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Life-changing experience on the water

Ignite your spirit of adventure and step up to your future – that was the message from guest speaker Julia Bryant at last months Mangawhai Rebus Club meeting where she spoke about the Spirit of Adventure experience.

Julia is a Wellingtonian who moved to Auckland to take up a position with Spirit of Adventure. She was a teacher and has a passion for the outdoors so has found the perfect match.

Spirit of New Zealand is a 45.2m three-masted barquentine commissioned in 1986. Since the retirement of the Spirit of Adventure in 1997 she sails around 340 days each year, making her one of the world’s busiest youth ships.

What is the Spirit of Adventure experience? You need to be between 16 and 18 years of age and medically fit to complete the programme. The 10 day voyage on board is a life-changing experience, unlocking your potential, leaving you ready to face your future.

Forty trainees – 20 females, 20 males – board the ship for 10 days at sea.

None of the students come from the same school and during the voyage you’ll improve your communication and leadership skills and learn the importance of self awareness and being part of a team. As you face the various challenges you will gain confidence as you increasingly move outside your comfort zone. You’ll meet 39 other young kiwis from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.

“Over 10 days you will come to depend on each other, learn tolerance and acceptance and create close and lasting bonds,” says Julia. “Once you leave the ship you are connected to the Spirit community for life. You’ll have the opportunity to return as a crew member and share your experiences with others.”

Phones and devices are left behind and whilst some students find the scariest thing to do is climbing the mast, for others it is leaving their phone and facebook behind.

The cost is $2,400 each for the 10 days and funding can be obtained from various sources. Visit spiritofadventure.org.nz and find out more about the programme. Learn about the Pinnacle Progamme which is sponsored by Hyundai NZ.

Pinnacle is a unique mentoring programme for passionate teens between 15 and 18 years which provides talented young New Zealanders with the foundation for success. The organisation would not be as successful without the many volunteers that sail on the ship and carry out many tasks. A truly inspirational organisation on many levels.

Mangawhai Probus meets every third Thursday in the month at the Senior Citizens Hall, Fagan Place, Mangawhai at 2pm. Visitors and new members are welcome. Contact 431 5777.

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