Three S4 pupils have recently returned from three weeks in Aberdyfi (Aberdovey), Wales, where they completed their Skills for Life Award from the Outward Bound Trust. Bobbi Kennedy, Caitlyn Thomson and Ailiesh McInnes, impressed their Outward Bound instructors when they visited the Loch Eil centre earlier in the year and were subsequently offered a Scholarship to attend the three weeks intensive course in the summer. The girls jumped at the chance and have been raving about their once-in-a-lifetime experience, on their return. The girls had to complete many challenging and daunting tasks in order to be awarded their Skills for Life Award at the end of the intensive course. The girls had to learn basic skills and had to take part in many group-based activities in and around the centre before the real adventures began. Day 5 saw the group of eager youngsters take part in a mountain-rescue exercise where they had to think creatively and ensure that they were communicating effectively with one another.
Their first expedition took place on days 6 through 9, where the group had time to hone their organisational and time management skills. Day 10 was physically challenging as they took on some of Snowdonia’s rockiest peaks. Taking a break from the teamwork and the many physically demanding activities, the youngsters spent night 11 reflecting on their achievements and making positive life decisions as they camped overnight on their own. The biggest challenge of all came on days 13 to 17 where the group were charged with the incredible task of planning and leading an expedition in the wild without an instructor. The youngsters were expected to scramble, paddle and climb their way to their destination, before setting up the camp that they would call home for 4 nights. Resilience skills were vital during this arduous challenge. On their final night, the group had to create a video personal statement complete with an action plan for how they will get to be where they need to be in life. The three weeks course was drawn to a close with a formal dinner and presentation evening, where each participant was presented with their Skills for Life Award and a gold badge, which Bobbi, Caitlyn and Ailiesh proudly display on their school blazer. 27 young people from as far as Australia and Brazil, as well as the UK, took part in the Outward Bound course and made an incredible bond during their time together. The three girls expressed that they had made lifelong friends and that they were thankful to have been afforded the experience.