Name: Morgan Mifflin
Outward Bound Course: Youth Leadership Corps, 2014
Where are you now?
Right now I am in 10th grade, attending Central High School. I am adjusting to all the changes I am experiencing with getting older and taking on more responsibility for myself and for my learning. The skills I have learned at OB have definitely helped me to feel more comfortable with these changes, and have helped me keep an open mind when faced with difficult tasks.
What was the most memorable moment of your Outward Bound experience?
The most memorable moment of my Outward Bound experience was the first night. When we got to the launch, it began to rain, along with thunder and lightning. We unloaded the canoes but had to wait in the car until there was no more lightning, and we were able to start our journey down the Delaware. When we arrived at our sight it began to storm once again with lightning and thunder. We set up our tents and got inside, we huddled to keep warm. There were 5 people in my tent, and we quickly bonded as the night went on, and the rain continued to pound our tent. We were cold and uncomfortable, but we got through the night by telling stories and playing games.
What was your biggest challenge on course and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge on the course was finding the strength to keep going. It rained every day on our trip, we were drenched, cold, and exhausted. There were many times when I wanted to stop hiking and take a nap (I napped at the top of every mountain). When you are on these kinds of trips you constantly need to be thinking about taking care of your needs, keeping hydrated, applying sunscreen, making sure you have dry socks, etc… You make a lot of mistakes your first few days out in the woods as you begin to learn the ropes. Eventually the hiking gets easier as you get stronger and learn tricks to help you take care of your needs.
What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
I learned a lot on my trip, but the two most important things I learned was that it is ok to ask for help, and to keep going even when you want to give up. At first I was reluctant to ask my teammates for help, I wanted to seem like I was capable of handling tasks on my own. Eventually I realized that everything got done faster, and more efficiently if you have help. I also learned to trust other people, and could rely on them for help. This made my two weeks go A LOT more smoothly. I often found myself wanting to give up whether it was hiking, packing, unpacking, cleaning, cooking, canoeing, etc… but I couldn’t give up because I was a member of a team, and others were counting on me to do my job. I constantly told myself “don’t give up,” and “keep going, you can do it!” I found that these things I told myself allowed me to push through, and complete the tasks I needed to. I realize that I can apply this to any situation, whether hiking or in everyday life, I will be able to push myself so much further, and accomplish so much more if I maintain a positive mentality, and don’t give up.
What did you learn about your team from this experience?
I learned a lot about my team from this experience. At the beginning of the trip some of my teammates were afraid of bugs, had never been on a hike before, and appeared to be close-minded. I thought “there is no way that person will ever last out in the woods for two weeks,” boy was I wrong. People, all people are capable of pushing themselves and the only thing that holds us back is our fear of the unknown. These people who I thought would not make it through the trip, ended up being some of the strongest, most helpful members of our team. I saw everyone change, I saw everyone try new things and I saw everyone become a family. Each one of us possessed different abilities and strengths that ultimately benefited everyone. Slowly we opened up to each other about our personal lives and we got to know each other on a deeper level. I witnessed more compassion within our team than I have anywhere else.
What goals do you have for the future? What other journeys will you go on next?
My main goal for the future at the moment is to get into a good college, and to find who I am as an individual. I want to impact the world around me positively, and to continue to challenge myself to be the best I can. I plan to continue to go on trips through Outward Bound. Hopefully my next trip will be sailing in Maine. I want to learn new skills that I can use later in life. Every time you go on a trip that pushes you to your true limit, you become more connected to yourself. One thing that Outward Bound does on all of its trips, is a solo. On my YLC trip I spent 48 hours alone in the woods. I was scared at night and falling asleep was very hard. However, being alone for so long allowed for me to self-reflect more so than ever before. I came to appreciate all that I had. Being without electronics and other luxuries of civilization gave me a chance to relax, to not be caught up in social media or drama going on in relationships. I hope to continue having these experiences and to continue to find out more about myself.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is doing an OB course / or is thinking about doing YLC?
Some advice I would give to someone who is thinking about doing an OB course, is to go for it. I would tell them that if they are looking for a challenge, and chance to become connected to themselves, an OB course would be very beneficial. A lot of times people may feel intimidated, and discouraged that they could “never survive two weeks in the woods.” It is scary! It is hard! But the thing is, you will take so much away from it and you will not regret it. When I was applying to go on my first course (Get Out And Lead), I was really nervous and I was having doubts about going. These feelings are normal because everything you are about to go through is completely different than anything you have experienced. However, it is these experiences that allow us to grow and learn as individuals.