Katie’s Korner: A few words from our Executive Director . . .
“Leaders are raised through training and experience. Nobody was born naturally with hand-gloves of leadership. We come to life to search for it, discover it and optimize it.” ― Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders’ Ladder
At the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS), March Madness unfolds slightly differently than it does for the NCAA. March is the month that our field instructors return from their winter breaks. March at POBS means Staff Training month.
Students who participate in Outward Bound courses discover their potential through experiences expertly facilitated by Outward Bound’s highly trained instructors. Beyond the required medical training and certifications (e.g. Wilderness First Responder), our instructors participate in rigorous training expeditions (often in unfavorable weather conditions in remote wilderness settings), skill-based trainings in challenge course and rock climbing event facilitation, and training workshops that build skills in leadership, adolescent behavior management, diversity and inclusion, gear and equipment management and safe driving techniques.
This March, POBS welcomed back 36 field instructors – a few are back for their fifth season, and many are back for their second, third or fourth season. Outward Bound’s field instructors are the heart and soul of our educational programs. We depend on their expertise and skill to deliver the high-quality programs that our communities have come to expect from the Philadelphia Outward Bound School.
This March, we also welcomed 12 new interns and assistant instructors. The bright faces and unbridled enthusiasm of these amazing individuals add inspiration and fun to our March Madness!
As the temperature warms and the trees and flowers bud, we know we are closer to seeing our students return for their spring courses. We still have a few days left on our spring schedule for Insight daylong courses at the POBS high ropes course in the Wissahickon Valley Park – but don’t wait too long as these popular programs are filling up fast! And – summer is just around the corner. Consider a summer course – backpacking or canoeing or both – we are enrolling students now! And – if you’re reading this behind your desk inside – consider taking your team outside for a professional development day with Outward Bound Professional. You’re in very capable hands with our trained Outward Bound instructors!
Date: June 24 – June 30, 2016 | Ages: 14 – 18 years old
This program is tailored to help grieving teens cope with the passing of a loved one. During this transformational adventure, participants experience powerful grief work activities woven into the context of the traditional Outward Bound curriculum. By combining the personal growth methodologies of Outward Bound with a simple support model that honors the griever, we deliver an intensely profound healing experience relevant to the lives of people who are coping with the death of a loved one.
STUDENT TESTIMONIAL: “This trip made me realize that I am not the only person going through what I am going through. I know I am not in this alone. Being able to share my story was the highlight of the trip because I never fully shared my experience and I truly believe this trip has brought me closer to being able to let go of so much of the sadness I hold in and just live without it, or at least so much of it.“
How do staff keep their skills fresh in the off-season?
Early this January Instructor, Brian Schachter, attended the North Carolina Outward Bound School’s At-Risk Youth training, where he spent 12-days canoeing the Ocklawaha and St. Johns rivers in northern Florida. Despite the freezing temperatures, alligators and water moccasins, one of the most challenging aspects of the training were the behavior simulations, which typically ran late into the night. During these simulations instructors all took turns assuming different roles – sometimes as students, sometimes as instructors.
Schachter said, “Being able to see things from the student perspective, was the most valuable part of the training for me because I was able to notice how little things that I do as an instructor may influence a student’s behavior.”
Two POBS staff members spent their winter in Girdwood, Alaska, working at the Alyeska Ski Resort. The small ski-town is situated in Chugach National Forest, which is America’s northern-most rainforest. They spent their free time skiing, hiking, and utilizing the cold-weather skills they developed during Outward Bound courses in Minnesota.
Highlights From Staff Training
Every year, POBS’ starts its program season (April – November) with staff training, where staff hone their skills for the expeditions ahead.
This pre-season staff received a training workshop from the Center for Grieving Children. The workshops provided valuable grief education sessions that guided instructors through the grief journey of their students and delved into topics such as types of loss, important communications skills, and theories of childhood grief.
This year, the staff added a service component to their expedition training and volunteered at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mohican Outdoor Center, located on a beautiful glacial lake in the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Staffed cleared a large downed tree that obstructed a trail’s passage and shaved the tree’s bark so that it could later be repurposed for trail benches. After clearing the tree, staff gathered over 300 pounds of trash from trails often trekked by POBS’ students.See more photos on our Facebook page
Be A PGA Volunteer
The Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) was chosen as one of the 2016 PGA Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship charities! This event relies on hundreds of volunteers from the local community to ensure its success. Volunteers offset expenses so the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS can donate as much as possible back into the community!
Including: On-Course Shuttle, Practice Area Marshals, Walking Scorers, Course Prep and more!
Spring Special: Plan an Insight Day for this April
Take advantage of our spring special by sending your school group or corporate team to the Philadelphia Outward Bound School for an Insight Programthis April! Insight Programs are a half-day or full-day team building experience that includes ground games, initiatives and adventure learning ropes course challenges.
Highly trained instructors facilitate these activities to build self confidence, trust, and leadership. After each activity, the group reflects on the experience in order to reinforce lessons learned. Insight programs take place at our high ropes challenge course in Wissahickon Park or at your available location.