The following thank you letter was written by Aidan, who completed our West Coast Discovery course this past summer. Without the support of generous donors like you, the Outward Bound experience would have been inaccessible financially for Aidan’s family. Read more about the impact of her journey below.
My name is Aidan, and I am from Toronto. I am writing to express my gratitude to you for making it possible for me to be a part of the West Coast Discovery course this summer, where I got the chance to try sea kayaking, surfing and complete a 48-hour solo experience. A mentor of mine once told me that sometimes the dreams you set for yourself as a child do come true, and it was not until I went on this trip that I truly believed him. For the first time in my life, I had everything I ever wanted. I was in an amazing place with amazing people, a group of friends that shared my values and were not afraid to go live life the way it’s meant to be lived.
“[T]his trip really made me a stronger person and made me confident in my ability to face challenges whatever they may be.”
On this trip I learned to make a fire with a single match during my 48-hour solo experience, sleep under a tarp and set it up in such a way that it kept the heat in and the mosquitos out, cook with a camp stove, purify water along with a tonne of other practical skills. Of the many skills I learned on this trip and the little victories I made each day, the thing that stands out to me is the resilience this trip fostered in me. Outward Bound was founded in 1941 to help sailors become prepared to handle tough times, and this trip really made me a stronger person and made me confident in my ability to face challenges, whatever they may be.
The best part of this trip was the opportunity to form close relationships with others and how quickly this occurred. We worked together and laughed together and knew we were there for each other. This type of support system is something that is missing in society today, especially at huge universities where students are too busy, stressed and distracted by social media to focus on developing the face-to-face social connections that truly matter.
“This trip has given my life a new direction and meaning and taught me to be strong, brave and bold when pursuing my goals.”
This year, I intend to continue to develop my love for the outdoors by joining nature-oriented clubs at my school and, hopefully, taking on leadership positions within them. I am inspired to spend more time outside, disconnecting from the stress associated with a busy city lifestyle. This trip has given my life a new direction and meaning and taught me to be strong, brave and bold when pursuing my goals.
Thank you for making this experience possible and for allowing me to overcome the financial barrier to attend this life-changing trip.
Since returning from her Outward Bound Canada course, Aidan is now a second-year student at the University of Toronto and has recently started a volunteer position at a law firm. She has joined the University of Toronto Outing Club and is on the executive committee of both the Rotaract Club and WE: Free the Children at the University of Toronto. She has also successfully fulfilled the ‘Adventurous Journey’ requirement for the gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh award as a result of her Outward Bound Canada experience.