Newspaper Article – Outward Bound creates unique challenge for New Zealand’s young people

93FM   TV Times   PAGE 8

Outward Bound creates unique challenge for New Zealand’s young people

By Jill Hunter

“There are so many soft options for tyoung [young] people today that the challenge of an Outward bound course has never been more relevant”, says Julie Jones the new 1988 Chairman of the Outward Bound Trust.

Julie Jones is the quietly spoken, understated yet passionately committed chairperson of the council. Twice a year she chairs meetings of 30 or so council members. All give their time voluntarily to a charitable trust that really does help young people to help themselves.

As a parent (two daughters and one son) and school teacher, Julie accompanied classes of pupils and teachers on outdoor education trips. She quickly realised the tremendous benefits for both pupils and teachers. Students often excelled and achieved in ways that seemed impossible in the classroom.

So when she talked to a former president of Outward Bound about 10-years-ago and discovered that the Outward Bound Philosophy ran parallel to her thinking, she took the opportunity to join as a volunteer helper in Hawke’s Bay and later was appointed a council member.

Briefly the aims of the trust are to develop self-confidence, to understand the benefits of working as a team, to experience the satisfaction of giving service to others and to feel compassion towards other people. Julie believes many young people lead passive lives. Sitting in a classroom and achieving scholastic skills is only part of the educational process. Self discovery of the strengths gained from achieving what they thought was impossible is a reality for the young people who take up the challenge of outdoor education.

The Outward Bound School at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds of the South Island, accepted the first participants in 1962. Since then over 20,000 young men and women have travelled to the school from all over New Zealand to experience the thrills and spills of rock climbing, sailing, camping, kayaking, learning to work in a team and finally to go “solo” and spend time with only their own company.

The 24 standard course accepts men and women from 18 to 26 years of age. The short course (usually nine days) is for people over 30 years. Contract courses for members of companies or organisations are also run.

The trust is currently involved in a research project on the results of the standard course and how any new challenges and improvements may be implemented.

I leave the last words to Kurt Hahn, the German-Jew who founded the Outward Bound Philosophy.

“Be tough yet gentle, humble but bold, swayed always by beauty and truth”

Julies Jones agrees.

For more information and application forms write to Outward Bound Trust, PO Box 3158, Wellington.

Photo caption – Julie Jones the new Outward Bound Trust chairperson

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