1. I like to use my summers to relax, sleep in, and play video games. Why would I want to go on an OB course?
–Instead of climbing out of bed, you can climb a mountain and be the hero of your own real life video game. It also feels good when you can wake up before the sun and say, “Where were you, sun? I’ve been up for a good half hour. You lazy sun. So unlike me, I’m a go-getter. You better watch your back, sun. I might just take your job.”
2. I hear that you can’t shower on an OB course, is this true?
–Remember that everyone on course is in the same boat. You will develop a little natural fragrance, but we do clean ourselves out on the trail when the option is available. We get dirty, but not to an unhealthy state. Also, if you choose a water course, it’s like you’re in a giant bathtub and you get to navigate your own giant toy boat.
3. I am completely addicted to my computer and my cell phone, TV, and my MP3 player. Can I bring these on course?
–No way! Unplug yourself buddy. Instead of Facebook, talk face to face with people. If you need to use a phone, you can make one out of a couple of cans and some string. TV! How about a panoramic view of some reality TV where you are the star…it also comes in surround sound. MP3? How about testing out the old pipes on some people you’ve never met before…or you can just listen to the rhythm of the birds and the wind in the trees.
4. Is this just a pleasure cruise, or am I going to be challenged and possibly learn something here?
–We’re half, “Hey let’s get out in the woods and have an adventure,” and half, “What is this adventure teaching me?” You’ll start out fresh and green, but by the end of the trip you’ll be running the show: cooking, cleaning, setting up camp, getting the gear ready, reading the map. As instructors our aim is that you leave not just being a better camper, but being a better person, finding out some answers and some new questions, building up that character and self-confidence. After climbing a mountain or raging down a river, a math test doesn’t seem so intimidating.
5. So do we stay in cabins and have microwaves?
–Outward Bound trips are “expeditionary”, which means that we will be sleeping outside in a new place almost every night. We travel along the trail or waterway, making our home along the way. It’s like what the pioneers did, except we don’t have wagons, and our gear is lighter than theirs’ was.
6. How much do I need to spend on gear?
–We provide all the gear: sleeping bags, backpacks, boats, etc. If there is a hiking component to your course you will need to get a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots and hiking socks. We’ll also give you a packing list for what type of clothes to bring, but other than that, we’ve got the gear.
7. Is this a boot camp?
–Everyone who goes on an OB course has a choice as to whether they want to go or not. We are not a boot camp. We are a chance for you to get away from it all and see what you’re made of. We’re a chance to learn how to go out and see the world in a safe and fun way. We’re a chance to challenge yourself, have an adventure, and make some new friends along the way. So give us a call and sign up today.
About Ben Becker
I’ve always been passionate about being outside, and as a boy I was always out hiking, paddling, and fishing. I went on an OB course when I was 17 and said, “No way! I can get paid to do this!” I went on to college and finished up with a BA in English. Since then, I’ve been working in various facets of the Outdoor Industry for about 6 or 7 years as a guide and instructor for myself and various other companies mostly out in the South East and in Ireland. I came out to Colorado for a vacation and decided to stay and work for Outward Bound in their main office. I work here as an Admissions Advisor talking to parents and students about OB and signing them up for courses. It’s a great gig, and I love getting people signed up for courses so they can get out there away from it all and see a little more of what life has to offer. As for me, as soon as I get off the clock, I head out and go climbing till the sun sets. Pretty much, I’m all about getting off the couch, going outside, and then coming home and getting back on that couch with a nice hot bowl of noodles.