A number of New Zealand’s leading carpentry apprentices have recently returned home from Outward Bound, a 21-day leadership programme in Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds.
The apprentices were the national finalists in the 2009 Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year, in association with Carters.
Tailored especially for the apprentices and valued at over $3000 per apprentice, the leadership programme proved to be a priceless experience for 2009 national finalists Luke MacGibbon, 21, and Stephen Kerr, 22.
“Outward Bound was awesome — it is a wicked opportunity, something you don’t get offered every day,” 2009 Bay of Plenty winner Luke MacGibbon says.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I kept an open mind. It was daunting going away for 21 days, my longest time away from home, so it was definitely a challenge in that sense,” he says.
Outward Bound prevails as New Zealand’s leading organisation for showing people their full potential through outdoor challenge and adventure.
The apprentices took part in a variety of activities, including kayaking, sailing, blindfolded rock climbing, hiking and planting trees to replenish the native wetlands.
Luke’s most testing task was rock climbing while blindfolded.
“It was tough knowing that you had no control if you fell. You had to trust your mates at the end of the rope,” he says.
When asked if Luke would recommend the Outward Bound programme to others, he wholeheartedly replied, “yes, definitely.”
“It throws you out of your comfort zone and really makes you realise how much you’re capable of. It made me look at things differently. I came back home and realised I had achieved all of these things at Outward Bound, so I don’t see why I can’t achieve things now.”
Outward Bound’s mission is to inspire personal and social development through value-based experiential learning in an outdoor environment. If these carpentry apprentices are anything to go by, the mission has certainly been achieved.
“The most valuable thing about it was the realisation that if you have the right mindset you can get over any challenges in life,” Luke says.
The course had a lasting effect on 2009 Northern winner Stephen Kerr, who thoroughly enjoyed his time at Anakiwa.
“The leadership skills I have learned and the feedback that I received has grown me as a person and will benefit me greatly in my career as a builder,” he says.
“I would highly recommend this place to others — maybe in the summer though, the water is a lot colder this time of year,” Stephen says.
The 10 regional winners of the 2010 Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year, in association with Carters have been announced, ready for the national finals in Wellington on October 21.
They have all been awarded the opportunity to go on the Outward Bound programme next year.
2010 Regional Winners
Northern Region: Atama O’Donnell, employed by Coastal Homes Ltd
Auckland Region: Lance Downer, employed by Faulkner Construction
Waikato Region: Jason Rusk, employed by Colemans Builders
Bay of Plenty Region: Ryan Motion, employed by Baybuild Ltd
East Coast Region: Dane McCarthy, employed by Mackersey Construction Ltd
Central North Island: Gareth Jeune, employed by Colspec Construction
Wellington Region: Rhys Doesburg, employed by Holmes Construction
Upper South Island: Isaac Alder, employed by Russell Bruce Contract Builders
Central South Island: Tim Glen, employed by Fletcher Construction
Southern Region: Roddy Hepp, employed by Naylor Love Ltd