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There's always more in you: Jared Spence

Jared Spence OUtward Bound

DRENCHED and cold, labourer Jared Spence sat down in his sodden tent and wrung water from his sleeping bag.

The light from his head torch picked out puddles on the tent floor and he was ravenously hungry.

He wondered why everyone around him couldn’t have walked faster and put their tents up with more speed so as to avoid this water-logged reality. He thumped his hand on the ground in annoyance. “That was the moment that tested me the most,” says Jared, 23, looking back on a life-changing trip to Outward Bound.

Jared, 23, was recommended for a 21-day Outward Bound course by Wairoa Young Achievers Trust.  The initiative was co-funded by Outward Bound and Wairoa District Council using funds from the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Funding.  

Physically fit and always ready for a challenge Jared thrived. While “traditionally indoor people” in the group sometimes struggled, he says that cutting tracks, completing long runs, and living in the bush didn’t bother him.  “Everyone was tested in different ways.”

Given his aptitude for outdoor survival, Jared and another strong team member were often asked to step back and let other group members find their own way. Learning how to manage team dynamics and allowing others to shine ended up being what Jared had to work on.

“I had a tendency to just want to get the things done my way, and a fast way. My mental game wasn’t as good as my physical game. I needed to learn how to read people and work in a team.”

Using the experience to grow, Jared says he studied others in the group. Each person taught him something he could adopt to be a better colleague, team player, or family member. Important attributes he learned were patience and tolerance, and these were put to the test during that sodden evening.

After the effort of putting up tents in the gloom and rain, Jared helped cook dinner under a drooping tarp. He was cold and hungry and looking forward to the makeshift meal. Unfortunately, his stew was mistakenly served in a dirty pot and tasted of methylated spirits. “I couldn’t catch a break!” remembers Jared, with a smile.

Jared says Outward Bound taught him what good teamwork and leadership look like. He and his fellow group members also learned that no matter how tough something is “there’s always more in you”.

Jared is grateful to those who funded his course and Quality Roading and Services for paid time off to attend. “If you get offered the chance like Glenn and I did, definitely do it.”


3 October 2022

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Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. My strength is not mine alone, it is the strength of many.

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