Back on Track Book Cover

The meaning of success is open to interpretation…..

Back on Track – If you work in Education or with Young Australians this is a must read!

If you haven’t heard of the BackTrack Program, do yourself a favour and get a copy of ‘Back on Track’. If you are a teacher, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy and read it with a highlighter in hand and note pad and pen!

This book is a powerful story written by James Knight based on the life of Bernie Shakeshaft – the man and mind behind one of the most inspiring youth programs in Australia, where by “one man and his dogs are changing the lives of rural kids”.

While reading this book I was constantly compelled to reflect on my own approach and interactions with my students, my own children and kids in general.

For teachers, it will challenge your own pedagogy and what you regard as being your ‘core business’ in the school environment.

For parents It will remind you of the responsibility you have taken on and how pure, precious and fragile the lives of your kids are.

For Black Diamond Adventures it has reinforced our values and mission and confirmed that what we do has a significant and positive impact on the lives of young people.

I don’t want to give too much away, however, below is a short list of some quotes from the book that I found to be meaningful concepts and metaphors.

  • “Only using 10 % of your energies looking into the past, 10% present, 80% the future”
  • Uncle Steve (Indigenous Elder) – “Being blind I don’t look at colour. I can’t see whether these boys are black or white, and it doesn’t matter to me. And it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. If a person is down and out and needs some guidance and support, you don’t discriminate. When Bernie first talked to me about BackTrack years ago, I didn’t even know that he was a white bloke. I think we should be all like that. We shouldn’t see colour”
  • “it was all built on relationships”
  • “education is a gift. If you get the right person to give it to you it can last a lifetime”
  • Maslows Hireachy – “Provide safety, shelter, love, belonging and learning
  • “The meaning of success is open to interpretation”
  • “they all get the opportunity to experience success. And that’s something that, sadly, doesn’t happen in the school structure”.
  • “A lot of these kids come here with only big hammers in their tool kits. They take a big hammer to every problem. We need to give them specific tools for specific situations”
  • “Pressure on, pressure off”

Hopefully it’s enough of a taster to convince you to make, what is guaranteed to be, a valuable investment. I’ll leave it in your hands to get a copy and go on your own journey of contemplation and reflection. Enjoy! – Every sale contributes to the BackTrack program.

If reading really isn’t your thing, there is a cracking documentary – BackTrack Boys – that you can purchase or rent online, or order a DVD from the Backtrack website. But be warned, you will need at least one box of tissues!

A questions for you to consider… When was the last time you discussed Educational Philosophy, mission and values with your Outdoor Education provider? If you can’t remember, maybe it’s time to contact Black Diamond Adventures and find out how we are designing and delivering powerful and meaningful programs.