Thursday, July 13, 2017

We've Moved!

We've moved!

We have officially moved our blog over to our website! Follow us at for all the latest news, student experience stories, wilderness advice and more. See you there!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why I Give: Bob Foulkes

I believe in adventures; stepping out of my comfort zone, challenging myself, learning and growing have now become a vital part of my life. Even now, in my late 60s, I am charging ahead, not recklessly but with purpose.

It wasn’t always so. In the course of documenting my adventures over the past decades, I have managed to trace my thirst for adventure back to the well-spring, the headwaters if you will allow me, of my river of joyful adventures.

It was my son, Blair, who started the transformation. Only 15, he completed a 17 day Outward Bound hike in the Coastal Mountains out of Outward Bound’s base at Pemberton, BC. He went away a boy and came back completely transformed into a confident young man. I wanted what he gained; so the next year I took my first Outward Bound adventure. At the age of 46, without a taut muscle in my body and weighing in at over 230 pounds, I bumbled and stumbled my way into my first great adventure. It wasn’t elegant, it wasn’t fun, but it sure was transformative. It started me on a life of adventures: running, marathons, triathlons, travel, cooking school, sea kayaking - all can be traced back to the well-spring of Outward Bound.

It is a gift that keeps on giving. I summited Kilimanjaro with my Outward Bound team; last year, I temporarily contained a deep irrational fear of water to join Outward Bound’s canoe trip down the Nahanni. Neither was conceivable without Outward Bound. Trust in their leadership, faith in their skill and dependence on their experience allowed me to transform my fear into faith and opened the door to these unbelievable adventures.

I am giving back to this wonderful organization. My small contributions over the past decade have grown to include bigger contributions through their special expeditions and the attendant fundraising commitment.

Last year I made the big leap; I made a sizeable - for me - five-year commitment to Outward Bound. Outward Bound is now the primary focus of my donation dollars.

Why? It is simple. 

I want to share this remarkable capacity for personal transformation that Outward Bound programs offer with as many people as possible.

I want to support the valuable programs that support Veterans, Women of Courage, Youth at Risk and Aboriginal Youth. Sometimes those who need Outward Bound the most are the least able to pay the cost.

I want more people to find balance, serenity, purpose and self confidence through affirmative programs like Outward Bound. I want to show my gratitude to the people of Outward Bound for transforming my life.

I want to share the valuable life-changing and life-affirming experience that I was so generously given by Outward Bound.

My contribution to Outward Bound allows me to accomplish this. If you have any inclination, Outward Bound staff make it easy and understandable to contribute.

Go ahead, get off the couch, take a course, have an adventure and write a cheque.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bounder's Log: Bilal

During the summer between his last year of high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and his first year at University of Guelph in Ontario, Bilal and 29 of his fellow Loran Scholars had the opportunity to participate in an Outward Bound Canada expedition to Algonquin Provincial Park. This expedition provided them with an opportunity to test their physical limits, work productively in teams and build a shared sense of identity before dispersing across Canada to begin their first term at university.

“If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

"That was one of the many motivational quotes that Christopher Falcioni, our instructor, shouted aloud. My experience with Outward Bound was phenomenal. From the nights that we spent laughing together around the fire on the lakeshore to the relaxing paddling above the clear water of Algonquin park I can say this experience was an adventure for the books. 

I attended Outward Bound Canada at Algonquin Park with a group of fellow Loran Scholars. We participated in a 24-hour solo day, canoed, and portaged throughout the beautiful park, cooked delicious food, participated in different activities throughout our trip, played sports, and created unforgettable chants for our team 'TeamLIT'! 

One of the most memorable days was our first one. Most of the team members faced a lot of difficulties canoeing. We were all beginners, it was raining heavily, and everyone was exhausted. We arrived at our camping spot late, but with the help of our amazing instructors we still managed to set up the tents and tarps, learn how to make knots and had the worst macaroni dish for dinner. Although it was dry and salty we managed to eat every bit of the macaroni. It was a challenging night. From this challenge, we learned how to be patient and finish what we start. We had a goal to reach. We all knew if we didn’t canoe the destination that was set by the team leaders would be forced to canoe in the dark, so we had to work as a team to achieve this goal, and at the end of the day we all celebrated together for achieving the goal we set. It was a great feeling! An unforgettable one. Our second day was amazing! The sun was shining bright and a beautiful rainbow from the horizon shined towards us during breakfast. The view was worth the challenges we faced on the first day. It showed us how hard work gets you great places. Places you’d never see if you give up too early.  

From this experience, I learned how to be patient, work as a team player to survive, become a leader, take responsibilities of all my actions, and be honest. Those are skills I use in my everyday life as a university student. This Outward Bound Canada experience was so impactful to me because it taught me a lot about myself. It showed me that nothing is impossible to achieve. With motivation and hard work, you can get to wherever you want. It showed me that I am capable of doing more than what I thought is possible. 
This experience made me a stronger version of myself. Outward Bound Canada is a great program for those who are trying to discover themselves and become stronger physically and mentally. To every person that is considering participating in Outward Bound Canada, I encourage you to do so. From this experience, I’ve built lifelong friends and unforgettable memories.

To every person that is considering to participate in Outward Bound Canada, I encourage you to do so. From this experience, I’ve built lifetime friends and unforgettable memories. Trust the process. The Outward Bound Canada programs challenge an individual to show them their potentials and make this individual stronger. This experience was amazing! It’s an unforgettable experience."

Watch Bilal’s video of his Loran Scholars expedition.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kili blog

On our way home! Rebecca reveals that ketchup is originally from China, as we prepare to board our plane at Kilimanjaro International

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

And now, after the celebration of summiting, an apology: we sent blog posts from the mountain every day except one, and from our end there was every indication that they went through, but apparently they did not. Our apologies for this.

Sent from Brendan Madden's mobile phone.

Kili blog

One equal temper of heroic hearts.

Our team and Tanzanian guides, on top of the tallest mountain in Africa.

Kili blog

Hi everyone! Here is a picture of us looking down on the sunrise, from the highest point in Africa. Yes, we made it, all of us, up and down, as a team.