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Hurricane Island Outward Bound: A Twenty-Two Day Trek Like No Other

Ariana Arias '21

Brandon Schuster, Campus Reporter

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At the end of winter term, while most of Kent is bogged down with studying for exams and preparing for the coming season, students from around the country are preparing essays to submit for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School scholarship program. And, for the past two years, Kent students have been selected for this three-week adventure, which entails an 81-mile trek through Maine which serves as both an educational and leadership experience.

For last year’s recipient, Ari Arias ’21, the experience with Outward Bound was “definitely intense. It takes a lot of hard work and cooperation with the ten people going on the trip.” She explains, “for twenty-two days I gave up all connection to the outside world. No internet, no phone; just our tour guide, nine crewmates and myself. We covered almost 81 miles.”

John Garbi ’21, who received the scholarship this year, is excited about the upcoming trip this summer. He explains that the appeal of sailing initially brought him to apply, seeing it as an opportunity to do something different in a “usually pretty boring summer.” However, now he sees “being away from everything for three weeks – no electronics, no TV, no computer – and just going to be with the ten other people” as just as important.

But for Arias, she knows the lessons that Outward Bound teaches goes beyond the twenty-two-day disconnect with technology. She notes that the experience brought her a closer relationship with nature, one that she never had in her New York City childhood.

She mentions that she’d “never been surrounded by nature in that way.” And, moreover, it has taught her to not dwell on the future, but to focus on what she “should be doing today and in this moment.”

Garbi also looks forward to coming away with newly learned lessons. He mentions a “greater appreciation for deep interpersonal relationships, adventure, dependence on other people, and leadership skills” as some of the things this trip will teach him.

He elaborated that those things will come from the fact, as he puts it, that “in a small group of ten people, everyone is important.” Arias certainly agrees; when talking about the last week of her time with Outward Bound, she says, “It was kind of sad, too, because after you’re with someone for twenty-two days, you create a family.”

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Hurricane Island Outward Bound: A Twenty-Two Day Trek Like No Other