Here is a letter to all of you from Dan Heady, your 2011 scholarship recipient. Dan recently completed his 50 day leadership training with Outward Bound:
“First things first … thank you all. I’m not sure words can communicate enough how unbelievably valuable my Outward Bound Expedition and my experience following has been. I feel an amazing sense of gratitude towards all of the individuals who, through their gracious support, have helped Norm & Rochelle provide a life changing experience for young people across the country, young people who have an interest in helping others and impacting real change in our world. I thank all of those involved for your kindness & generosity and to Norm & Rochelle for their dedication and strength in supporting this wonderful scholarship opportunity and for preserving the memory of their son Adam through service and compassion for others. I look forward to passing on the blessings I have been so thankful to receive.
My Outward Bound Expedition included two weeks in the San Juan Islands sea kayaking, two weeks Mountaineering in the Sawtooth Wilderness, nine days training in wilderness medicine, one week hiking through the Pasaytan Wilderness and three days teaching teenagers how to safely repel and rock climb. Fifty days of intense physical and mental exercise.
By noon everyday as a group we accomplished more then any of us were used to accomplishing in a month. A group of 10 strangers, traveling hundreds of miles over difficult terrain, doing our best to work together, to stay safe, to learn and to live with one another. Needless to say, not a moment passed which did not present an opportunity to better one’s self.
There are so many facets of this experience that lent to it’s intensity but, if I were to pull one needle from the haystack, I think the portion that had the biggest impact on me was the section which involved teaching the skills we had learned to a group of local and military children from around the west coast. I had never been in the position of the teacher before. Suddenly, I’m guiding people over a cliff face who had never experienced any rock climbing or repelling and they’re trusting me. Wow! The look in those kids face’s really amazed me. They believed in me and my ability and the amazing thing was I believed in myself. That’s what Outward Bound gave me, self reliance and an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
I remember hearing throughout my course, “Outward bound is not interested in producing better wilderness guides or people only interested in climbing the highest peaks. Outward Bound is interested in producing better people, people who will remember the benefit of service and compassion for others.” That what I’m taking away from my OB experience.
For those who may wonder whats in-store next for me. At the moment I’m living and working In Seattle. I live and work in a Hostel owned by two amazing people Nancy & Lee. On the weekend I make pocket money prep cooking for a local restaurant. One of my many passions is cooking. Washington is an amazingly beautiful place and for now I look forward to experience as much as it has to offer me.
As for the future, I’m looking into starting school next Fall, possibly in Washington, maybe New York or even Florida. I’d also love to spend time traveling, maybe teach English in Japan or study Zen in Kyoto. I hope to put my talents to use in the community. I’d like to get involved with Americorp or maybe work with at risk youth through Outward Bound. There are so many possibilities! My goals are to keep challenging myself and to continue my journey to find the place where I can do the most good.
I feel so happy and alive and it is truly thanks to you!
All the best and my love and respect.