YOU probably know somebody who experienced the challenges of an Outward Bound course and called it “life changing.”
What some people do not realize is that this nonprofit widely known for its challenging leadership programs in wilderness environments also has a growing number of “Centers” in metropolitan areas – including right here in the Bay Area.
From the local Center’s base in the Presidio of San Francisco, instructors fan out to schools in the San Francisco Unified School District, where Outward Bound has become a for-credit experiential learning course during the school day. Instructors also lead students from San Francisco and Oakland on one-day character-building adventures throughout the city and multi-night expeditions to parks near the Bay Area – from Big Basin to Henry Coe State Park. For many teens in urban areas, particularly in park-poor neighborhoods, this is a big leap – and the first time they will spend the night in the outdoors.
Some of the most motivated students go on to challenge themselves with 14-day trips to the Sierra Nevada mountains and 21-30 day wilderness experiences made possible through scholarships from Outward Bound’s Pinnacle Program for low income youth.
KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny
On Monday, June 20, Outward Bound Bay Area’s executive director, Josh Brankman, will be a guest on Michael Krasny’s Forum on KQED. Tune in on the radio or online at 10 a.m. or listen to the recording after the show.
Two other guests for Monday’s show on “Adventure Education” will be Ernesto Pepito, senior youth leadership specialist for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro and program officer at the Stewardship Council.
To connect with Outward Bound Bay Area, you can become a fan on Facebook.
Disclosure: I am a grants consultant for Outward Bound, and I am writing this because I am a big fan (not on assignment).