Let me tell you a story…
“I know that doing what I do makes a difference for the better and, most importantly, I know why I set out to build the best expedition company in the world.”
On my way to meeting another school who wanted to do DofE expeditions with me I popped into a Costa, and when I was ordering a large coffee to perk me up after a long drive two young men who were in their early twenties came straight up to me and said: “Sam, we did our DofE with you in the Lakes…Do you remember?” I did, they looked a little older and had filled out a bit more from the seventeen year olds I remember, but it was them. My memory flashed to a moment at a checkpoint on the summit of Hellvellyn in glorious sunshine; I remember the group like it was yesterday and the pride-filled smiles as I took a picture for them with the Lake District mountains as a backdrop.
I shook their hands and asked how they were doing, and they told me all about uni and getting their first jobs. We talked about the DofE expedition and they smiled from ear to ear whilst reminiscing.
They told me about how they were asked about their DofE in job interviews and that they had been out on their own adventurous trips during breaks from university to the Alps and Morocco. They told me how much they loved it, and how the expedition in the Lakes was so good they wish they could do it again – their enthusiasm was infectious. I was smiling like a cheshire cat as well. Ultimately they told me that it had helped them, and one told me his younger sister was doing her Gold DofE expedition later that year with me – and to make sure I didn’t cut her any slack! The guys thanked me for the expedition again and I wished them the best of luck with their new jobs and said goodbye.
As I walked back to my car I couldn’t stop smiling. I had made a difference to those young men, and everything I have been working towards and the reason why I do it had just been justified by an idle chat in a Costa coffee.
That wasn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened and it fortunately hasn’t been the last, but when I wake up in the morning I know that doing what I do makes a difference for the better and, most importantly, I know why I set out to build the best expedition company in the world.
I believe that if you really want to do something well in life you need to know why you do it.