In early April, Philadelphia Outward Bound School Trustees (Phil Charron, Elinor Haider, Mark Haslam, Jill Herriott, Mark Kahn, Scott McAllister and Don Smith) joined staff members Dan Hoffman and Meg Wise, and special guest Penn State Professor Peter Allison, for a three-day canoeing expedition. The group started on the just-thawed waters of the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir, and after practicing a few basic techniques, set out for the marshes of the New Jersey Pine Lands National Reserve.
Paddling on the windy Mullica river, setting camp and cooking meals together, and bonding around the campfire, the group experienced first-hand what constitutes a POBS experience. Learning about Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn’s educational philosophy from Dr. Allison was an added bonus.
Each day included time for reflection, and sharing in the group journal. The entry from Saturday night included the following words of wisdom:
- Peaceful, gliding along the water - water cleanses the soul
- Synchronizing paddles in tandem moves faster - teamwork gets you farther
- Keep your head down or you can get hit from above - a branch
- Stepping in the water and soaking a shoe isn't the end of the world - just change clothes - don't sweat the small stuff
- Watching beautiful birds is enthralling but could have you run into a tree - keep your eye on the prize.
- It's amazing how good camp food tastes after hard work and hunger - stop to appreciate things
- Always bring extra batteries for the headlamp - wandering in the dark not so helpful
All of us at POBS are grateful to our extraordinary Trustees for taking the time to connect with each other and with our organization’s mission on this expedition. As they encounter with students, program partners, and supporters in the weeks and years ahead, they will be representing POBS from a place of authentic experience.