Outward Bound Leaders Invitational proves rewarding

Industry Advocate Jono Tito shares his experience of the Outward-Bound Leaders Invitational


Each year, BCITO grants scholarships to selected apprentices to attend Outward Bound for two weeks to challenge themselves and gain skills to become future industry leaders. Last month, this option was extended to some of our National Advisory Group (NAG) members and employers, who took part in a two-day invitational visit to Outward Bound at Anakiwa – nestled in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds.

Alongside BCITO whānau, our invitational group were collected from the wharf in Picton (where they were required to hand in all cell phones) and invited to view how the Outward Bound courses work. With no idea what to expect, sailing into the Sounds and seeing marine wildlife including hector dolphins, blue penguins, and seals jumping around our boat, we knew we were in for a treat!

Anchoring in the middle of the Sounds, we met with a watch (group) of apprentices nearing the end of their three-day sailing trip out at sea. It was a privilege to hear them talk about all the fantastic things they had already learnt. Living aboard a little boat with 13 other people for three days truly draws people closer! Farewelling the apprentices, we sailed back through the Sounds and arrived at Anakiwa, home of Outward-Bound.


We were fortunate enough to have the whole Outward-Bound experience, sleeping in bunk beds (with pillows probably not worth being called pillows), standing outside in the bitter cold to line up for dinner, and then being treated to a fantastic meal prepared by their world-class chef!

After supper, Greg Durkin, BCITO Interim Operations Lead, held a session with all apprentices where they discussed how Outward Bound had impacted them and their life. It was incredible to hear young people be so self-assured, vulnerable, and genuine. Learnings included not taking time for granted. Instead of returning home and scrolling on phones, one apprentice would start saying yes to that walk with their partner! Another learning involved understanding what their personal values were in life. They wanted to ensure that in a year's time, they would remember their feelings in this moment and continue to practice what they've learned here.

The next morning, which began at the crack of dawn, we were off for a 3km run, followed by a dip in the ocean and a cold shower. This is exactly what apprentices are required to do every morning. Later, we divided into groups, and the apprentices used their construction abilities to help Outward Bound by building a bridge over a stream for a new access way. Our group of ex-tradies were having a fantastic time here!

We were extremely fortunate to meet with the apprentices and build ties with some of our own industry experts in only one day. The next generation of leaders left feeling motivated and empowered.

Outward Bound was an unforgettable experience. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, was a challenge, and I came away wanting more. I left with a new perspective and the belief that you can overcome any obstacle when you put your mind to it.

BCITO/Masterlink whānau who attended included: Jono Tito, Elliot Crean, John Lightbourne, Ari Charles, Julian Blank, Caitlin Hirini, BCITO National Advisory Group Members - Ross Faulkner, Tony Howard and Marisha Haasbroek. Masterlink Group Raewyn Meharg and Steve Meadows, Masterlink host Tom Berkley (Auckland Plumbers Group) and Dean de Jager (GWA Methven Caroma –scholarship sponsors)