In September, Southampton University Officer Training Corps (SUOTC) departed on an adventurous training exercise in Tyrol, Austria.
The Connaught Trust supported the expedition with grant funding, alongside other funding sources that SUOTC had contacted.
The team conducted a hut-to-hut hiking expedition from the 11th to the 19th of September along the challenging Berlina High Trail route. The expedition aimed to push officer cadets beyond their comfort zone and discover their capabilities. It also introduced officer cadets to alpine hiking as a sport and provided them with a foundation for future development. The trip also helped individuals develop resilience teamwork and improve map reading, route planning skills and troop movement.
The trip was designed to be enjoyable while challenging, create greater camaraderie and develop skills while enjoying the scenery and having a good time. Many attendees use the expedition to advance their Army MLT (mountain leadership training) qualifications to gain the correct hours and experience to become an instructor. In addition, the trip provided further development for our unit MLT instructors.
“It was a great experience, as I’d never been to Austria. the views were amazing, and there was a lot of time to build up teamwork between us.”
Participating in Adventure Training proved to be a transformative experience for the OCdts, allowing them to develop and strengthen their leadership and teamwork abilities. This hands-on experience not only broadened their horizons but also served as a valuable tool for personal growth.
“We had loads of fun, for someone who has not travelled much all the different transport was really fun. Then we got to the mountains, which were stunning, and each Hut perched with superb views across the valleys. We even got to know some of the people following our route.”
For some of the Officer Cadets, this adventure was a gateway to activities they might not have considered attempting on their own. It allowed them to step out of their comfort zones, try new things, and embrace novel challenges. In essence, this journey served as a catalyst for personal development, empowering OCdts to explore their potential in a supportive and encouraging environment.
The skills acquired during this expedition have equipped them with not only the knowledge but also the confidence to engage in various outdoor activities. Whether it's hiking, camping, or even the ambitious task of planning their own expeditions, the OCdts now possess the necessary expertise to do so. These newfound skills are not just confined to the expedition but extend to various aspects of their personal and professional lives, making them more adaptable and resourceful individuals.
“The walking was really tough, but my friends made it better, and I learnt a lot about navigating in the mountains, which is much harder. I’m already planning a family trip just because I want to go back.”