Outward Bound great experience

Catchup. . . Gore District mayor Ben Bell chats to Gore High School pupils Pearl Whangapirita-Edwards (left) and Angel Brown about the Outward Bound Whakatipu course they took part in which was funded by the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Two Gore High School pupils have had an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones at an eight-day Outward Bound course.
Angel Brown and Pearl Whangapirita-Edwards, both 17, attended the Whakatipu course at Anikiwa which was funded by the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.
When she signed up for the opportunity she did not know what she was getting herself into, Angel said.
She had been a little nervous about going but settled in after a couple of days.
‘‘They love you to live in the moment so they don’t tell you what is happening next . . . which is hard but good because you got the enjoyment out of it without having to think through the possible things that could go wrong.’’
She enjoyed the activities.
‘‘You got to do a solo night out in the bush, you got to do ropes, you got to do rock climbing.’’
The day started with physical training and a 3km run.
‘‘It’s good to get an hour of fitness a day for your mental breaks.’’
Meeting new people had been a highlight of the course for her, she said.
The girls were part of a 14-member team called a watch and there were 28 people on the course.
It was challenging learning to work as a team.
‘‘A struggle for me was you couldn’t leave for an activity on your own.
‘‘You had to go as a whole team, so if one person was late all of you were late and that was hard when you don’t want to be late.
‘‘You have to work with them and around what their wants and needs are.’’
Pearl (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) said meeting new people was also a highlight for her.
‘‘I love meeting new people. ‘‘I’m a social butterfly.’’
An interesting part of the course was learning how to get on with different personalities.
Living with people in the watch was similar to family life where sometimes siblings argued, she said.
‘‘It kind of makes the whole group fall backwards and people don’t get along.’’
There were other Māori rangatahi on the course and she enjoyed being with like-minded people.
‘‘Being with my own people makes you feel really powerful and that’s what kept me going.’’
Taking part in the course had made her appreciate the comforts in her life at home including a comfortable bed, clean clothes and a hot shower.
‘‘I don’t like being stinky or cold.
‘‘It made me way more grateful for the things I have.’’
She did not enjoy the solo night out in the bush.
‘‘I was really cold that night.’’
The girls had two hours of spare time at night.
Even after a hard day on the course Pearl sometimes used the time to wash her clothes.
‘‘The next day you will be so grateful because you will have clean clothes — not sandy, muddy clothes.’’
Gore High career adviser Debbie Drummond said when the school was approached with the offer to send pupils to the course she was keen for pupils to go.
‘‘The careers department knew it was such a great opportunity.’’