HIOBS is truly alive and well. For the first time in nearly 60 years, students are not sailing in pulling boats in Penobscot Bay, paddling, climbing, and hiking in the Northwoods of Maine in the summertime or sailing in the Bahamas or Florida Keys this fall.
Along with the other Outward Bound schools in the USA, we recognize and honor the fact that our reputation has been built around decades of industry-leading safety and risk management with students in the wilderness. We are assessing and refining our internal safety policies and operational readiness procedures so that when the national health and safety environment and conditions are right for us in our communities, we can get back to bringing students into our wilderness classrooms. Rest assured, we will get back out there. The resilience and tenacity that we bring out in our students are alive and well in our HIOBS community of staff and board members.
To come out of our program hibernation stronger and better, HIOBS staff - both field, and admin - have been busy preparing. Our basecamp crews have been cleaning, repairing, and improving the facilities in anticipation of programming resuming. We are brainstorming ways to adapt our processes to be able to offer innovative programming and are taking the time to continue to hone our COVID operating protocols and procedures and conduct staff trainings, so that when we return to programs of all kinds we do so with well-thought-out procedures and protocols. We are excited to find new ways to serve our students in the post-pandemic world.
Interest remains high for HIOBS programs amongst our school partners, corporate teams, and other community-serving organizations who are seeking ways to support the social, emotional, and developmental needs of their constituents. We are exploring ways to continue to deliver and adapt our programming opportunities for the coming fall and winter, in cooperation with our partners, with a keen eye on reducing and managing risks to health & safety.
We have been integrating the outcomes of a recent Professional Learning Lab teaching and outcomes initiative and discovering new ways to bring our teachings and wisdom to students both in-the-field and in virtual environments. We are able to offer programs to our Outward Bound Professional clients by adapting key program elements and team tools (such at the Team Alignment Profile or CliftonStrenghts assessment) for remote, or socially-distanced programming to help to maintain or rebuild team culture and trust through these difficult times.
We are still planning on conducting our Winter wilderness programs - starting on December 30th.
By mid-September we will have taken stock of the situation again, and have a confirmation of whether we can, based on the health and safety considerations of the time, truly run them. Until then, we are moving enthusiastically in that direction.
To understand what we're doing to adapt to COVID-19 on program, check out our Program Protocols page.
By September 2nd, the course descriptions and calendar for 2021 and spring of 2022 will be live on both the HIOBS and Outward Bound websites, so mark that date to enroll early. Sign up to be notified when those courses go live on the website:
We are readying ourselves for what lies ahead, and will continue to serve, to strive and not to yield!
If you don't have the capacity to give right now, but want to be part of what lies ahead - please follow us on social media (and share our posts). Click on the links to Facebook and Instagram in the boxes above.
Call/ text/ snap/ message or email your HIOBS friends and crewmates, and stay in touch with them! Keep your community alive with these connections, as they can help remind you that there is More In You Than You Know.
Let us know what you are doing, and how you're using your OB experience to cope with this unprecedented challenge. We'd love to hear from you! Email us at marketing (@) hiobs.org to tell us your story.
To find out how to enroll on a course, email admissions (@) hiobs.org
To discuss custom Group Education or Outward Bound Professional options, email Andrew Spofford at aspofford (@) hiobs.org
To learn more about our Alumni Program, email alumni (@) hiobs.org
For more information on giving and philanthropic support, email Julia Maher at jmaher (@) hiobs.org.