Mary Kay Hoffman
April 15, 2004
To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the pleasure of working with Brett Huntly from Outdoor Discoveries for the past two years. Hong Kong International School has a weeklong Interim scheduled every year for our students to participate in a variety of activities, including service, culture and adventure. The programs Brett has organized for us have been an excellent combination of adventure, exploration, education about preservation and environment, teamwork and self-realization. Brett and his guides are highly qualified and certified instructors, environmentalists, team builders and first aid responders.
I first had contact with Brett after my original Interim program, trekking and white water rafting in Nepal, was cancelled due to civil unrest. With a few months notice, Brett quickly organized and arranged an outdoor adventure to suit the expectations and desires of my students, originally hoping for a weeklong trek in Nepal. Brett was flexible and efficient creating a similar itinerary within a short amount of time. He was able to transfer the hiking and outdoors experience of Nepal to the beautiful Australian southwestern coastline. In addition, he added activities and experiences the students would not have had otherwise. The feedback from this particular group of students, as well as the teachers, indicated enthusiasm and appreciation for the program and the guides. We have added Outdoor Discoveries to our annual interim offerings since (three years running), with the possibility of adding an additional program next year.
The combination of Brett"s direction and his guides" expertise in navigation, environment, rock climbing, abseiling, camping, caving, teambuilding and organization creates a successful week for our students from HKIS. The physical challenges provide students the opportunity to trust and support each other while developing confidence in themselves and teammates. They are challenged to participate as a team member while being responsible for allocated equipment and themselves. Throughout the week, they are expected to cook their own food, pitch their own tents and carry their own equipment. Consequently, they are regularly stretched beyond their comfort zones.
I enjoy working with Brett and Outdoor Discoveries for the opportunities he provides the students, the learning and challenges the students experience and the professionalism of his staff. Brett is flexible, reliable and creates programs based on the group and their background. In all of my experiences with him, he communicates in a timely manner, keeping in regular contact about program needs as well as creating clear timelines, goals and expectations. I chose to return and lead this Interim because of this. I highly recommend any organization to use Outdoor Discoveries. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mary Kay Hoffman
Humanities Teacher and Interim Leader
Hong Kong International School