“It can be easy to be intimidated by Owen at first with his loud voice and him walking around in his Greens and I’m pretty sure he probably scared a few people during our various expeditions, but don’t be fooled, because he has a big heart and is a pretty laid back person.
Owen was there at the start and to the end of my DofE expedition adventure and was more than a leader and is now a supportive friend. He isn’t there just for the expedition but wants to guide you to accomplish more; you essentially become part of his network too. He kept an eye out for jobs relevant to me and gave me suggestions of what I could do for other sections of my DofE. I completed my Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold residential with Owen, who took a group of us on Operation Girder 2011 to help out at an SDA Pathfinder’s summer camp for a week. He looked out for us that week and made it fun for us too by hosting a bonfire at our campsite and entertaining, not only us, but the kids at camp too by attempting to be Tarzan and swinging on a rope across water when they dared him too. He is great fun to be around, and I remember once he tried to scare the team on a practice expedition by hiding in a ditch for quite a while before jumping out to scare them; he was very serious and had a camouflage sheet and put on army face paint too.
Owen can be fun and has lots of object lessons to pass on through the stories he tells and experiences he shares, but also has our concern at the back of his mind too. He puts us in line if we get out of hand and is there to keep the spirits up when times get down, such as defusing tension between team members or reminding us what we are trying to achieve when it gets too difficult.
If you are willing to participate and be involved in what Owen has to offer you can not only accomplish more than your DofE but also meet a lot of new and great people along the way.”
Kylie Wong, GG2, 3rd May 2013