We are on a Horowhenua mission to activate the opportunities we have right here!



Get-Go, a programme delivered by the Horowhenua Company Ltd, recently received an 8 day Outward Bound Scholarship to award to a local young person. We saw this as an incredible opportunity. One Horowhenua recipient, being either a local college student or recent school leaver would join the June intake. 

Outward Bound is  based at Anakiwa, located in the Marlborough Sounds, where the classrooms are the mountains, bush and waterways of this beautiful corner of New Zealand. Outward Bound has been operating for over 60 years with support and funding from generous businesses and sponsors. 

There is no one way to easily describe the Outward Bound programme which was established in 1962, as the experience is unique to everyone who attends. Outward Bound can seem a little mysterious, especially as they don’t hand out a timetable for their courses. Without these boundaries and expectations, participants are able to ‘live in the moment’ and take each adventure as it comes – providing a richer outcome for participants.

Get-Go reached out to the three Horowhenua Colleges to nominate students and former students, to take up the scholarship opportunity.  Krishan Kumar from Outward Bound along with Fraser Daysh from Get-Go held a selection interview by Skype, to determine which candidate would be awarded the Scholarship. 

The Scholarship recipient was Caitlin, a 17 year old first year apprentice at Envy Hairdressing in Levin, who attended Horowhenua College. Initially after being nominated by her former Gateway teacher Anthea Hale, she didn’t think she had the physical attributes.  She didn’t see herself as the camping-tramping lifestyle girl. However with her curiosity to try something new, she decided to accept the challenge and was delighted to be selected. 

Her initial thoughts and concerns before she left were “We go to a place I’ve never been to, to stay with strangers and to an environment that I am not really used to.  I have to travel on the Interisland Ferry by myself and then will have no phone or contact with home while I’m there for 8 days”.

 “I feel I will gain in confidence, confidence in the ability to talk to new people. I face this each day in my job so that will be important to me. I feel I will handle the no phone part, as if my boss sees me on my phone at work he says if you have time to be on your phone, you have time to clean something”.

 “I am looking forward to trying new things, the rock climbing, the high ropes and seeing what each day brings. My biggest challenge I think will be the fitness”.

Get-Go spoke to Caitlin on her return from her Outward Bound experience.

Tell us about when you first arrived? 

 “When we arrived in Picton we boarded a cutter boat to sail to Te Kainga and sleep for the night. There we all introduced ourselves. It was strange staying the night with people you have just met.  The next day we couldn’t sail to Anakiwa, our base camp, as there wasn’t enough wind, so we had to row for 7 hours. This really tested me, being left on a boat and some people not rowing, with a map and no adults. When we arrived at base camp we met everyone at the watch house, which is where we stayed”. 

 “One thing I had to adjust to was that we never got to know what we would be doing next. This is so you are thinking about the now and not the future. You aren’t allowed to be thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet”.

 “We did rock climbing the next day– it was still a team work activity as it’s very different than indoor rock climbing; it was new to me and I enjoyed it. The morning of the next day we were told we were going on a 2 day tramp. We walked 7 hours on the Queen Charlotte track. On the second day after 8 hour tramp we were picked up by a boat and had a beautiful evening ride back to base camp, the scenery there is so stunning”.

“On the Sunday we hiked into the bush and then about 11am we were dropped off on a hill for our ‘solo’. Everyone was 200 metres apart and we had an overhead sheet with tarp to stay out in the bush in the dark”.

What was your thoughts about staying solo?

“I knew that people were nearby, but if you yelled out they couldn’t hear you. 

 The whole idea of doing the 2 day tramp then 21 hours in the bush, is it gives your body time to heal after the tramp now you are alone, it’s time to rest, it’s to heal you physically and mentally”. 

 “I woke in the night and started writing in my journal with my head torch on. I wrote down all the song lyrics that I could remember as well as all the random quotes I had heard from the past week. I also drew pictures of my surroundings in little drawings as we couldn’t take photos”.

“The next day I packed my belongings and just sat for hours looking at the water in the Marlborough Sounds and waiting to be picked up.  It was peaceful listening to the birds and water”. 

How will you relate this to everyday life now?

“I am the type of the person that needs to know everything and the plan. But I don’t stress now, I have learned to see where the day takes me instead”.

 What were you doing on your last days? 

 “Once we got back to base, we cleaned all the gear and then had a high ropes session which I was really scared about. I actually started crying but I got a lot of encouragement as it was really out of my comfort zone. The team support got me through it”.

 “Then we left Anakiwa and went back to Te Kainga were we stayed sleeping Marae style with the fire going. We laughed and enjoyed  the last night together, it was really special and I made some great friendships”.

What was the main thing you gained from this experience ? 

 “Not to be worrying about what’s happening in future.  The only thing that you can control is what you say and do, everything else is up to the universe. I have a new perspective on life – I can’t do everything all at once and sometimes I will need help and to reach out”.

 “I feel more confident to talk to clients and start conversations with new people”

 What advice would give to someone considering going to Outward Bound? 

 “DO IT – it’s not the easiest thing but it’s such a good challenge and everything becomes normal each day like the 6am runs then swims in the ocean”.

 “I absolutely loved it ! its definitely changed me and I would love to do the 21 day course now”. 

 “Trust in the process of living in the moment without needing to know the outcome”.

photo: Mel, Caitlin and Emma at Envy Hairdressing