Borneo Expedition 2018

Palm trees against a milky sky in Borneo

The Borneo Expedition 2018 was for me one of the best expeditions that Really Wild has ever done. The one and only reason I can say this is because of the students. This is no cliché. These were young men with whom I would trust my life, no exaggeration. But I certainly didn’t have those feelings to begin with.

Beach in Borneo

It all started 7 years ago. Our south London Boys school consisted of a chatty but well-behaved cohort of middle to upper class London lads, who for the most part had their adventures via the computer games they played at home and the package holidays that they went on with their parents. Their school education was fed to them and even though they were quite smart, they didn’t need to be to get better than average results. You can put that down to the teachers who were breaking themselves in half for those boys every day.

Campfire dinners

I did an assembly at the school for the year 8 students and talked about real adventure, and treasure; fire, weapons and some of the best survival training they will get to partake in. They all put their hands up with interest.

We had some really good times training those boys how to thrive in UK winter conditions and they learn quickly and well.

Skip forward a few years to Ross, a brilliantly talented young man, strong in character, sitting on a rock on a Cornwall shore on a beautiful sunny June day, as far away from civilisation as one can be in Cornwall; with me, explaining to him that the toothbrush with which I was about to scrub his bleeding and septic foot was going to hurt quite a lot. He nodded and braced himself for the consequences of his breaking of the rule “keep your shoes on”.

Now Ross was on a completely deserted tropical island in the South China Sea with his friends building one of the most incredible water crafts I had ever seen! built from the plastic and junk debris found on the coastline of that jungle island.

We raced the rafts on the open water then they foraged for dry wood and made a fire on the beach to cook dinner. We ate well thanks to the young men who learnt how to manage fire with great competence and worked efficiently as a team.

Fun on a raft

I had great pride for those young men at the end of that trip. When leaving our deserted island, I saw one of my lads looking out into the uncharted jungle with a fiery confidence in his eye. “I’d love to just go and trek that jungle, wouldn’t you sir?”. I grinned at him, knowing that he could do it and do it well. He grinned back with even more confidence. I hope that when these men make it big in life they remember these learning moments, the ones that help them replace fear with wisdom and knowledge.

An Introduction to Really Wild

The Really Wild Borneo Expedition Team on a hot humid day in the Jungle

Our Approach to Education and Personal Development

At Really Wild we believe that every student and every member of a school’s staff or leadership team is meant to thrive. They are destined to do so because our ability to rise to any challenge, to overcome odds and to create incredible solutions and new ideas are at the core of our DNA.

These abilities have not changed since the dawn of time and have been demonstrated in our species at every juncture of the human journey, from the moment we left the wild plains of Africa to venture into the extreme environments of the north, through to further exploration of the globe, periods of great developments such as the renaissance, and all the way through to modern times.

“Every creature that is alive is descended from literally an unbroken line of successful ancestors and the field is littered with the corpses of contemporaries which were not. We are the elite descended from the elite of every generation in the past.”

Richard Dawkins

Our latest achievements have seen us communicate seamlessly in real time across every location of the world and even land on planets and asteroids in the far reaches of space. We have overcome famines, diseases, natural disasters and the turmoil we have created ourselves only to thrive on a scale that dwarfs any other species.

With such a history, and despite our weaknesses and foibles, humans are pretty amazing and so too is every single person on this earth. If we can convince our students believe this – which we do! Then we can help them achieve the most incredible of things.

At our core, we believe that if we can teach someone how to survive and thrive in the wild with few or apparently no resources, we can certainly show them how to survive and thrive in life at home, at school and in their professional lives too.

We have worked with students who have overcome selective mutism, secured the job opportunities of their dreams, overcome shyness, improved their discipline, focus and academic results and who have greatly enhanced the quality of their lives and others about them too.

We seek to ignite in our students the belief in their amazing inbuilt ability to succeed (original human success™) to inspire them to act and to equip and enable them to succeed with the right attitudes, behaviours and tools to do so. Hence our tagline, Ignite, inspire, achieve!

Time and time again, pupils join a Really Wild Programme as every day children or young adults and leave confident and focused to handle the challenges of life and to excel in a manner personal to each back at home, in the classroom and in their future academic or professional lives too. And it rubs off on their teachers too!

Our approach is simple but effective:

  1. We follow the simple belief that education has to be:
  • Highly inspiring
  • Personally relevant
  • Practical
  • Long lasting, and
  • Life changing
  1. We teach the most fascinating outdoor skills or relate to stories taken from wilderness survival or people overcoming tremendous odds and use this to inspire our students.
  2. We teach skills to the highest standards so pupils can be truly proud of very real achievements.
  3. We take them to places that include experiences that no other company can offer.
  4. We link all activities and lessons to experience of the student’s own personal life and help them see how they can be applied in practical terms
  5. We use a team of highly professional and experienced staff taken from the world of education, business, expedition leadership, survival and bush craft training, coaching and mentoring.
  6. We deploy our proven methodology for success The Really Wild Method®. This ensures outstanding results are achieved, that they last and that students enjoy a competitive advantage and personal development outcome that matters the most to them.

In addition to our outdoor based programmes, we offer coaching, mentoring and advisory services on the subjects of leadership, management, wellbeing, business development, entrepreneurship and strategy too, for example. We provide these to SMT’s, pupils and prestigious organisations in the corporate and government sector too. This underpins our belief that all things must be valuable and relevant to people’s actual lives.

As we enter out tenth year of business the values we hold dear remain.

We are not any ordinary outdoor provider. We are not just any travel company. We are an education and personal development partner that really makes a difference to pupils’ and teachers’ lives.

This is why we do what we do and why we are proud to introduce ourselves to you.

Steven Shove and Mat Barsnsley