When I was 11 years old, I began Scouts as I’d always loved adventures. There I had the opportunity to have so many amazing experiences with the friends I made. I loved kayaking, tramping, swimming, biking and so much more at Scouts.

Once I turned 14 I was excited to finally move up to Venturers, the older scouting group. My first trip with Venturers was canoeing on the Whanganui river for five days; it was really challenging at times, but so incredible. We canoed for 7 hours each day, camped on the side of the river in small tents and got to see an wild and amazing part of New Zealand. This was when I realised that I needed to take every chance I had to have rewarding experiences such as that. Following this, with Venturers I went skiing for a week at Mt Hutt and tramping for nine days in the Kahurangi National park.

As a park of Venturers, I started to work towards doing the Duke of Edinburgh award as, besides being fun and challenging, it will help me with my career and university in the future. I have gained my Bronze and Silver award and am currently working towards my Gold. I am required to complete a residential project as a part of the Gold award. This is a trip that I go on with people I don’t know for at least 5 days. I knew right away that the Spirit of Adventure is exactly what I wanted to do for my residential project. I have been interested in sailing for a while, but it’s not something I can do through Venturers.

The Bobby Stafford Bush Trust has given me the support that allows me to go on the Spirit of Adventure. The Spirit of Adventure trip I am attending is 10 days from Wellington Harbour to Nelson. I will have the chance to cross the Cook Strait on a sailing boat, while learning many sailing and teamwork skills through such a beautiful part of the country. I am so grateful to be able to fulfil this dream of mine with the help of the Bobby Stafford Bush Trust.

Sophie Millar