Leadership courses at Lunzuwa outward bound school

MUFULIRA: Lunzuwa, the outward bound school in Zambia is re-known for its leadership courses, which prepare the youth for the roles they will assume in their various professions.

Located in Mbala in the north province of Zambia near the border of Tanzania, Lunzuwa, which was established in the mid 1960s, offers a three-weeks junior course as well as a senior course that is completed within four weeks. Both courses, for leaders and prospective leaders are about endurance, both mental and physical.

This writer was part of a team that participated in the junior course.
He tells of his experience: We were advised to take with us two pairs of trousers, preferably jeans, two pairs of canvas shoes, two t-shirts and socks. We were told that by the time we completed the course all the clothes would be in tatters.
The course starts with a 5am swim and thereafter we go straight for the 'run abouts', which are basically various challenging exercises. For instance we had to go through an underground tunnel and come out on the other side where there was a stream that we had to cross from above ground using a rope, Tarzan style.

Then there was the wall that had to be scaled. Once on the other side, the barbed wire greets us. The challenge here is to go through it without getting hurt. Such success is rounded off with 20 press-ups and a run around the school. The whole exercise lasts 10 minutes and the reward is a hearty breakfast with more strenuous exercise to follow.


The expedition is the next lap, and entails a long walk from the school to any mountain of the instructor's choice. The summit is the target, because upon it is a sealed tin that has to be collected and brought to the instructor as proof that the challenge has indeed been achieved.

Because this exercise takes three days and three nights adequate provisions have to be carried.On the first day of the expedition each person is given a "solo night" exercise where one has to spend a night alone. In the individual packs is macaroni, cheese, tinned beef, slices of bread, a box of matches and a tent. The task is to prepare food in the evening and breakfast in the morning. Whoever fails to do the 'solo night' the first day has to tackle it again the following night.
In the expedition, marks are gained when the map and compass are correctly interpreted in finding the way to any destination. Getting lost means losing marks. As for the instructors, they use shortcuts to monitor our movements.  Marks are accorded depending on how each obstacle is tackled.

True enough by the end of the expedition, each person had one pair of trousers, and one pair of canvas shoes left, not to mention the blisters on our feet.

Then there is the rock climbing exercises that have to be undertaken.

Rock climbing is a daring exercise. The secret is not to look down during the climb but rather to concentrate on getting to the top of the mountain. The instructor will always be there at the top of the mountain with a rope around himself, which will be used to protect and instruct you.

The next day we went to Lake Chila for the "capsising" drill. Here the boat is capsised by the instructor and he watches you go through what you were taught in class and each man gets marks for a reasonable contribution that will see the boat and its mast saved.

The last day of the course is a public speaking competition, which takes place in the evening were there is singing and dancing. Then comes the issuing of certificates and badges and ties. Getting either 'honours' 'meritplus '  'merit' certificates, means you have passed the course. A 'Membership  'certificate means you have failed.
I received a merit certificate, a badge and a tie. (Sila Press Agency)

 

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