While flying over the boreal forest in 2008 I was inspired to re-cultivate my connection with nature and to introduce my children to the joy of hiking and camping. After a deployment to Afghanistan I reached out to the Outward Bound Veterans’ program and participated in a Veterans’ mountaineering course. This course gave me more confidence and comfort in the ‘great outdoors.’ Both witnessing and experiencing the power of an Outward Bound course convinced me of the strength inherent in the program. I returned to Outward Bound Veterans in 2014 as a participant and again in 2016 as an apprentice guide, kayaking on the Bay of Fundy. I was also fortunate enough to attend a West Coast Mindfulness program in the beautiful Clayquot Sound area that same summer.
These Outward Bound experiences stay with me and remind me of the power of compassion and empathy in both my personal and professional life in the Royal Canadian Navy. They have shown me the incredible healing power of nature and how this can be used as a tool in helping both serving military member and veterans face the challenges they often encounter post-deployment or in transition to civilian life.
I am a true believer in the philosophies of Outward Bound. In joining the Reach Beyond Nahanni expedition I aim to help provide other veterans, along with Women of Courage participants, the opportunity to share in the experiences I have been lucky enough to have. The chance to combine this with a ‘bucket list’ trip was too good to pass up and I am super excited to experience the wild beauty of the Canadian North this summer!
For more information on Reach Beyond expeditions please contact Angus Murray via email or by phone at 1-888-688-9273 ext. 229.