Outward Bonding

On my Sierra Nevada Outward Bound course, I got to connect with nature and my current group of nine other students on the trip. All of us new to the experience but through physical and mental challenges were brought together as a team to face these challenges. I found it quite extraordinary how a group of strangers could work together as a family in the wilderness. I would say many would think it was to survive but what was there to survive? We had food, shelter, clothing, and water just as any normal person living in the city, so how did ten strangers become so close by living in the wild I ask again. I say that it was the beauty of nature that brought us together. We had many chances to let the rest of the group know that we much rather work alone. We didn’t though. We enjoyed each other’s company that we would even do cuddle puddles! Us, strangers were sleeping as if we had known each other all our lives. We shared our ups and our downs. It wasn’t easy, of course, this wasn’t a vacation. This was a chance to experience uncomfortableness, take risks, and challenge ourselves whether it was cooking, scrubbing, leading, checking everyone’s wellness, being a journalist of the day, or exploring nature as the naturalist, we all played a part which I believe benefited us to become closer even as strangers. Also, our instructors played a huge part in helping us work together. They instructed us and helped us grow so that when the time was right they left us on our own to experience the wilderness. We made it till the end as a team! I was very proud of myself because this journey was the hardest challenge I had ever faced and I was proud of my group because they faced every challenge head on even when it got harder to continue on. I will still say that it was the wonderful mornings and bright star-filled nights that kept us together.

This is a picture of my team eating after we got back into civilization!

Arely Mendia
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