Tales from the Trail #1: Joel Jaroch, Teacher

To help illustrate the life changing impact of Outward Bound, we’ve asked one of our partner public school teachers,  Joel Jaroch, to share his perspective.  Mr. Jaroch teaches 6th grade at Overbrook Education Center, a public school that has partnered with POBS since 2003 and inspired hundreds of students. Here is Joel’s story:

“Steve and Eden NEVER talked to each other.  They were of two different ‘camps’ in the school environment.  Never should the two meet. Yet there we were at Old First Church in downtown Philadelphia doing a service project as part of their POBS expedition.

They were paired together to serve dinner for 14 other students.  We were running low on supplies near the end of our five day expedition. Tensions could have been high, but when I looked over to check on them, I saw that they were not only talking – they were actually working together, sharing leadership in the service of others.

Eden, not much caring about his audience, said, “Hey Steve, you are pretty cool. I never really knew you but you are cool.” It was a realization that spoke volumes about his ability to open his own mind and change his perspective on his fellow student – and on himself.  

Outward Bound gives my students the chance to see, truly see each other in a way they would NEVER get the chance to AND they find something in all of that – sometimes GREAT and sometimes a bit sad, but to truly see each other because they were given the tools and space, taken out of their environment and challenged – well, truly valuable!”