As featured in Parentdish

Friday, 11 November 2011

Outward Bound

Recently I went up to Loch Eil Outward Bound Centre reporting for the Times Educational Supplement. Loch Eil is an outward bound centre a few miles north of Fort William and is run by The Outward Bound Trust.

It is a place where young people can go for a few days or a few weeks and take part in outdoor activities.
Having reported on similar work before I really have come to the conclusion that all young people should have some kind of outward bound experience, whether it is with the Outward Bound Trust or as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

I am relatively sporty but am not keen on outdoor pursuits, partly I am sure because of the dreary Scottish weather but I do see the benefits. Years ago I climbed Ayers Rock and then a few weeks later went canoing down the Katherine Gorge in Australia and I remember well the way it made me feel. 

Being at Loch Eil reminded me of this and confirmed to me that I want my children to have similar experiences. Achieving academic qualifications has its place but nothing beats the positive benefits kid get from working in a team in sometimes harsh conditions, pushing themselves further than they would normally do and working on the belief that anything is possible.

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