Stephen has been working with Outlook for just over a year and has spent a lot of his time over the past seven years supervising Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expeditions across both the UK and Europe.
What led you to Outlook?
I was recommended Outlook by a good friend who had led for them for a number of years – he explained the level of professionalism and extensive support he had always received from Outlook so I thought I’d give it a go.
How long have you worked with Outlook?
Just over a year now, so I’m just going into my second expedition season.
Why do you enjoy leading for us?
At the end of the day, regardless of where you are and what you’re doing, what makes the experience is the people you’re with. The consistent build up to the expedition means you get to know your group and leader team, and makes the trip much more of a shared experience. The thoroughly planned and researched itineraries, and excellent support always available, helps take away a lot of the stress from leading, giving me a really solid platform to do my job of overseeing the safety of the group and facilitating their development.
Obviously getting to travel to really amazing destinations is a plus.
What personal expedition experience do you have (away from Outlook)?
I have led UK and European expeditions by foot, bike and boat for around seven years – probably the majority of this has been supervising and assessing DofE expeditions. On a personal level I’ve climbed and kayaked all over the world.
What are your top three Outlook Expedition experiences?
What benefits of expeditions have you seen first-hand?
The most notable changes I have found you see on expedition, are when young people overcome the initial fear and culture shock of being in a new place, and start to interact with local people on a more human level – you can see their expectations and preconceptions of a place and culture fading as they become more comfortable in their surroundings and are just there experiencing it first-hand.
What’s your funniest experience on an Outlook Expedition?
These are always hard to explain, because they tend to be the little in jokes that the group create, or the right young person just making one comment at the right moment. But if I had to say, then I’d say that watching stereo-typically tight Lancashire kids haggling was hilarious: “Are you kidding, pal? I can get that at Bury market for less…”
Sum up what expeditions are about in three words?
Perspective, experience, collaboration.