2016 Outward Bound


 The UPBEAT members who attended Parkinson’s New Zealand 2016 Outward Bound course earlier this year experienced a lesson in the power of positive thinking to help you make the most of what life has to offer and seize the day.

Every year Parkinson’s New Zealand runs an UPBEAT Outward Bound course. This course provides an opportunity for members and support staff to participate in a 6-day adventure in Anakiwa filled with mental and physical challenges and a chance to bond with other members. The course is very rewarding giving participants a chance to re-assess their capabilities and accomplish tasks with the support and supervision of the experienced Outward Bound team.

Dave Birss from Mount Manganui particularly enjoyed the challenge of the six day Outward Bound course.

Dave attended with nine other people (four men and five women). The team was accompanied by several Outward Bound instructors and two Parkinson’s New Zealand support staff.

“Throughout the week we were kept in the dark as to what lay ahead, so plenty of surprises and not a little apprehension.”

The team was up before 6am and went to bed not long after 9pm each day.

“The time in between was a blur of constant activity--physical, mental and emotional.”

Dave says a watershed moment was completing a number of activities on the high wires, about 10 metres up. He was not confident with his balance and didn’t think he could do it.  “It was very challenging.” However, he says, the entire team succeeded in completing the task. “With varying degrees of persuasion, help and encouragement.”

“I never would have thought that I would be able to walk unaided along a 10-metre log a metre from the ground, let alone 10 metres up, but I did.”

They sailed, walked, rowed, and spent a night out in the elements. “Solo is being left alone in the bush overnight and the next morning, freeing your mind to contemplate. Very interesting!”

Parkinson’s New Zealand thanks Douglas Pharmaceuticals for sponsoring the Outward Bound Course.

Have a look at the photo gallery.