On Tuesday, October 26, the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) and Outward Bound USA celebrated as POBS emeritus board member (and former OBUSA board chair) James “Jamie” McLane was presented the Kurt Hahn Award, the highest honor bestowed throughout the Outward Bound system in the US.
The annual award, named in honor of the founder of Outward Bound, is presented to those who exemplify outstanding service to the mission of Outward Bound. It has been awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution through their life’s work on behalf of others, while demonstrating the values and ideals of Kurt Hahn – an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, sensible self-denial, and compassion.
The ceremony was attended by OBUSA Executive Director Josh Brankman, OBUSA Advancement Director (and former POBS leader) Katie Newsom, and Philadelphia Outward Bound School Executive Director Meg Wise, along with many others from Jamie’s far-flung network of friends and family.
In his acceptance remarks, Jamie spoke movingly about his first Outward Bound instructor, Huck Truitt:
“…a 10th grade drop-out, who eventually earned his PhD, [and] ignited my flame to fully understand how unfamiliar challenges, in unfamiliar and stressful environments, can lead to self-discovery and a realization that asking someone for help is a strength, and not a weakness.”
Colleagues and loved ones spoke of how Jamie has applied these lessons throughout his life and career.
Meg Wise emphasized the transformative effect Jamie has had, not only in Philadelphia, but across the entire OB system. She noted that “he is walking in Kurt Hahn’s footsteps, and my staff and I are walking in Jamie’s.”
In concluding his remarks at the party, Jamie asked that his Kurt Hahn Award reside permanently at the Philadelphia Outward Bound School as a motivator for students and staff for years to come.
Congratulations and thank you, Jamie!