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Transformation Tuesday – Caila ’20

On #TransformationTuesday, hear what Mount students have to say about extraordinary influences in their life.

Caila ’20 participated in an Outward Bound leadership experience. She shares about the summer trip that taught her about learning from challenges and how simple things like giving and receiving encouragement make the journey easier.

 

Outward Bound was my best experience this summer. Canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, and camping in and around the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area for 14 days with a group of 13 people I didn’t know was challenging! Through an assembly last school year I was introduced to Outward Bound, and I submitted an application and was selected to participate in the NJ Youth Leadership Corps program. Sophomore students from many communities across northern New Jersey applied for the opportunity to attend the trip and two crews of 10 students and 3 instructors were chosen for the expedition. When I arrived the first morning, met my crew, and saw all the gear and supplies, I could not imagine how we were possibly going to get through the trip!

Never-ending help and encouragement

But along the way, I discovered a few things. Our days were filled with being constantly on the move, canoeing daily during for the first half of the trip and then hiking for the second half. Many moments were filled with singing along our way. Words to popular songs were changed to words of encouragement. The fun we had and the help we provided for each other was never-ending. Leadership was something else I learned about. There are many different styles of leading and I engaged in figuring out each student’s style. I learned how to be more confident in my decisions and how to use my strengths and be a better leader.

Challenges, discovery, and unbreakable bonds

The two-week journey through the wilderness is something I’ll never forget. Living in the woods and learning how to navigate the maps of the Appalachian Trail are skills I will use again. Rockclimbing was an activity I’ve never done and it was the highlight of my experience! The bonds formed between all of us during this trip are unbreakable. If I could, I would, without a doubt, do it again!

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