Outward Bound is a life changing experience. It always has been and always will be. When you apply that power to a classroom of students, a group of local leaders, a community…. Get ready for BIG change. OB can and will change you and the community in which you live….
I started with OB as an outdoor instructor with a passion for youth, the outdoors and making change happen. I found my way to different bases and countries all in the name of OB. Boston, Philadelphia, Singapore and South Africa – no matter where I went the core of what was happening was the same- leadership, service and compassion. The result people hadn’t been expecting was that communities were being changed. In fact, OB alums and friends took the lessons they learned on courses and really were making their worlds a better place.
In Philadelphia, I was the liaison to the community, working with partners to build stronger programs. This meant getting to know teachers, students, parents and everyone who came through the door. I loved the added dimension of knowing people before, during, and after their courses. I poured myself in the Youth Leadership Corps program, working with high schoolers from across the region to apply, go on a 14-day expedition and return to work with me and their crew for the entire year – making our Philadelphia (and ourselves) better.
Then it was off to San Francisco, charged with starting a new Outward Bound Center (yikes!). Such an ambitious undertaking hadn’t been done in 15 years; but sure! No problem! I was ready. With abounding community support for OB and the tireless efforts of the volunteers before, during and after- the Bay Area Center was born and today it is thriving! What struck me about the Bay Area was that even with a number of high quality experiential organizations in and around the city, there was still a tremendous need for what Outward Bound had to offer.
This fact holds true in so many communities. With the start of that Center emerged the idea that this could and should happen elsewhere. OB then posed a question to anyone listening, “Does your community need us?” The replies have been steady and the energy intense! Yes.
And at this point in my journey, I have the honor of working with all those who respond to bring Outward Bound to their home, to make a difference in their community. Communities are craving action and change, leadership and service, and so OB centers are emerging across the country. People are inspired and doing the work- which is no small undertaking! So if you’re inspired, if your community is ready, let me know if you want to join the crew.
Just like when I started, I am passionate about communities and building leaders. I thought this would be a great summer gig… good thing I believe summer is just a state of mind.