Case Study – Maureen

Make the 2020s your decade of discovery.

We can help you discover your dream.  We can help you discover yourself.

This is Maureen’s story………………………………………….

In July 2019 Maureen came over to Scotland  from Vancouver, Canada to bikepack the gruelling Highland 550 mountain trail, solo.  An intrepid mountain bikepacker, Maureen won The Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant from the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to enable her to fulfil her ambition.

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“For me, this trip was so much more than seeking out a way to ride my bike. It was a trip of firsts: the first time I’d travel somewhere completely alone, the first time I’d be in the Backcountry by myself, the first time I’d make risk assessments without others’ opinions, and the first time I’d learn that my judgement was valuable and important.”

Maureen’s trip report:  The tale of a girl, her bike, and a two week epic through the Highlands of Scotland.

On completion, Maureen said of her trip that the one thing that stuck out was how it is possible to accomplish anything you set your mind to.”I think it is so easy to not achieve your goals through self doubt and this trip was a beautiful reminder that anything is possible. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude towards receiving this grant.”  She added that UBC VOC and The Neil Mackenzie Trust made this trip possible and for that she is immeasurably grateful.

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The lasting effect:

Six months on Maureen said: “This trip certainly helped me prepare for future bikepacking trips. After Scotland, I completed the Mt. St. Helen’s Weekender Loop and the Lower Sunshine Coast Trail bikepacking. In addition, my friend and I are planning to complete the Great Divide in August. If this plan falls through, we are debating heading to Alaska for a different bikepacking trip as well. Completing my trip through Scotland has made packing and planning trips a breeze. I feel very confident understand what gear is necessary and making choices on when to stop/where to stay/etc in the backcountry. Above all, this trip made me confident in doing anything! I feel so capable when faced with obstacles and this is something invaluable that has come from this experience.”

With our help you can discover something for you – in the mountains, in the water, on the slopes, indeed anywhere in the Highlands and beyond.

We are delighted to have struck up a partnership with Glenmore Lodge to offer enhanced grants for outdoor skills training.  Download an application form – and get started!  Apply anytime, for any of the courses available at Glenmore Lodge.                  We strongly advise you to read our criteria before applying.

See how others have discovered themselves and their dreams with grants from The Neil Mackenzie Trust and courses at Glenmore Lodge:

Emma Atkinson                        Cornelia and Kerrie

Emma  collage Kerrie Cornelia and Kerrie

  Sarah Lund

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