This blog is written by Westfield High School student Tor Breza who attended Heroic Journey as part of Imagine's Outreach Program. Tor is a member of iYAC (Imagine Youth Advisory Council.)
"Late August of this past summer I embarked on what I can only call an adventure. Imagine doing something you have never done before. I was nervous, excited, and had no clue what I was getting into. That’s what it was like to go to Outward Bound for the first time.
"We started our Heroic Journey as a group of strangers, three boys and three girls, and my two instructors who would help us all through canoeing 41 miles down the Delaware River Gap.
"First I’ll start with what a Heroic Journey is. Although we didn’t know each other, each one of us in the group had lost a loved one. The purpose of the Heroic Journey Outward Bound trip, or at least what I got out of it, is that though life is hard and you don’t always think you can push through you can do anything you put your mind to. You can overcome.
"I can’t speak for everyone but I know that it helped me tremendously to see and meet others who understood a personal loss, and were my age. No matter how many times someone says, “You are not alone,” it can only really sink in when someone shares their story and you realize that’s how you felt, and that’s what happened to you.
"There was one ritual that we did called ‘Crossing the Line.’ It was after the sun set at a camp site along the river, our instructors had a line of lanterns laid out. My new friends and I stood together on one side of the line while the instructors read out statements. You would step forward if you had felt or feel the same way as the statement. I couldn’t believe it when we all stepped forward.
"Outward Bound is hard, but what you put into it is what you will get out of it. And it was the most rewarding and life changing experience I have ever had. I don’t go a day without thinking, “Don’t be so nervous! You climbed and stood on a 30 foot pole! You can do anything!” The Heroic Journey made me a stronger person. And thanks to it I am outward bound.
By Tor Breza, Westfield, NJ, Heroic Journey Participant, Summer 2012