Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) is pleased to announce a bold new funding initiative for experiential education programming for high schools, colleges and universities in Texas: Big Bend 2020.
VOBS seeks to partner with high schools, colleges and universities in Texas to develop student leadership and character through experiential education.
Why Outward Bound?
Outward Bound’s mission is to change lives through challenge and discovery. Our vision is a more resilient and compassionate world, with more resilient and compassionate citizens. We support students and their communities with ethical leadership and relevant character development. We believe everyone has the right to dream, to find strength, and to succeed on their own terms.
Our students are crew not passengers and they learn by doing new and challenging things together in the wilderness. Outward Bound seeks to build key social-emotional skills and promote a sense of belonging for students, for a better Texas, and for a better world.
Thanks to Big Bend 2020, Outward Bound can help high schools, colleges and universities innovate for student success. Big Bend 2020 will partially fund new partnership programs at our Big Bend desert basecamp. VOBS is committed to piloting wilderness expeditions in Texas that support organizational goals for character education and social-emotional learning.
Big Bend 2020 will fund five new partnerships, with VOBS contributing 20% of tuition, for new high school or college leadership expeditions in Texas in 2020.
The Big Bend Leadership Expedition
- Backpacking (6-10 days)
- Backpacking + Climbing/Canyoneering (7-10 days)
- Rio Grande Whitewater Canoeing (7-10 days)
- Rio Grande Whitewater Canoeing + Climbing/Canyoneering (7-10 days)
Outward Bound Leadership Expeditions serve specific cohorts pursuing unique goals within their institution or particular program. Expeditions may serve leadership councils, first year students, athletic teams/leaders, scholar or experiential learning programs, TRIO students, outdoor leadership or business programs, AVID students, JROTC students, first generation students and more. The Leadership Expedition is designed to support organizational objectives for students– to set the tone for a new school year, support ethical leadership development, extend inquiry, explore border issues, leverage and celebrate a year of skill development and more.
New Leadership Expeditions are considered pilot programs and are designed, with considerable input from the partner, to support social-emotional skill development that is relevant to student experience and background. We seek partners who believe in student potential and recognize that character education is essential to student success.
Students travel in crews of 7-10 peers with two experienced instructors. Students learn to survive and thrive in high desert, mountain or river terrains. Compassionate instructors facilitate leadership development and character education in the wilderness context, moving students through a progression of learning, leadership and responsibility. Every day, each student plays a pivotal role in their crew, both in providing service to their peers and by being supported by their peers. Students develop both technical and social-emotional skills as they learn to lead the expedition.
Why Big Bend?
Both Big Bend Ranch State Park and neighboring Big Bend National Park are terrific contexts for learning. High desert, towering mesas, silent canyons and the sinuous Rio Grande are powerful catalysts for character and skill development. Students learn to thrive in a landscape where success hinges on adaptability, resilience and collaboration. Unique ecosystems and majestic landscapes foster reflection and perspective.
Support & Structure for Cohorts:
- Big Bend 2020 will fund five new partnership programs in 2020.
- VOBS seeks year-over-year partnership with organizations that are committed to investing in students for lasting change and real impact. Partner organizations must have the energy, enthusiasm and capacity to sustain programs through dedicated personnel. Programming requires partner meetings. Carefully review Partnership Criteria outlined below.
- VOBS partners with the University of Minnesota and the Bechtel Foundation to evaluate student growth and to investigate best practices in social-emotional learning. We focus on student outcomes and we welcome the opportunity to support the needs of your students and your community with relevant, nature-based, experiential programming. We ask all partners to participate in post-program evaluation and debriefs.
- Visit https://www.vobs.org/programs/groups and https://vobs.org/blog/ for more information on our partner programs.
- View VOBS 2018 Annual Report to learn more about VOBS programming and impact.
- If your organization does not need funding, we can still partner with you and your students.
- Partner organization must be a high school, college or university.
- Partner organization must complete and return Big Bend 2020 Application to: firstname.lastname@example.org by December 2, 2019.
- Programming must commence in 2020.
- Partner will contribute no less than 80% of the cost of the program; please refer to funding/tuition table in Application.
- Partner must identify staff main contact for VOBS. Main contact will plan and debrief programs with VOBS, recruit students, communicate with VOBS team via email or phone, manage student permission forms and ensure mandatory paperwork is complete. Contact will help students transfer on course learning to post-course experiences at school through discussion or activity. It is strongly suggested that contact attend and engage in programming as a chaperone when possible.
- Partner must identify at least one cohort of 7-10 students for programming. Funding preference will be given to partners seeking to serve multiple crews of students.
- For more information about Big Bend 2020, contact Outreach Representative, Megan Henning: email@example.com | (651) 968-3449.
- Prospective partners should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application. Applications are due December 2, 2019.
- VOBS will review applications and make funding offers by December 19, 2019.
- Your contact for more information about Big Bend 2020 is Megan Henning, Outreach Representative: email@example.com or (651) 968-3449