What is your biggest achievement in 2019 so far? 38 secondary school students probably got the answer– the fruitful 18-day Classic Achievers Programme at Outward Bound Hong Kong. This programme is the longest Outward Bound programme, the ideal alternative for college-age students looking for something beyond the traditional classroom environment and for those who want to learn by doing.
In recent years at Outward Bound, especially to young people, trying to break free of the constant rules of smartphone and social media is a difficult challenge. But guess what, they did it for 18 days. For all Outward Bound programmes, participants are not allowed to bring technology but encouraged to communicate with people face-to-face. It was a bit uneasy for them on the first few days of the journey. They claimed to feel phantom phone vibrations in their pockets, but their day-to-day was filled with adventure and tangible accomplishments like rock climbing, kayaking and hiking on rainy days. They had never had those enjoyable moments with friends and deeply connected to nature like that before. Choosing to invest time in oneself, while truly unplugged, allow these young people to learn what they can and cannot live without, revealing more of what’s most important to them in their lives.
The 18-day journey is challenging. The courage started from the moment they pressed the ‘sign up’ button.Everyone arrived on the first day as strangers and now they are all great friends. They worked together as a team. They took turns to be leaders. They planned routes and made huge decisions that they had not done in the traditional classrooms.
I learnt that I can do more than I can think now
Everyone felt that they were going to come back from this journey a more understanding person. The new friends they have made make them feel like they have connected with people. Not many of the young people usually would have reached so far out of the comfort zone and the journey itself had help them to rejuvenated and better version of themselves. The sense of achievement when completing a together challenge is immerse and boost the confidence of the young people.