‘It wasn’t easy and every participant was challenged’

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Tyler Hearn. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Blisters, bitter weather and a wake-up call by bagpipes are all part of the experience, a Mosgiel man says.

In March, Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board members agreed to pay the $550 entry fee to the Berwick Outdoor Experience from its discretionary fund to allow one of its constituents take the course.

The scholarship recipient, Tyler Hearn (21), of Mosgiel, attended a board meeting last month to tell members about his eight-day “confidence-building” course at Berwick Forest Lodge in May.

“It wasn’t easy and every participant was challenged.”

The most challenging part for him was the third day of a tramp with “blistered feet”, he said.

“I wanted to give up but I kept going.”

Another challenge was being woken one day at 5.45am by an instructor playing the bagpipes.

The most rewarding part of the course was the varied range of backgrounds of participants and listening to the stories each one had to tell, he said.

Everyone had strengths and weaknesses but they worked as a team to get through a range of challenging activities.

He now aimed to join the NZ Defence Force, he said.

Course convener Rob Urquhart, also speaking at the meeting, said the course this year was the “wettest and coldest” since the annual event’s inception in 1991.

Despite the chill, the 38 participants “gave 100%”.

“They proved to be a resilient lot.”