Business bid helps boys to grow more confident
Hamilton’s Morgan Glover, 14, has trained hard to get match-fit for the Outward Bound course he is doing this week.
He was a little excited, a little nervous, but “I’ll get through it,” he said.
To develop character and resilience, Outward Bound puts hundreds of kids of Morgan’s age through their paces every year but the circumstances of this teen’s enrolment are rather novel — his placement came as a result of a little generosity at a long business lunch.
Last year at a Barworks Big Buddy Long Lunch, John Osborne and James Dalglish of GO Rentals won an auction for a fatherless boy to experience a week with Outward Bound.
Morgan is part of the Big Buddy programme that mentors fatherless boys in Hamilton, Auckland, and Wellington.
Morgan’s father died when he was eight, and mum Melanie said it was just as Morgan was turning 12 that their family doctor put them in touch with the Big Buddy organisation.
In the Waikato, Morgan is one of about 900 boys who don’t have fathers in their lives, from a pool of over 5000 single parent families. Auckland has about 16,000 single parent families out of which an estimated 2500 boys have no contact with fathers. In Wellington, the statistics are similar to those in the Waikato.
Morgan’s Big Buddy Russell is one of 15 Waikato men who, out of a growing pool of monthly enquirers and applicants, proved they had what it takes to be a mentor. He’s thrilled that the boy he’s known for seven months will get the chance to strengthen his character at Outward Bound.
“It will broaden his horizons hugely and provide invaluable experience interacting with his peers in new and challenging situations — not to mention the physical challenges,” says Russell Walsh, a Genesis LPG operations manager in Hamilton. When Russell looks back on the reasons he wanted to help instil confidence and, ultimately, happiness, in another young person, they mostly come down to his own boyhood lessons.
“I come from a background of a family of six, not overly affluent, with my parents splitting when I was 12. It is nice to be able to pass on some of the coping mechanisms and hard won learnings I have picked up over the years and have some fun while doing it,” he says.
The Outward Bound experience for a Little Buddy was donated as an auction item by Barworks.
“Our customers encouraged us to purchase an Outward Bound course to auction off at our Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen Big Buddy Long Lunch. These courses are known for the valuable experiences they provide children with, and for us, being able to provide an experience like this to a Little Buddy is a joy the entire Barworks team share,” says managing director John Hellebrekers.
Mum Melanie had no reserves about Morgan travelling and taking part, apart from the pressure for him to quickly get fit for the 3km run. She’s keen to see him take up this chance for greater independence and confidence.
Studies show that boys in female-only households are more likely to miss opportunities to take risks. Men tend to encourage boys to take risks to discover their own limits and then judge risk better in future, leading to independence and trust in ability. In a Horizon Research survey commissioned by Big Buddy in 2013, 73 per cent of Little Buddies reported feeling more confident to try new things since getting a mentor, and 79 per cent of their carers said outcomes had improved in general, the most positive change being in their selfconfidence.
Morgan Glover, 14, of Hamilton is taking on the challenge of an Outward Bound Course, thanks to a little generosity at a long business lunch.