Brett Miller, a Timber Joiner at Christie Builders & Joiners Napier, was one of 2018's thirteen BCITO scholarship recipients.
Brett says, “Before I went I was extremely nervous, excited about the opportunity but nervous at the same time. I’d heard stories about how challenging it was, but without knowing what I was in for, it was hard to prepare myself for what was to come.
"The only preconceived idea I had was that it would be a constant physical challenge like tramping and sailing. You could say I got that right, but when I thought of tramping, I had no idea we’d be heading 1,300 metres above sea level in one day! It was 100% pure adventure and a thrill from start to finish.
"One thing my instructors kept saying was Ma Te Wa, meaning live in the now and don't worry about what is to come. Questions regarding what we were doing next or even the next day received the response, Ma Te Wa. It taught us to prepare for anything, and weirdly enough had the same effect as a warm cup of Milo your mum would have made to help you relax and sleep with a clear mind.
"Outward Bound is a must-do. People tell you what it's about and what to expect, but you'll never get it until you do it yourself. There's no handbook or schedule, no easy way out and no shortcuts. We had to do the task set. It wasn't like school where you could back out. We were a unit of mates but treated each activity as one. By day fourteen I’d broken my glass ceiling and there was no limitations, no more fear."
Brett says when he got home, he couldn’t help but notice the slow pace, "It was a such a shock. I hadn’t noticed before, and everyone seemed stuck, accepting that what they’re doing now is as good as it's going to get.
"I carry my Outward Bound mental backpack with me every day. You think you know yourself and your limits, but you are wrong. Ma Te Wa. I’m capable of so much more than I thought. Outward Bound gave me this gift."