In the world of Outward Bound, spring is a time of renewal, planning and a ton of work. The majority of students attending our Wilderness Expeditions do so during the summer, so many of us spend our spring seasons scrambling to be ready to serve our students with excellence. Our training system underpins everything we do with students. For example, this month all new instructors in Washington will be embarking on an incredibly intense 18-day training, while returning instructors will be attending a variety of more advanced trainings. Each season, we seek to further leverage our strengths and develop our weaknesses as instructors.
As I type these words, I am attending our National Trainers Training, a week where senior staff come together to continue to learn from one another so as to plan and improve our staff trainings. I can hear some great conversations in the next room, where folks are debating how they can further define and create success on Outward Bound courses. This week, we have wrestled with topics as broad and far reaching as safety, technical site management, inclusion & diversity and student behavior.
Don’t worry, we didn’t work all week. Last night, there was an epic OB Olympics. Events included the lightning-drill bickie challenge and synchronized interpretive canoe dancing. My home country, the United Kurt (Hahn) Emirates, came away with the gold medal in an emotional closing ceremony.
Although I’m feeling exhausted and mentally drained, I will leave here more inspired by our mission and the talented and dedicated people that are Outward Bound trainers.
Blog Contributor: Joshua Cole
Joshua Cole is the Mazama, WA Program Director. He has worked as an outdoor educator, classroom teacher and geologist. While not actively engaging in making the world a better place through his work at OB, he enjoys skiing and climbing in Washington’s spectacular North Cascades.