Clara, 16, from West Lothian applied for an Outward Bound summer adventure through Young Scot Rewards and experienced a week crammed with rock climbing, canoeing, camping and making new friends! Clara is heading back for another adventure in 2020 and has shared their experience.
I went to The Outward Bound Trust in 2018 to take part in one of their adventure courses. I won a fully funded place from Young Scot for a course that started on my birthday - it was meant to be! It was a great experience and I made so many memories there. Since then I've been working in the computing department in my school to create cyber competitions and publicly speaking about computing. Over summer this year I had different things to do every week and even though I wanted to return to The Outward Bound Trust I didn't have the money and early on I decided to cut my losses and book up with other things.
I kept thinking about it this year while looking back at my certificate when making a CV, so I decided I REALLY wanted to go. I enjoyed the expedition the most when I went for a week and I chose the 19-day expedition. I wanted to have a friend to tag along but no one was willing so I decided to just go by myself, it could be amazing and I could be who I wanted. I emailed Young Scot to ask about a reward - that's how I got the first one. They didn't know this at such an early stage (to be fair at the time it was about a year in advance). I checked how much it was and had to make a choice - accept I couldn't go, or apply for the Adventure Fund and hope I got the things I needed.
When my Adventure Fund application reset twice I was going to give up but I rewrote the application (basically an essay) and eventually sent it. I had asked for a large amount and I wasn't sure if they were going to give it to me though I poured my heart out in the form. But I did - I got all I asked for and I could go! I still had to pay some and I know it is going to be tough to scrape together even what I have left to pay but I would have been 100% worse off without the funding. The Adventure Fund is honestly a godsend, I know so many people who have been changed because they could go on a course. Also it doesn't change anything of the course, and no one else knows if you don't tell them. I'm so grateful for it, my advice would be to swallow your pride, or whatever reason you have for not doing it and apply because it is amazing.
Whether you go for 7 or 19 days in a beautiful place with people who have great energy with great instructors; the amount of transformations of people in one week was incredible. The stories I've heard even more so. If you aren't sure, do it. If you can't afford it, apply and go for it. If you have never heard of it before reading this for points, do it. If your parents want you to do it, say yes because they'll thank you, and you get a week or 3 away with great people, amazing views - Instagram worthy if you so desire!
As I said I'm doing the Ultimate Expedition which is 19 days of mostly walking. As a Scout, it isn't too pushed pace wise and I know their tents and sleeping bags are excellent. Before I go, I need to learn about what happens in more detail. I need to plan the trains down to Ullswater and sign up for my exam results which are the day after I arrive at the centre. Yay! It's also my birthday during it, so my big birthday badge that I was given 2 years ago is going to be travelling with me. Word of advice for anyone going - take midge spray. We all basically snapped at them. We walked 2 km to the train station to get some respite from them, walked back to pack up and walked again to the station. We really didn't like the midges!
I hope someone reading this decides to go. If anyone reading this ends up in Ullswater from the 3rd of August, say hi!
Inspired to take on the ultimate adventure in Summer 2020? Apply now for your chance to secure a place on The Outward Bound Skills for Life Award or the Serious Adventure Course.
Signed up to Young Scot Membership? Use the code KRMJCOHZ to redeem 25 Young Scot Rewards points. Not a Member yet? Sign up now!