Icy paths, heavy rain, roaring winds and freezing toes.
These are some of challenges thrown at Venture Trust's participants on a wilderness journey.
Our programmes act as a catalyst for change. The demanding nature of the wilderness, combined with one-to-one support and group activities, presents participants with emotional, social and physical challenges. These challenges are all designed to enable individuals to develop more positive and productive attitudes and behaviours. The wilderness journey is often the most intensive phase of our programmes, but one which generates a huge sense of achievement for our participants.
Here one of Venture Trust's Development Trainers - Sasha - shares what happens in the outdoors on one of our programmes and how the forces of nature can be a catalyst for change.
"Stripping life away and enduring the raw power of the Scottish wilderness provides an opportunity to test yourself physically. Removing the chaos of busy city life gives clarity as to what you want in life and what you need. Having the time around a fire, sharing and reflecting, allows you to recognise your achievements and realise your strengths.
This was the story of the latest Living Wild programme.
Through grit and determination the group overcame challenges they had not faced before. They supported each other and were surprised at their new found and rediscovered strengths.
Travelling 21km across Cairngorm forests, making camps and warming fires along route, they were inspired by snowy mountains and supportive words.
The group played out what triggers a negative reaction in them in their home life. Through sharing similar experiences and feelings they built awareness of their triggers, how they initially respond to them and how this will help them manage their emotions when triggered in the future.
The group also thought about how changing from a fixed to a growth mindset can help them embrace opportunities.
To finish their 10 day wilderness journey the group wanted to challenge themselves even more and requested climbing a mountain! The final days they summited Ben Varckie and learnt the ropes of rock climbing!
An amazing effort from a very determined team, well done to all those who took part!"