Outdoor leadership students

Adventure seekers

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Heather Rielly
About the Author

Heather Rielly

Heather Rielly is a Bachelor of Arts student majoring in communication at Avondale University.

A week in the life of an outdoor leader at Avondale

Our outdoor leadership students get practical—a lot of what they learn is on a bush walk, sea kayak or mountain climb. Densley Ross (pictured left with Braden Ibbot in Ace Medhurst’s photograph) is one of these adventure seekers. He’s enjoying completing his diploma because “it helps me build skills while getting out into nature.” So, we asked him to describe the things he’s done and places he’s been then condensed them into a week. It looks like this:

Rock climbing at Phegans Bay on Brisbane Water. We meet on campus for worship and a preview of the day with our lecturer, David Low, before packing the van with gear. David briefs us when we arrive at the site then we start to climb. We complete between two and four climbs. We get back before dark to pack the gear away and write in our logbooks.

After worship, David tells us we’re off to Terrigal Beach, so we pack the trailer with kayaks, paddles and personal floatation devices. We do launching, surfing and landing drills, which we usually practise in the campus pool. We finish late in the afternoon and return to wash the gear.

We’re overnighting at Taffy’s Rock on the Hawkesbury River. When we go camping, it’s usually for two nights. Mount Kosciuszko and the Blue Mountains are my favourite locations.

We wake at 7 am to pack up because we’re going bushwalking—an intense 15-kilometre hike. Along the way, I make great connections with my classmates and meet a few new people. We’re back on campus by 5 pm and write again in our logbooks.

We roll up, as usual, in the outdoor leadership common room at 9 am for worship and David’s description for the day. I’m feeling tired and sore, so I’m happy to hear we’ll be doing classwork today. We study things like weather patterns and rescues and write incident report forms and risk assessments. We also learn about anchor systems and brush up on our knot tying, rock climbing and survival techniques. It’ll be a long day—finishing at 5 pm—but we’ll complete all our work leaving our weekend free.

Know an adventure seeker?

If they’re looking for a fun gap-year option, or want to kickstart a career as an outdoor instructor, our courses in outdoor leadership may be just what they’re looking for. Highly practical, challenging, and highly respected.