The Outward Bound Ventures Programmes will provide participants with an empowering outdoor experience that hopes to develop measurable personal growth. During this programme the participants will have a life-changing experience that includes living in nature, completing a number of adventure-based activities and participate in group counselling sessions. The course aims to grow participants’ self-esteem, improve their decision making skills and overcome their personal challenges. The programme is designed for young people who are ready to make a positive change in their lives.
The course encourages the participants to take control of their lives through growing independence and trust in their own abilities and decisions. They will begin by working as a group to pack the necessary food, gear and supplies for their journey into the outdoors. Throughout the course the group will travel with everything they need for the duration of the course. The group will follow a circular route that involves hiking, paddling on a canoe or kayak, abseiling, rock climbing and rafting depending on the duration of the course. They will do this through navigating themselves using a map and compass which provided a true excursion feel, adding to the adventurous and far removed feel of the programme.
The participants will be out of their comfort zones throughout the course which allows them to deel with challenging emotions like fear, frustrating and anger. Working in a group helps to develop their interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and resolve conflict. Role plays, constructive feedback and positive affirmation will be used during nightly group counselling sessions to develop positive social skills within the participants.
The participants will have a change to face their fears through attempting high rope activities, rock climbing and/or abseiling. These activities provide a wonderful opportunity for the participants to overcome their preconceived limitations of them self, gain trust in their own abilities and grow their self-esteem. For many this is a first-time experience and they will never forget the powerful feeling of achievement they gain.
The group will work together to overcome many specifically designed problems that encourage effective communication and team work. They activities will require the participants to combine their ideas and trust one another. Some activities may involve swinging, climbing or carrying one another while others might involve being blind-folded or using only animal noises to provide directions. These all provide a fun way for the group to bond and learn to work together.
Reflection time and journaling are important daily activities of the course. The beauty and tranquillity of the outdoors will be used to help the participants reflect upon their lives, think introspectively and set positive goals for their future. They will spend some time alone in nature to grow self-awareness and a stronger feeling of independence. The groups will take advantage of their beautiful surroundings by enjoying stunning sunrises, shooting stars and mountain top views.
Exciting aspects of this course are the water activities. For some this is an intimidating task as they are fearful of water or unable to swim. They will learn water safety techniques that will build their self-confidence. The participants will work together to build their own raft out of wooden poles and barrels. Completing this task and paddling their raft out into the water creates a great sense of positive accomplishment and is commonly celebrated with singing and laughter.
An important aspect of this course is the participants’ involvement in some kind of community service. This will provide them with practical example of how they might be positive influences in their communities when they return home. Commonly this will include gardening, painting or maintenance at a school, retirement home or community hall in a low economic area. The participants will physically see the difference they are able to make as well as meet some of the people whose lives are being improved through the work. This helps them to realize how they might transfer the growth they have experienced on course into their lives back at home, encouraging them to become positively contributing members of their communities.