Kelly back today with some more insider's perspective.

Megan Kelly isn't just an instructor. Like any staff or volunteer of Outward Bound, she's also a participant. A course instructor may be the one in charge but it's hard not to be impacted by the experiences of those around them -- no matter how many times they've been out in the field.

"I love the first time that people see the mountains and are in awe of the beauty and peacefulness."

Realizing the value of what we regularly take for granted in our urban, developed lives is a common response to an Outward Bound trip, says Megan.

"Usually after a very tough day or a long period of bad weather, participants often reflect on the luxury of our everyday life. You can really learn to appreciate the simple things in life, like turning on a tap for water instead of collecting and boiling it."

Other personal discoveries can happen at any time during the trip. The famed Outward Bound solo, one of the modern world's few true rites of passage, is a common source of personal discovery.

"For most people, this is the first time in their lives they have sat alone without distractions -- for any length of time. The learnings from this experience are usually very powerful, impactful and different for everyone."

And these personal discoveries aren't always easy. We all deal with challenges differently, and in different ways. Even as an instructor and course director, Megan discovers new, challenging qualities about herself each time she's out in the field.

"Sometimes I discover something that I need to change and I am usually upset at first. But then I come to realize the importance of changing. After I accept the new awareness, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders."

So she gets it. All Outward Bound instructors get it. When it comes to facing change and handling personal discoveries, an Outward Bound course is the best place to be. You'll be in an environment of understanding and support.

When asked how she supports participants as they experience their own personal discoveries, Megan replies:

"I am there to listen, and to give small nudges when needed."

Want to know which courses are on offer this summer for youth in BC and Alberta? Check out this blog post for links to full course descriptions. And ask any questions you might have, right here on the blog.

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