How can I help my child talk about their expedition?

Has your child been on one of our expeditions?

If so, they’ve completed an amazing week. They have slept outside, cooked their own meals, traveled as a team, and grappled with topics such as peer-belonging, leadership, perseverance, and self-awareness. They probably wanted to quit but kept going, felt frustrated and had to work through it, and achieved success like they never imagined.

Experiences like these can be hard to talk about! Questions like “how was it?” often lead to answers such as: “fine,” “cold,” or “I will NEVER do anything like that again!” We hope that a few of the following questions can help guide a conversation with your child about their Outward Bound expedition, whether it was last week or last year.

If you can, carve out some time to sit with your child and let them share over an ice-cream cone or a walk to your nearest park. Begin with questions about what the experience was like, be curious, and move toward deeper conversation about what their experiences meant to them, their outlook, and their goals.

Consider what it can look like to revisit conversations like these months or years down the road.

Questions you can ask include:

  • What was your favorite meal/campsite/view?
  • What did you miss most?
  • When was a moment from course that you were proud of yourself?
  • What do you want to remember from your course?
  • If you could re-live one moment, what would it be? Why?
  • How did you notice that you responded to challenge? Give a specific example.
  • How was it to be away from technology?
  • What is something you learned about yourself?
  • What is something you learned about working with your crew?
  • How might this experience have influenced your outlook or approach to relationships?
  • What moments did you notice your own communication style changed?
  • Where did you excel? Where did you struggle? Tell me more!
  • Tell about a moment when you were the leader of your group. How did it go?
  • What helped you lead well?
  • Who were the influencers in your group?
  • What was it like to try something new or hard?
  • How do you want people to communicate with you?
  • What was more important: getting it done, or keeping group moral?
  • What is the difference between a leader and a boss?
  • Which kind of people would be important for you to have along for your life journey?
  • What belief, idea, or habit do you want to keep or get rid of as you move towards your goals?
  • Why do you think some people give up when faced with challenge, while others become stronger?