Outward Bound for Class 2016

Report by:

Sneha Susan jacob

MSCM Class 2016


“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway

The month of October has been and seems to be a busy month for the MSCM batch of 2016. With assignment deadlines, exams, conferences to volunteer for and to top it all an outward bound experience to be prepared for.

Right after the GLCS LogiSYM conference, we plunged head on into our Outward Bound trip for the year. The MSCM batch of 2016 has been a unique batch in a number of ways – right from the number of girls outnumbering the number of boys to the different cultures we all come from. The icing on top of the cake was that more than half the class didn’t know how to swim.

Outward Bound is a non-profit organisation, which is one of the leading providers of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults alike. Outdoor education, expedition based experiences and experiential learning like Outward Bound are highly respected. And I now feel I know the reason as to why it is highly respected.

We went to the Outward Bound School (OBS) in Lumut, Malaysia. Though we didn’t have a thorough Outward Bound experience, wherein we had to stay on the OBS campus – we were very near the entire experience. Our instructor, Firdous began on a slightly emotional note for many of us and stated that we were all on an Outward Bound trip already, wherein the Outward Bound refers to moving out of your comfort zone. And for us as a class, everyone had moved out of their comfort zone with none of our batch mates being from Malaysia.

DSC_0096We got straight to action after that very brief introduction, we began by working as a team, on building a raft with PVC Pipes and Barrels and of course, ropes. Trusting each other’s newly found skill in building rafts, we were made to row on our newly built raft to the middle of the sea. It was a mind numbing experience. But before we could get comfortable, we were back on the beach side.

obs_kayakA very exciting experience for Day 1, resulted in a growing urge to face Day 2 soon. Day 2, turned out to be an explosive day with us learning how to row a Kayak and what to do if a Kayak capsizes. In an hour’s time, we were rowing ourselves towards an island where we had our instructors and a dozen monkeys waiting for us. We had a quick lunch which we packed back on the OBS grounds and that was the only thing that we were forced to share with the monkeys. Well, the monkeys did give us something to laugh about on our way back. Right after our lunch with the monkeys, we were well on our way to rappelling ourselves down a steep mountain. And as if this wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we had to row our Kayaks back to the OBS shore, get the kayaks to the wash area, wash the kayaks and the paddles and place them back into safety on their respective shelves.

Day 3 called for less rigorous activities as compared to the Kayaking expedition which was stated to be a mere 8 km on the sea (with a pinch of sarcasm). We had rope climbing, wall climbing and ended it with a jungle expedition using a map and a compass. The jungle expedition seemed a challenge for many because trusting another person’s instinct’s is not something which is ingrained in us humans. But it brought out a sense of trust, a never give up attitude and a sense of adventure which could be applied to all spheres of life.

By the end of Day 3, we couldn’t be more proud of ourselves. We got an Outbounder pin as well a certificate to take back home with us. We were now referred to as Ex-bounders.

As Bob Brock, College Counsellor for Acorn Academics in Ketchum, Idaho rightly states, “The Outward Bound experience is worthy in and of itself. The lessons and experience can provide the seeds of a wisdom that may – in the long run – outgrow one’s college experience. The introspection and confidence one takes from an Outward Bound course will help set a deep keel during college.”

It was a well-deserved break from classes and I don’t think I could think of a better way to spend our very precious weekends. Each of us were put through very stressful circumstances and clearly emerged with an appreciation for the difference, a determination to overcome the pain and become resilient in the face of adversity. It was an opportunity for self-reflection and a very uncanny respect for the outdoors. This was one of the steps that we needed to take in order for us to become better human beings and better leaders in the future.

A big shout out of Thanks to the Outward Bound School, Lumut for having us and bearing with the fact that we broke a lot of rules of Outward Bound. To MISI, for giving us the opportunity to go on the Outward Bound quest. To Dr Albert Tan, Nadira Ismail, Muhammad Johari and Siti Salmah for taking on the added role of being our chaperones.

Report by: Sneha Susan Jacob
MSCM class 2016