Written by: Sarah Reeve
Martha and David Reeve recently returned from their Outward Bound Reach Beyond Fundraising Expedition to Iceland. When asked to recount their experiences and thoughts on the impact of their expedition, they spoke enthusiastically about their trip, Martha noting "I'm already very nostalgic".
Since long before joining Outward Bound Canada’s Board of Directors, David had been interested in Outward Bound’s values of developing leadership and resilience in the natural world. As someone who went to camp as a child and loves outdoor activities, he has been very involved in organizations supporting youth at risk for over a decade. Outward Bound aligned perfectly with his values. This was the first Outward Bound trip that he has participated in.
Some of Martha’s fondest childhood memories revolve around camp and canoe tripping. Learning paddling and tripping skills left her feeling strong, confident, bursting with positivity and feelings of connection to camp friends and the lakes and forests of Algonquin. “Everyone should have the chance to experience this feeling,” said Martha. As an adult, she has also participated in many outdoor expeditions including climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Neither Martha nor David had been to Iceland, and they were both looking forward to exploring the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’. The expedition presented them the opportunity to immerse themselves in "the Outward Bound way," and raise funds and awareness for OBC’s charitable programs.
Their trip started in Reykjavik, where they did a walking tour of the city. The next morning the group took a four-wheel drive bus to Lannmanlauger, where they set off on the Laugavegur trail. Both Martha and David were in awe of the varied terrain, incredible landscapes, views of glaciers and mountains, hot springs and the beauty that was unlike anywhere else they had ever been. "Everyday was totally different in terms of topography and weather", said David, of the 7 day trek from interior of Iceland to the South Coast. The group stayed in alpine huts where they were in very close quarters, which both Martha and David enjoyed as the whole group bonded and made for a more communal experience.
When asked what was so special and unique about this particular trip, both Martha and David listed the solo experience where they each spent a couple hours alone, the diverse interests of the group, the spectacular terrain, the Outward Bound content, and the quality of the guiding.
Each morning, either a quote or passage was read prompting a question to think about throughout their day, which both Martha and David found unique and really enjoyed the way having an intention for the day shaped their experience.
David said that this trip changed his life and how he would focus his energy once he was back home. "It helped prioritize what is important," explained David. For both Martha and David this trip also created a desire to participate in another Outward Bound Reach Beyond expedition. "The personal reflection part of the trip was very valuable", added Martha.
Overall, this expedition solidified their confidence in the value of Outward Bound trips, and allowed them to "appreciate the programming and how impactful it could be for a Youth-at-Risk, Woman of Courage, or any of the groups". Martha added that Iceland was the perfect backdrop for this trip as it was "interesting in terms of history, geography and culture" while also being "breathtaking and slightly magical".
Consistent throughout their stories, is the impact and enjoyment that their Icelandic guide, Aever added to their trip, with his vast knowledge of the country and its history. Martha and David have both done a lot of travelling in their lives, but this trip holds a special memory for them. The day they arrived home, Martha was already looking at flights back to Reykjavik, saying "there is still so much I want to explore in Iceland!"
This trip was extremely memorable and impactful for both Martha and David and they are eager to participate in another Reach Beyond expedition.
We can’t wait to find out where they’ll go next!
Interested in participating in a Reach Beyond Fundraising Expedition? Find out what trips we're offering this year!