3+2 Outdoors - Abbie

3+2 Outdoors - Abbie

Abbie Hinton never considered herself much of a thrill seeker, but her life is taking an adventurous turn.

The 18-year-old St Mary’s Diocesan School (Stratford) student has this year been taking part in the 3+2 outdoor education course at TSB Topec. Students spend three days each week at school and two days at Topec – they study towards the National Certificate in Outdoor Leadership Level 3 while continuing their Level 3 studies at school.

Under the supervision of experienced outdoor education tutors, the students learn and develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills in the outdoors.

“Last year I did travel and tourism, but I didn’t like the indoor work. I like to be outdoors and this course gave me the chance to do that,” Abbie says.

During the year, the students take part in a range of activities, including rock climbing, kayaking, tramping, navigation, survival skills, risk management and outdoor leadership.

“At the start of the year, I was not confident at all – I was so scared of doing things. I was not much of a thrill seeker, but this has opened my eyes a lot to what I could be doing next year,” Abbie says.

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With that in mind, Abbie is now considering studying outdoor adventure through tertiary institute Whitireia on the Kapiti Coast.

Abbie says the 3+2 course has given her the chance to develop leadership and personal skills in a practical environment, and has spurred interest from other students at St Mary’s.

Topec director Steve Ralph says 3+2 gives students clear career pathways and provides the basic skills to go into the workplace or into outdoor education polytech courses.

“It opens up a lot of career options, from paramedics or police, through to teaching or outdoor adventure guides. There are lots of avenues for adventure and travel,” Steve says.

“They’re getting qualifications in a fun way as well as learning about themselves and developing life skills.”

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