Last Spring, as we prepared to return to a full summer of programming, we were a little nervous, and frankly, a little daunted. But one of our intrepid Course Directors brought us right back to the mission:
Our canoes and basecamps are meant for people – lots of people! I’m excited & thankful for the buzz of student energy to return! We’ve got this!
I couldn’t agree more. We’ve got this!
As summer drew nearer and nearer, students and staff alike focused on the fresh opportunity to change lives again. Students arrived craving connection, courage and hope — and staff were right there, ready to support life-changing discovery.
Our programs do provide belonging, strength and purpose in abundance. Just ask our alums. A graduate from one of our first courses this summer hit the “belonging” nail on the head:
I definitely had challenges throughout the course, but I never felt alone. At VOBS, surrounded by seven strangers, I never for a second felt alone or isolated.
Another alum spoke to strength and purpose:
I find myself filled with courage and hope.
Pandemic life has been a challenge for all of us, especially young people. While we believe youth are inherently resilient, we know they require a safe, supportive environment to practice and develop important life skills. This year, VOBS provided that safe, supportive environment to discover and re-discover belonging, strength and purpose.
VOBS courses give young people the opportunity to examine their approach to adversity and to choose compassion:
I began seeing challenge less as an obstacle, and more as an opportunity… through every experience we had opportunities to learn how to respond to our environment, and to consciously choose to take care of one another.
Thanks to trusting and committed students, families, partners, stakeholders and champions, VOBS was able to help students, families and schools grow through challenge and discovery, despite a pandemic. You filled a tall order this year: you helped make the world a more compassionate and resilient place.
This is not the first time VOBS has stepped up to meet absolutely critical individual and community need.
Jack Haggerty, a legacy alum who has championed VOBS for more than 35 years, shared what Outward Bound means to him.
My life changed because of my VOBS expedition. I learned to work with people and put my life in the hands of others. It was an exhilarating experience to be out in nature, on the lakes of Minnesota. The trip was unlike any I had taken, or have taken since. The back-to-basics, “Crew Not Passengers” approach is something that I have always remembered and try to emulate in my life to this day. When in a tough situation, one identifies what is truly important in life. This is what I think about when the chips are down and I’m searching for a solution to my life’s struggles. The lessons I learned on course have gotten me through some of my darkest times. I am much stronger and more resilient as a result.
Our courses inspire bold futures. They build belonging, strength and purpose. But we still have more students to serve this year. These young leaders need VOBS, and the world needs them. Together, you and VOBS support hundreds of students so they can experience the connection, courage and hope they need now.
Thank you for your commitment to our students, our mission, our crew and our future. We couldn’t do this work without you.
We are so grateful and very humbled by your continued support.
VOBS Homeplace Program Director