And so it begins….Day one at the Lake District
It’s been an undeniably long day; both the TLD team and the apprentices have had to travel a long way to get here, some having set out at 7am to arrive in time for the launch of this week’s programme. Many of the apprentices are tired and weary from the journey, and yet the only sound you can hear is laughter and jubilation. From arrival, to the 9pm debrief session there has been nothing but energy and enthusiasm coming from the 35 strong group of apprentices, and if it’s any indication of their attitude towards the week to come, this will be an exceptionally enjoyable experience for all involved.
The group taking part in this session are returning for the second half of a two part programme; the first week was run six months ago in April and was their first experience of The Outward Bound approach to professional development. The aim this time is to solidify the learnings of the April session, and also build upon them, helping to ensure that they have the skills they need to succeed as they progress further on their career path.
So far much of the day’s activities have revolved around re-orientating themselves with the centre, as well as re-establishing connections with one another, many of whom work in different departments and parts of the country and thus haven’t spoken since the last meet up in April. But despite this separation, there is an overwhelming feeling of comradery between all the apprentices, they greet one another as old friends rather than mere working acquaintances, and the comments of one individual about the importance of the ‘family at work’, show just how close a bond many of these young people share. It’s very rewarding to see; and is evident that the experiences they shared during their time here six months ago has made a strong and lasting impression on many of them, and has fostered relationships that likely wouldn’t have emerged without this environment.
A truly unique set of individuals
Seeing such a diverse range of individuals coming together and sharing an experience like this is a powerful thing in itself, but having the opportunity to see them in action, working together in their smaller teams is remarkable. The bonds formed previously are a strong conductor for the team work needed to succeed, but it’s also the unique personalities and inputs of each individual that make this group so interesting to observe. Despite many of them being relatively young and new to the working world, the insights and wisdom they share within the group discussions is inspiring. The trainers are brilliant at encouraging and supporting people in vocalising these insights and it showcases how a supportive and focussed environment can help bring the best out of people, and empower them to push beyond their comfort zone to achieve more and develop themselves. But while the trainers are vital to facilitate this progression, it’s clear to see that these are a truly unique set of individuals who have the passion, desire and ability to succeed in their careers, and it is fantastic to see them making the most of this fabulous opportunity to help them achieve this success. It’s exciting to think of how far each person will come within the coming week, but from just this evening, I’m confident that they’re going to go far.
If you enjoyed this post, check out the introduction to this year’s Lake District programme, and our interview with Paul Marshalsea from the Outward Bound Trust.