Thursday, June 4, 2015

Alumni Profile: Dylan

Dylan first came to OBC in grade 9 when his school visited Evergreen Brick Works for a day of teambuilding and climbing on the MacDougall Outward Bound Challenge Tower. This experience sparked something inside of Dylan, and prompted him to continue his OBC adventures by taking part in our Toronto Urban Discovery course soon after. It was this experience that taught Dylan a great deal about where his passions and ambitions lie, helping to reveal a path that made sense for him and his interests in nature and outdoor education. Currently working with OBC as part of his school’s Co-op program, Dylan is continuing to learn more about his own abilities as a leader, a teacher and an individual. We can’t wait to see what he’ll do next!

Read what Dylan has to say about his OBC adventure below:

“My names Dylan Ramkay I started attending Outward Bound Canada (OBC) urban programming when I was 14 starting fresh in a new high school knowing nobody at all in my school. My first experience was having our grade 9 students come down to the Evergreen Brick Works where me and my fellow classmates participated in climbing the MacDougall Outward Bound Challenge Tower. At the starting of the day I knew and trusted no one in my grade but by the end of the day I felt as if I’ve known them for years. Having a complete stranger belay me while I climbing the 60-foot tower was a big trust exercise for a lot of us, I myself was really nervous to climb, but by doing some trust and teamwork initiatives before climbing really opened and took down those walls that me and my classmates had put up. 

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Urban Discovery course during the summer of my grade 10 year. This experience really opened my eyes to the world of outdoor educational learning. During that summer we spent our days learning about the nature within our city. Our main topic was lost rivers. I asked the same question you’re probably thinking about right now: what is a lost river? Well they are rivers that have been covered over not allowing for the river to flow in its natural path. We in Toronto have daylighted some of our lost rivers because mother nature worked its magic and starting to take back the route of the rivers even if there was a building in its place. With the group I learned a lot about leadership skills. Throughout the summer our group planned various different hikes and paddles within the city of Toronto.

Something I will always remember from that first course with OBC was the emphasis on teamwork and trusting your peers, which really got me and my fellow classmates out of our bubble and interacting with people who we may have not known at the beginning of the day. I wasn't an open person when I got into high school; I was a very quiet laid back person who did not interact with people a lot, but from that first day of OBC I have come out of my shell and excelled in participating and voicing my opinion inside and outside of school. 

I am now a grade 12 Co-op student working with Outward Bound Canada in the Toronto Urban Programs, teaching students of all different ages about the things OBC has taught me. 

I realized I was not the type to be stuck inside all day working in an office. I wanted to be active and I wanted to teach people about the outdoors, leadership, self-reliance, compassion, craftsmanship, physical fitness, and teamwork – all things I had learned about and from OBC programing throughout my school years. I never thought I'd be in the same position as my instructors were at the beginning of grade 9. I wouldn't think to get up in front of groups some bigger that 40 students and instruct and teach students the wonders of Outward Bound Canada programming, but with the help of the programs and opportunities my school and OBC have given me, I am now hoping for a potential job in the outdoor education world.”

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