My First Day at Outward Bound

To continuously build upon one’s character by learning, maturing, and wondering can be both rewarding and difficult.

But how exactly would one go about doing so? There is not one single solution nor is there an easy answer, given the various obstacles (mental or physical) that one must overcome in order to further enhance themselves: an eternal task for all that seek to accomplish.

I am talking about legitimately testing yourself, and what that means for anybody and everybody is taking a few steps out of your comfort zone, a couple more steps, and then a few more. Whatever activity one must immerse themselves in to achieve this is surely different from person to person. What’s important is the very challenge at its core.

As a twenty-year-old intern who has much more to learn and experience in the coming years, I see that the values and principles that appear to have completely purveyed themselves throughout the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School are like a solid set of cobblestones that many could utilize in order to pave their various paths to success. This reality was fully apparent to me on my very first day.

I must say that the quality of my first day as an actual employee for other unrelated companies pales in comparison to the first day as an intern at Outward Bound. How many people start their first day with a team building exercise on a ropes course? I can only imagine that it’s a rare opportunity for sure; however, that wasn’t the only factor that helped me form my positive opinions toward Outward Bound.

One other factor was the personal challenge for me. Though I have dealt with some daunting ropes courses in my past, I can’t say that I’ve done so with a team before. In reality, I don’t do many team-oriented activities at all. It was never because I didn’t care for or understand the importance of teamwork and operating as a unit. It was more about the fact that I am typically awkward and uncomfortable working in teams. That’s where a piece of my comfort zone ends, unfortunately. I knew this would be something that I’d have to overcome, and my first day at Outward Bound gave me the opportunity to confront that obstacle.

As one of my coworkers interestingly phrased it, “getting to a primal place with everyone on your team” was the way in which we all built our team connectivity. This place transcends rank, race, gender, and any possible disseminating factors. The goal was central, and as a team, we all had to accomplish it together as one.

I’ve been trying to be more of a team member for years by being more outgoing when I’m working with groups. Though the issue isn’t completely resolved, I’m 100% sure that since I've gained the drive to bring myself to this organization and to work as a cohesively functioning member of this team, that I am on the right track to beating this obstacle, ultimately propelling myself ever so closer to my goals.