Friday, November 29, 2013

Introducing our 2014 Mount Kilimanjaro Team

On January 12th, 2014 eleven dedicated Outward Bound Canada adventurers will leave the comforts of home behind and take a journey all the way to Tanzania to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro in support of our charitable programs for youth and adults.  As we lead up to the climb, we will be sharing a little bit about each climber every week so you can get to know the team and show your support.

First up is Kristen Baumann, sponsored to go on this journey by our partners at Closing the Gap Healthcare Group. Read more about Kristen and her journey below, or check her personal blog here.

“I was born and raised in Midland, Ontario and am a fifth generation Midland resident.  I now live in Midland with my husband Markus and our two girls, Taylor (9) and Cameron (6).  We enjoy boating and camping from this gateway to the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay.  I am a physiotherapist and practiced in community pediatrics since 1998.  In 2012, I transitioned to my current role of Client Services Supervisor for Closing the Gap Healthcare Group (CTG).

Traveling to Africa and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro has always been on my bucket list. In 2013, CTG partnered with Outward Bound Canada, as a way to give back to the community.  They secured a position in the 2014 Kilimanjaro Expedition and pledged to help fund the participant’s portion of the trip as a way to give back to their own staff.  To select one staff member to sponsor, they held a contest where employees submitted a 2-minute application video.  My video, highlighting the three reasons why I should be selected, was judged as the winner!  I cannot wait to conquer the challenges that this adventure presents.”

Please help Kristen and her fellow climbers reach their goal by making a donation to her personal fundraising page here or, support the Outward Bound Canada in general by clicking on the "Canada Helps" icon below:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

March of Dimes at Outward Bound Canada's Urban Base Camp Week 8

We're an energetic group of lovely people who are currently in the March of Dimes L.I.F.E. Program at Outward Bound, sponsored by United Way. We're learning how to improve our independence. 
We started the week off with a game called ''Scream-off''. It was interesting. When two people looked at one another and screamed, they moved to a second circle and tried again. We were working on Campcraft this week. 
We put up of a tent and had a campout with smores and banana bread, snuggled into our sleeping bags.  
We listened to a really good poem by Robert Service called "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and we sang along to songs as Bernardo played his guitar for us. 
Afterwards we shared our strengths and we saw that although you might be able to break one stick when we bundled all our strengths (or sticks) together they were unbreakable.

This morning as we gathered in the cafe we came up with the idea to write a song about us and all of the humorous and challenging things we encountered while we've been here at  Outward Bound. So we started to share our most memorable moments and things that stood out to us about each member of our group. Hopefully in the next two weeks we'll keep adding to our list and create something really special for our graduation ceremony.

From the cafe we moved into the sunshine for warmth and to play ''Transformer Tag". 
Some of us were tails while the other were heads. The heads tried to chase the tails and the tails tried to chase the heads. Jessie turned out to the Ultimate Winner (at least this time). Plus, we played Hockey. The hockey game was competitive and fun. Usman was so good at telling us the rules and making sure everyone knew their positions...and WOW! Suhail's playing was all-star material. He scored at least seven goals. 
The weather was beautiful and it didn't feel as cold as yesterday. We didn't want to come to in (even though it was lunchtime). Now we are writing the blog, choosing pictures and recording music for our video (when we manage to edit it) and there's an impromptu dance going on - Dave dipped Princess and there's a twist going on as Bernado plays "Blue Suede Shoes". Ow-oo! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

March of Dimes at Outward Bound Canada's Urban Base Camp Week 7

We're an energetic group of lovely people who are currently in the March of Dimes L.I.F.E. Program at Outward Bound, sponsored by United Way. We're learning how to improve our independence. 

Yesterday, we reviewed our SMART goals to see if we were on track for success or if we wanted to create new goals. Kim led us to get set to ride the accessible bikes again.  We put on our helmets  and we chose which bikes we wanted to try out this time. We went a few times around the buildings and then we rode into the quarry. We tried to stay in the sun because it was colder than usual. Soon enough it was time for lunch.  Afterwards, we played ''The Traffic Sign Game" and the initiative "Bucket Flip". We tried to flip a bucket with ropes as a group. In order to do this we needed to communicate with each other. We successfully flipped the bucket twice. The second time different people held the ropes. 

Beginning of Bucket Flip
We ventured to quarry again this time in silence. Once we got to beside the pond we could see the sun reflected on the water.  The wind was making the grass dance.  Our solo time was peaceful although some of us felt a little cold. 

Solo time beside pond
We went into the cafe to get warm and talk about our daily challenges and triumphs.  Benardo Cabo, a volunteer with MOD, serenaded us with his sweet music. Bernardo was so good that many people came out to listen to his singing and strumming.

A Short Taste of the Talented Benardo Cabo Playing Guitar
Today we were relieved when it was a little warmer. We played a version of Human Knot - Rope Knot - so we could untie knots over and through Allen who is in a wheelchair. Our favourite part of the day was going on the bikes to put up our geocache "Fishing in the Trees". 

Biking Towards the Geocache Site
We won't post any pictures of us putting up the cache because it's a surprise - you should go to and look for our cache. We came in for lunch and after eating we celebrated Princess turning 24 years old and Suhail turning 21 on Saturday. We were so lucky as Bernado was with us again. He played guitar as we ate delicious chocolate cake! Yum, yum, yum. Today was a good day. Let's hope it doesn't get much colder. But it's a good thing we came prepared. Until next week...

March of Dimes at Outward Bound Canada's Urban Base Camp Week 6

We're an energetic group of lovely people who are currently in the March of Dimes L.I.F.E. Program at Outward Bound, sponsored by United Way. We're learning how to improve our independence. 

On Wednesday November 13th we used various bikes from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation for the day. In the morning after playing an active version of Broken Telephone and Silent Opera, we practiced our bike sense and hand signals. When we were all comfortable we set out to explore the many paths around the buildings and ventured into the quarry.
Usman on a bike in the paviliions
On our way to the Beltline Trail

In the afternoon we couldn't wait to get back on the bikes and go for a longer journey. We went on the Beltline Trail where the yellow leaves were sparkling with sunlight.

It was a challenging uphill trail in sections but we made sure we all worked together. Along the way we stopped to play 20 Questions and reviewed the importance of dressing up to keep warm on chilly winter days. We all voted whether we wanted to keep exploring the Beltline or return to Brickworks and we kept biking towards the series of bridges. 
Winter Sunlight

The lines of light on the trail were truly beautiful to see. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy the juxtaposition of the crisp cool air and the visually warming scene.
Kim, Danielle, and Usman
Lines of light 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rest In Paradise

Daniel Boddis

December 12, 1991 - November 7, 2013

This week we were saddened to hear that our former participant (Summer program) and friend, Daniel Boddis passed away suddenly in hospital on November 7th. Some of us attended his funeral today, and it was heart warming to see how many people's lives he touched. This is a verse of a poem given out at the service:

I am free

Be not burdened…deep with sorrow
I wish you sunshine of tomorrow
My life's been full I've savored so much
Good friends, good times
A loved one's touch

Outward Bound Canada has given a donation to Muscular Dystrophy Canada in lieu of flowers, at the family's request, and if anyone else would like to donate please click here. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

March of Dimes at Outward Bound Canada's Urban Base Camp Week 5

We're an energetic group of lovely people who are currently in the March of Dimes L.I.F.E. Program at Outward Bound, sponsored by United Way. We're learning how to improve our independence. 

When one goes up,
the other comes down
AC/DC on the Challenge Tower
Hello everyone! Yesterday was spent climbing the challenge tower, a formidable feat.  It’s a 65 foot tall tower with ropes, ladders, and all other kinds of fun obstacles. 

Usman getting close to the summit
Though difficult to reach, the view from the top is fantastic. You can see all over the Don Valley! 

All hands on the 4:1 haul
Though Allen had been up the challenge tower before, he loved belaying and helping the other participants reach the top. Everyone had so much fun, a lot of them decided to go up twice. 

This morning was spent on a short hike, then playing volleyball in the pavilion. Much fun was had passing the ball back and forth over the net. It was a close game, with the final score being 22-20. Allen and Rob won the game by working together to score the winning point. All in all a fantastic match! We finished the morning with an impromptu dance-a-thon on the Brick Road!
In the afternoon, everyone relaxed by playing knot or not, trying to guess if there is a knot or not. Though it sounds simple, everyone found it surprisingly challenging. 

That’s all for this week. Here’s hoping that next week is just as fun!

Friday, November 1, 2013

March of Dimes at Outward Bound Canada's Urban Base Camp Week 4

We're an energetic group of lovely people who are currently in the March of Dimes L.I.F.E. Program at Outward Bound, sponsored by United Way. We're learning how to improve our independence. 

Today is October 31st plus today is Halloween. Everyone dressed up as something.  

Suhail was a ghost, Allen was a wizard, Kim was a zombie, Usman was a baseball player, Jesse was a witch with a black cat, Shraddha was holding a mummy mask, and Princess was a princess of course. Rob was hunchback goblin vampire, Florencia was a gypsy pirate and Indira was a black-eyed pea (like the band). What a sight! It was very special to see everyone dressed up for Halloween. We played various Halloween Games – Zombie tag where we evolved from bats to zombies to mummies and soccer baseball with bases like Black Cauldron, Jack-o-Lantern, Ghost’s Den and Spider’s Web. It got a little competitive. For example Princess said, “I will run to any base any chance I get!” He who shall not be named kept stealing bases, Allen got hit once or twice (next time we’ll need to wear helmets - good thing it was a soft ball!) and funniest of all we were so into the game we forgot to keep score.
Action on the baseball field!

Before lunch we modeled our costumes and we looked great. See for yourself and look at the pictures.

Yesterday we played Human Taco where we had to ask each other yes or no questions to find out which taco ingredient we were and then get into an order someone would use to make a taco.

Placing our Geocache
We were so excited about Geocaching from last week that this week, we decided to make our own geocaches. So we decided to make an accessible multi-cache.
In the first cache- Sensory Deprivation- we put items to take away different senses like earplugs, a blindfold, and gloves. People who want to find our cache which we named “Fishing in the Trees” can find the first cache and choose to find the second cache without the luxury of one of their senses. In the afternoon we took the trailriders and went for a journey on the Belt Line to find the perfect spot for our geocaches. We were so far from the cafĂ© that when we realized we had to get back in time for Wheeltrans we had to rush. And we were so tired that everyone got some good sleep last night. Am I right or am I right?

So far we had fun today and our bellies are full of popcorn and chocolate. I LOVE HALLLOWEEN!!