Through kind sponsorship, Big Buddies occasionally get to develop their own confidence on an Outward Bound course, at a fraction of the cost most people would pay. Recently, Big Buddies Eugene Lowrie and Terry Dawson were lucky enough to take up this offer in The Marlborough Sounds. Terry’s letter of thanks, below, shows us the caliber of men who step up to be Big Buddies, and the importance that having an enduring spirit of adventure brings to all. Terry is pictured here in Middle Earth with Little Buddy Jayden!
I’m writing to sincerely thank Big Buddy and associated sponsors for the wonderful opportunity that I was recently given to attend a one week course of Outward Bound in the Marlborough Sounds.
I have enjoyed many highlights as a Big Buddy over the last two years and this week provided another set of enjoyable and memorable challenges. Together with a team of 11 others, I spent the week hiking, camping, sailing, rowing, running, kayaking and conquering a high ropes course.
Considering the time of year, we were also ‘encouraged’ to spend a surprising amount of time in the ocean!
In addition to wanting to help a fatherless boy in need, I joined Big Buddy to support my own personal growth. Thanks to your generous support, attending Outward Bound has complimented this goal by encouraging my appreciation of nature, providing focus on the relationship between physical activity and health, learning how to fit into a team, and associating with dedicated and passionate people.
These experiences have assisted me to develop into a more effective Big Buddy to Little Buddy Jayden as I have had time to reassess my life in order to become more balanced and present, I have learned to reinforce the importance of nature and physical activity with him, I can safely bring him out of his comfort zone at times in an encouraging and non-confrontational way, and I would like to introduce him to the new experiences I had to gain skills and confidence.
During several activities on my Outward Bound course, I found myself thinking, ‘Jayden would enjoy this…’or, ‘Jayden would benefit from this…’. Hopefully at some time in the future I can encourage him to attend Outward Bound as I’m sure he would enjoy his time there, make many new friends, and gain new skills and confidence.
The age range of people attending Outward Bound was striking and it is clear that the experience provides benefit to young and old alike.
A pleasant surprise during my week on Outward Bound was meeting Eugene, a fellow Big Buddy. It was helpful to swap notes with someone able to relate to what it means to be a Big Buddy. Many of our fellow team members were astounded to hear of what we do and we both felt pride at sharing our experiences.
Also, it was interesting to hear the experiences of others in the group involved in volunteer organisations such as New Zealand Land Search and Rescue and Fire & Emergency New Zealand.
Observing the dedication, passion, patience and sincerity of the guides at Outward Bound reminded me of the team members who work at Big Buddy.
These two organisations have many commonalities and I have found my experiences with each organisation to be synergic. Both organisations provide a positive benefit to individuals and groups in New Zealand society. It is inspiring to spend time with the types of people that are attracted to being involved with both organisations.
Thank you again for the ongoing support of everybody involved with Big Buddy including the team members and sponsors. Without this generous support I may not have been able to find the financial means and the impetus to attend Outward Bound.
Big Buddy to Jayden Parris