Ever had to lick your bowl after every meal for two weeks straight? Well, I have and it was the best two weeks of my life.

I went to Outward Bound for two weeks of my summer vacation. Outward Bound is an outdoors adventure school. It is located on Hurricane Island, in Greenville Maine. On the course I took we started out at base camp, where we get out supply of food and packed all our belongings in our backpacks. We then hiked and portaged our canoes (that’s carrying the canoes on your shoulders) down to Mountain View Pond. We canoed to the other end, and then had a two and a half mile portage to Moose Head Lake; that’s where the real fun started.

For about two weeks, our average canoeing voyage would be about six miles. There were exceptions, though, like on some days we canoed up to seventeen miles! Every night we would stop at an already established campsite. We would arrive, at what we liked to call “camp”, and immediately started putting up our two person tents. Even though they said they were two person tents, we had to cram at least 4 people into one. We also had people doing their “camp chores” and helping put up critter lines and such.

In my group, to start we had five girls and five guys, and also two advisors. When I say to start I mean that that’s not how many finished the course. One girl who will remain anonymous said she was not mentally capable to do the course. Our group had people from all over the United States. For example we had two people from Maine one of which was me, one from Illinois, two from Rochester, New York; Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, and a couple more. Living with the same ten people for two weeks was amazing. Getting to know everyone was my favorite part, remembering their names was hard for the first couple days, until we started to make up nick-names, which was also fun. Living with ten people for two weeks isn’t for everyone, though. I learned so much about everyone and even myself.

At this school you get presented with many challenges. The Outward Bound mission is to ” Inspire character development and self-discovery in people of all ages and walk of life through challenge and adventure, and to impel them to achieve more than they ever thought possible, to show compassion for others and to actively engage in creating a better world”. One of the challenges that we were presented with was the portaging of the canoes. Most people I know aren’t used to carrying a hundred pounds on their shoulders, so when our advisors told us we had to do it, we tried it and it killed. After the first couple portages, we felt like we were pros. Another challenge we had was a four-mile run on the last day.

At the end of this experience, I left with life long friendships, more confidence in myself, and a greater respect for showers, electricity, and other things you take for granted.

After going to Outward Bound and seeing all the beauty that nature has to show, I would definitely recommend going to this school. I wouldn’t just recommend this school to my friends or to people I know, but to anyone who likes the outdoors, and mostly for people who need to get away. If I had the chance to do it all over, I definitely would. I had the time of my life.

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