I hope this letter finds you and your families safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a broad-reaching impact for Outward Bound, our communities, and society as a whole. For the past three months, the Outward Bound system has worked together to determine paths forward while keeping the health and well-being of our staff and students as a top priority.
All Outward Bound Schools in the United States have agreed to cancel Open Enrollment courses offered nationally for July and August. As local conditions improve, it is possible that a limited number of community-based programs of small intact groups may run this summer, including Outward Bound Professional programs. Each program will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must meet Outward Bound USA’s requirements and regulations for safety, as well as those at the local, state, and federal levels.
While our staff feels a deep sense of loss for the student experiences and growth that will be missed this summer, we are discovering new ways to serve our community and connect with students and educators online. Our programming with students pursuing The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is thriving and our team is organizing service projects in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to pay close attention to directives from the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Departments of Health and will be focused on restarting our programs in the fall, either in their traditional format or as new distance-learning programs. The Discovery Center will remain closed to the public through June 30, 2020. To view updates about the center and announcements about reopening, please visit discoveryphila.org.
This is not the season we imagined or the conditions any of us want to be in. But I am so proud of the compassion, commitment, and creativity of our crew. And I am deeply grateful for our trustees, donors, and institutional partners who have supported POBS through these challenging times.
For those who can, we ask you to consider making a gift to the Philadelphia Outward Bound School. Your generosity at this critical time helps to ensure that POBS is ready to support our students when they will need Outward Bound the most.
May 27, 2020