Two Year 9 pupils spend a week in the Welsh wilderness.
Every year, Gloucestershire Constabulary, in partnership with the Gloucestershire Outward Bound Association, sponsors a group of young people to attend a week-long outdoor educational course in the wilderness.
Luke and Josh, both in Year 9 at Cirencester Deer Park School, applied for places and were accepted on this intensive 5 days in February (Monday 6 to Friday 10 February), based in Aberdovey, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, on the west coast of Wales. Read their reports below.
The Outward Bound course was presented to me as an amazing opportunity by Deer Park. At first I was nervous about taking this step into the unknown, with 20 other people who I didn’t know, in Aberdovey, Wales, for a week of adventure and teamwork. But throughout the week, after making friends with these total strangers, challenging myself and being part of a unit, I came away having learnt so much.
The course was mentally and physically tough, especially with the freezing cold weather and sea water! I enjoyed the week away immensely, trying a variety of different activities including gorge walking, jetty jump, climbing and more. I made loads of new friends who I am still in touch with, and I learnt more about myself, as well as how to take control of a situation, step up to become a leader, team and individual skills and had fun along the way.
Outward Bound is an amazing experience. It helps improve lots of skills needed for later life, for example confidence and self belief. We did lots of fun activities such as rock climbing, an expedition, low ropes and lots of team building exercises.
My favourite activity was the rock climbing - I found this pushed my confidence and trust in people I didn’t know.
The most challenging part was the expedition. We walked many miles in unpredictable weather. This challenged me mentally and physically and forced everyone to work as a team which resulted in everyone feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Luke commented "I would recommend any Outward Bound course to other pupils at Deer Park, and elsewhere, as it helped me form bonds with others and push myself out of my comfort zone. If the opportunity arises, GO FOR IT!!" This initiative is one of the many and varied opportunities available to pupils at Cirencester Deer Park School.