Wednesday, June 6, 2012

From the instructor's mouth

Throughout the next four weeks on the blog, we'll be sharing first-hand experience from people who know the world of Outward Bound. You'll hear from Megan Kelly, instructor and course director, and from Erik Bertram, course alumni and outdoor adventurer. Subscribe to the blog and discover what it's really like to be on an Outward Bound trip. And hopefully it'll convince you that enrolling in a course this summer is exactly the challenge you need to face the next phase in life!

So who is that backcountry chef in the above photo, with the wicked orange jacket? It's Megan Kelly, the Alberta Course Director. If you're out on a course this summer in Alberta, you're sure to cross paths.

Since she was a young adult, Megan sensed that working for Outward Bound was her calling. She was an active youth and was fortunate to be raised in a family that prioritized outdoor vacations. An early solo experience set her on the path she now leads.

"When I was 16, I participated in a youth leadership program in Ontario. As part of the program we did a two-day solo experience. On that solo, I wrote a letter to myself that I was to read one year later. In this letter I set a few goals for myself. One of the goals was to be an Outward Bound instructor by the time I was 21."

And she did it! By age 21, Megan was completing a two-year diploma at Thompson Rivers University and had started with Outward Bound in Pemberton, BC.

"I had met lots of ex-Outward Bound instructors at the university. It was [one of them] that wrote my reference letter for my instructor application."

During her studies at TRU, and during her free time, Megan honed her skill set as an outdoor professional. Ski touring, rock climbing, backpacking and mountaineering in groups provided leadership experience and surrounded her with like-minded people.

"I have calculated that during my first two years as an Outward Bound instructor and as a TRU student, I probably spent over 250 days in the mountains."

Megan can now add seven years of experience to her personal trip resume, having led multi-day youth programs in and around Pemberton, BC and Nordegg, Bow Valley, Jasper, and Canmore, Alberta.

And she sure knows how to prepare for a trip! As the Alberta Course Director again this summer, Megan's going to answer all your questions -- whether it's your first trip, or your tenth.

Do you know what you'll be eating? What route you're taking? How heavy your pack will be? Post your questions here on the blog and Megan will tell all!

Be sure to check back Friday for more firsthand insight from Megan.


  1. son is registered in the July 2 Mountain Discovery course and the principal at his school would like to know under what program is the Alberta curriculum giving credit for this program. She is very supportive just doesn't know where to start. Could you let me know if other Edmonton public schools have been awarded high school credit for completing this course?

  2. We hope you've had your question answered now by our Admissions Manager, Angela, but just in case:

    Although we *officially* only offer Ontario and BC credits, you can complete the Ontario credit and submit it in Alberta for equivalency. Please just indicate that you'd like the credit when you're registering. We will handle the paperwork.

    Contact Admissions Manager, Angela, for further details: