I've been doing this camping/bushwalking/Duke of Ed thing for about eight months or so now. I've seen a lot of groups, a lot of different ages, personalities, people. I've been to a lot of different places, and both learned and taught a fair bit.
This last group I had taught me something, in a sense; or, made me realise what I think I already knew, rather. I just didn't know how to word it before.
When we take the guys out on camp, or Duke of Edinburgh, it's not just about teaching them stuff like how to set up a tent, how to use a trangia, or how to paddle a canoe. It's not even about making them super-duper bushwalkers/campers/canoers, though if that does happen that's pretty cool.
What we teach them goes a lot deeper than that. It's values; mindsets; attitudes; a way to think. Things like perseverance through adversity and self-doubt; keeping a positive attitude; putting others, and the group, above yourself; appreciating the journey as much, if not more, than the destination; prioritising what's important in life, and at the time; and even taking care of the environment.
Each of these things are more than just bush skills; they are life skills. And I'm so thankful that I've had the opportunity to see that potential there, for both teaching and learning.