Facilitators

Our facilitators bring a diversity of skill sets to programs. We work with Outward Bound Schools around the world and utilize facilitators who are regionally based where we offer programs.

 

Itamar Cohn

ItamarItamar Cohn is a co-founder of the EcoME Center – an educational center bringing together Israelis, Palestinians and internationals to research and learn about the connections of personal, social and environmental peacework and sustainability. He received his bachelor degree in outdoor education from Trinity University College, Wales. Over the years he has experimented with outdoor education around the world. From the UK he led youth development expeditions to Latin America. While in Israel he worked as an instructor for an environmental education boarding school with teens and as a rehabilitation challenge course instructor for mentally challenged children. In the south of India he piloted an outdoor environmental education program with tribal children. In the last four years he has worked as a wilderness instructor for Outward Bound in California. His paper ‘Indigenous ways – Fruits of our ancestors’ was published in the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. Itamar is currently studying for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Management, continuing to serve EcoME in an active role, living life in a simple ecological way and joining the Outward Bound Peacebuilding family.

Read More: Q&A with Itamar

Where are you from and how do you spend your time?
I’m originally from Israel, though I have lived in different countries and travelled a lot and feel part of a global family rather than one nationality. Recently I moved into a beautiful little mountain in the very North of Israel, where I live in a yurt, part of a humble ecological community. My time is spent being outdoors, reading interesting books that reveal more about humanity from all different aspects, studying, on the phone coaching and supporting the EcoME center and enjoying our beautiful surroundings and neighbors with my partner.

What Outward Bound school is your “home” school?
The High Sierra School in Midpines, California is my home school. I love it, the Sierra Nevada are one of my favorite and most beloved places on Earth. I feel extremely lucky for getting to spend so much time up here with the endless granite mountains, alpine lakes, ancient trees and fresh pure water.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
My first experience with Outward Bound was 12-day new staff training in the Sierra Nevada; backpacking and rock climbing. I remember feeling that even though I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, this was exactly what I needed and where I needed to be. What struck me most were the values; compassion, integrity, excellence and inclusion & diversity and the commitment to self-improvement through the practice of feedback. From the very first moment I knew that I will stay involved with Outward Bound for many years to come.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
I recently worked the Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding in Costa Rica, in the summer of 2013.

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
One of my favorite moments was at the very end of course, when one of the female participants walked up to me and gave me a gift of a little statuette that represents the image of the strong man in her country. She shared with me that being around me and our talks were the first time that she has ever felt she could be herself and not be defensive around a man. That brought me a lot of joy as I find that peacework between men and women is one of the most needed aspects of our work in these times, and knowing that some of that was able to take place during our course gave me a clear feeling that we did ‘make’ Peace.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
That it brings together two of the things I am most passionate about; outdoor education and Peacebuilding. I see immense potential in the bringing together of these two disciplines to create experiences of great influence that will change our world for the better.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
The possibilities are endless! Introducing Peacebuilding curriculum into mainstream outdoor education courses, introducing outdoor education components into peace and conflict resolution studies and trainings, in Universities, NGO’s and diplomatic settings, creating more programs that work directly with populations in conflict zones, and finally introducing Experiential Peacebuilding curriculum into the public schools system everywhere.

What does peace mean to you?
Peace is a state of being, it is a state of acceptance and reconciliation with life and its cycles, it is also a state of heart, an openness and a pleasant feeling in the body. Peace has clarity and patience even when things seem ‘wrong’. Peace is an evolving consciousness that we are discovering.

 

Michelle Goldhaber

MichelleMichelle has always loved being outdoors and doing work with people to address issues about which she’s passionate. She was born in Albuquerque, NM, grew up outside Buffalo, NY, but Boston is her home and holds the roots of her family. She went to Boston University as an undergrad, where she majored in “Music and Comparative Spirituality”. From there she got a more “practical” masters degree in Social Work from Simmons College and then another masters degree in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. In between she worked as a social worker in a public elementary school. She went on receive a Fulbright to do research in Ukraine on inter-religious relations. While she is passionate about learning and academics, she is equally passionate about being in the world and working with people. While she was in school, she became heavily involved with Outward Bound, first as a participant and then as an instructor. She was particularly inspired by the Czech Outward Bound, and decided to start a non-profit called “Seven Stones International” to build bridges and break barriers between people of different cultures through creative programs. She has training as a mediator from the Harvard Mediation Program and works in small claims courts in the Boston area. Michelle is a very spiritual person and adds a reflective component to a lot of the work that she does. She administers an online interfaith prayer group and provides spiritual advice and counseling on an individual basis. Michelle currently spends a good part of the year in Ukraine, doing work on intercultural relations and human rights. She also works in the Boston area with Outward Bound and other organizations as a facilitator doing teambuilding and other trainings. She also organizes creative and reflective retreats for people of all backgrounds. Lately her passion is triathlons and she enjoys pushing her boundaries and throwing herself into new challenges!

Read More: Q&A with Michelle
Where are you from and how do you spend your time?
I’m from Boston, MA, but spend lots of time during the year in Ukraine. I love being outdoors, and especially swimming, hiking or simply being in beautiful wilderness areas. When I’m not in the wilderness or by the sea, I can be found with friends and family, sharing stories over tea, or singing, playing or listening to music. You may also catch me Irish dancing. I work as a facilitator and consultant, and enjoy being of spiritual service to people of all religious backgrounds.

What Outward Bound school is your “home” school?
I am lucky to have multiple Outward Bound “homes”. First of all, Thompson Island in Boston is my closest home. I usually work their professional programs, but originally and occasionally still work with youth, which I love. The first school to train me was North Carolina, and I will always have a soft spot and deep admiration for their community. There I work backpacking and climbing courses. And finally, I am an honorary member of the Czech Outward Bound school, which is my creative home in OB. I have many lifelong friends there and occasionally work some of their English language courses.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
I was a participant on an 8 day sailing course with Hurricane Island. It was love at first sight! I fell in love with the Outward Bound spirit and got to practice facing many fears, such as jumping into frigid water every morning, and being the “captain” on our last day, sailing through a storm in open water. I had the chance to work through unexpected challenges, such as sharing a tight space with 11 other strangers and using the “head” in very close proximity to others. Mostly I was impressed with the practice of compassion and how being as strong as you could be did not have to mean being ultra-competitive or exclusive. I loved the supportive atmosphere in our crew and how there was much deeper meaning in teamwork and empowerment than in “survival”.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
I worked the Emerging Leaders program with Women from Palestine and Israel. It was fantastic!

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
Three stories stand out. (Sorry – can’t choose just one!) First there was the day when we were soaking wet and shivering. Instead of drowning in despair, the women began dancing and drumming and singing to raise their spirits. It worked! Another moment was when we had an opportunity to camp at a closer campsite rather than hike late into the night to get to our planned destination. The participants used the “fist to five” method to make their collaborative decision – continuing to the farther site. That meant hiking through snowfields in the pitch dark and cold night, and setting up tarps well past midnight. This turned out to be a magical moment for most participants, and one of the highlights of the whole course. Finally, there was solo. One participant in particular was petrified of it. She began asking about right from the beginning. As the days went by, her anxiety grew. On the night of solo, she went out, together with her fear, and pitched a spectacular tarp, in the rain, and stayed several hours beyond her comfort zone. She and others who were also very afraid that night, felt so strong and empowered afterwards – it was a real transformative moment, and a privilege to witness.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
To me, the combination of peace work and Outward Bound is extraordinarily powerful. Outward Bound on its own is transformative, but to combine it with such powerful work in divided societies is the highest iteration of the Outward Bound philosophy, and gets right to the heart of what OB was about from the beginning. Breaking down perceived barriers, working together through challenging situations, going beyond one’s comfort zone and taking risks, and most importantly, practicing compassion.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
The possibilities are limitless! Not only can OBCP continue expanding its work in divided societies trough expeditions and trainings, but it can be a real resource for experiential peacebuilding anywhere in the world. From the micro to macro level, I think this methodology really has the potential to affect lasting change. Whether it be with leaders in divided societies, gangs in the US, communities in conflict, or world leaders, OBCP can offer a very real and human-to-human experience for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity for such authentic encounters. Through the very basic and rudimentary challenges of setting up shelter, preparing food, finding water and traveling through the wilderness together, people have the opportunity to connect and be as real as possible with each other. Bonds are formed that provide a basis from which to deal with other challenges and issues back home. The experiences “off the grid” and in nature are a fantastic starting point.

What does peace mean to you?
There are many ways to understand peace. In a very personal way, it is a feeling of contentment, acceptance, security and balance in life. It can be expanded to close relationships and families – people acknowledging the beauty, flaws included, of each other, and treating each other with dignity and respect. I think it has a lot to do with listening from a deep place of compassion, and letting the other person stand on his or her own. This can be further expanded to diverse communities in which conditions are right for people to feel safe, secure, honored and valued as individuals and groups. People in peaceful communities can thrive and be supported in achieving their life purposes and dreams. Conflicts are handled in productive ways and societies benefit from diverse ideas, opinions and approaches. Ultimately, nations and regions in peace become healthy, engaging and dynamic places to live where integrity, truth, respect, compassion, and human rights are held up as key values. These worlds are safe and flourishing, providing a basis for all people to live full, healthy and boundless lives, together with others.

 

Fernanda Maciel

fernandaFernanda is Brazilian with a fervent love of nature and her homeland.  Through her love of sport and looking for a challenge she has traveled widely and now lives in the mountains of the Spanish Pyrenees. But still she feels rooted in the waterfalls and little mountains of Minas Gerais where she was born.

As a child she was asked what her ‘dream’ would be – to live in a big house on the beach, or to travel the world.  Her dream was to travel ….. But she realized early that to travel you have to find a way to fund your explorations and without parental help she knew that she would have to be a good person, and a good athlete – and in that way to hope to find support.

At just eight years of age Fernanda started to race, and then two years later was training towards Olympic level gymnastics in the USA.  By 23 she participated in a 600km nonstop International Running Expedition.  She has progressed through adventure racing, multi-sport races and ultra trails to become a great endurance athlete.  Now sponsored by The North Face and her legs running trails around the world, Fernanda is living her dream . . .

In her professional life, Fernanda practiced as an environmental lawyer and has also been greatly involved in outdoor education through the NGO Outward Bound.  In this way her love of nature is not limited only to her experiences through her sport, but also to reaching out to others in working and teaching to conserve and protect our natural environment.

Her passion for the outdoors is rooted deep within her experiences, “when I’m running on top of the mountains or canoeing in the middle of the sea, I feel as small as nothing ….. and yet I feel the most intense sensations of freedom and peace … my spirit is free“.  Passionate about the forests, the mountains, the beaches and the rivers, for Fernanda her delight is to be fully there within the nature – both within her sports but also in the sense of caring for and protecting our environment.  Her dream is to become a role model as a runner in the world-wide community of ultra runners.  Her philosophy in life is simple – to “move …. positive“.

Read More: Q&A with Fernanda
Where are you from and how do you spend your time?
I’m from Brazil, but I live on the Pyrenees Mountain right now. I spend my time running, paddling, dreaming…trying to help people to enjoy that.

What Outward Bound school is your “home” school?
I’ve worked in Outward Bound Brazil for 4 years, Outward Bound Spain for 4 years and Outward Bound Romania for one program.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
My first experience was in Serra do Cipó- Brazil’s program. We had 15 days of really bad weather, storming all day during the expedition and we found 15 poison snakes. It was a hard and interesting program…without dry clothes and dreaming with snakes.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
I’ve worked in Alto Tajo River Program in Spain. Nettie and Shawn and myself were working with Israel and Palestine politicians.

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
My favortie story is about the “solo” night. We had a crazy storming during the night in the Alto Tajo Program. Then Nettie, Shawn and I from 10pm to 5am was losing our hours of sleep to look for the participants on the wild field. One of the participants we couldn’t find, because he moved from his “solo” spot. So, we were crazy about that…aaaaaahhhh…and we couldn’t stop to look for him…in the middle of the bushes: nothing. On the river: nothing. On the trees: nothing…aaaaahhhhh.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
The way that it works. In our world we need peace, work in peace and teach how to get peace. Encourage people to be not afraid about them objectives and dreams. Encourage people to work with your “inside” leadership. Work the conflict resolution. Well, many things that I’m proud of Outward Bound Peacebuilding.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
I see the future. Without this kind of NGO we couldn’t survive in this crazy and violent world. We need to do right things right now and OBC Peacebuilding does and works hard on that.

What does peace mean to you?
Free spirit.

 

Luke O’Neill

Luke joined Outward Bound in 1990 as both an instructor and a development professional. Since that time, he has continued to instruct sea kayaking, sailing, and backpacking courses in Maine, Washington, Florida, and Panama, while also serving as a facilitator in Outward Bound Professional and Outward Bound Peacebuilding programs. In addition to his work for Outward Bound, Luke has been involved with several educational and youth-development programs. From 2006 to 2008, Luke served as Vice President for Western U.S. Operations for Meritas, LLC, an international, for-profit, educational venture, and as President of Meritas’ K-12 school in Henderson, Nevada.

Previously, Luke served as CEO and founder of Shackleton Schools, Inc., a residential high school with a challenging, expedition-based curriculum with roots in Outward Bound. Luke also served as the Assistant Executive Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford after completing four years as a corporate attorney at Whitman, Ransom, Breed & Morgan in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Luke holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University. He is currently certified as a SCUBA instructor (PADI), Maine Guide, Wilderness First Responder (SOLO), CPR instructor (EFR), and Oxygen Provider instructor (DAN).

Read More: Q&A with Luke
Where are you from and how do you spend your time?
I make my home on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The majority of my time and energy is spent in the educational arena with Outward Bound taking the lion’s share. I feel blessed to be in a position where I have the chance to work alongside truly inspired educators in a number of Outward Bound communities including Outward Bound Professional, the Outward Bound Sea Program (Maine, Florida, Costa Rica, and Panama), Outward Bound Washington, and Outward Bound Peacebuilding. In addition to my work with Outward Bound, I serve as the President of The Cape May Fund, a foundation I created twenty years ago with a group of my college friends to support small, resource starved schools striving to inspire and educate young men and women in challenging urban environments. Finally, I have been investing more and more time in advancing my photography skills and finding new ways to apply photography, film, and digital media to my work.

What Outward Bound school is your “home” school?
The Outward Bound Sea Program, formerly the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, will always feel like “home” to me. My experiences as a student and a new instructor back in the early 1990s continue to be some of my most powerful memories.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
I discovered Outward Bound in 1989 while working with young people at a Boys & Girls Club in Stamford, Connecticut. The President of Outward Bound, John Raynolds III, encouraged me to take a course, so I could determine whether Outward Bound might be a way to enhance the leadership development program I was leading. So, at John’s urging, I signed up for a 7-day sea kayaking expedition in Maine that has turned into a lifelong journey.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
I had the good fortune of being invited to work with the emerging business leaders from Israel and the West Bank during a ten-day backpacking expedition in a spectacular wilderness area in Croatia.

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
The true Outward Bound moment for me came on the morning of Day 6 when the group assembled at 2:30am to hike a nearby limestone peak to witness the sunrise. Armed with headlamps and the requisite maps and compasses, the team navigated its way through into the thick clouds, through the strong headwinds, and onto the summit. While film footage and photos reveal some of the emotion, the depth and power of the moment went far deeper for most. From that point on, it seemed, the group had truly come together as one.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
Ever since joining the Outward Bound team in 1990, I have been amazed at the impact that an Outward Bound experience can have in the lives of participants. The idea of employing the Outward Bound concept where solutions are difficult holds enormous potential, as the answers will require leaders of all kinds to explore beyond their comfort zones, work in collaboration, and approach each other with a sense of compassion every step of the way. Outward Bound can give these leaders a chance to practice these all-important skills, receive honest feedback, and prepare them for the challenges they face.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
Given the impact I perceived during the Emerging Business Leaders program in Croatia in May of this year, there is no doubt in my mind that the possibility for amplifying the impact are endless. To have participants approach us enthusiastically with serious ideas about how to involve more people in the Outward Bound Peacebuilding effort, design ways for Outward Bound to have a local presence, and generously offer in-kind support, convinced me that both the need and the hunger for Outward Bound Peacebuilding exists, not just in the Mid-East, but all over the world.

What does peace mean to you?
Peace is a gift that we offer to our fellow humans, one that allows us to see their true beauty, even when beauty is difficult to see.

 

Sini Ratas

Hello everybody! My name is Sini Ratas and at the moment I work as a Course Manager in Outward Bound Finland.

Two of my greatest passions have always been sports and nature and I seem to find myself from places where there are trails to hike, water to paddle and rocks to climb.

I am a masseur therapist and I’ve also studied sports in the Faculty of Physical Activity in a University. I have specialized in outdoors and experiential education during my University studies. While studying I have accomplished also some qualifications in kayaking, climbing and first aid.

I started in Outward Bound Finland as a freelancer instructor in 2007 and at the same time I worked as a climbing instructor in my own University. After that year the longing to go overseas was simply irresistible and so I moved to Hong Kong. I worked in Outward Bound Hong Kong for two years (2008-2010) as a full-time instructor while at the same time ran sea kayak training for the new instructors.

”If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Read More: Q&A with Sini
Where are you from and how you spend your time?
I’m from Finland. I live in a town called Lahti at the moment, which is located in Southern Finland. My freetime is not that different than the work I do. I like to spend my spare time in outdoors paddling, hiking, climbing or just walking in a forest with my dogs. I also do yoga and at times I go to the gym. I love to spend time with my friends and family whenever I have a possibility for that. There is also the lazy side of me and I just love to snuggle on the sofa with a blanket, cup of tea, chocolate and a good book.

What OB school is your “home” school?
I think I have two home schools – Outward Bound Hong Kong where I worked for two years and Outward Bound Finland where I’ve started my OB career and where I now work as Course Manager.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
I have to answer on this one that it has been Jyrki Hämäläinen, the Chairman of Outward Bound Finland. He has been my teacher at the university during my outdoor studies in 2007 and have to admit that it was like a 6 month long Outward Bound course I did. The first actual Outward Bound course I did was also in 2007 in Czech Republic. I attended a 10 day long citybound course in Prague during my studies.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
I worked with OBCP in summer 2011 when we run the first alumni trip to Palestinian and Israeli Emerging Leader group in Finland. The course was a 10-day sea kayaking program and also the first collaboration course between OBF and OBCP.

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
There are lots of stories from a 10 day expedition! I think that the whole experience working with new colleagues and participants from different backgrounds and cultures was already a best story for me. The topics and issues which surfaced during the conversations broadened my horizon and understanding.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
I love the ideology of building this network of people in conflict areas in the world but also the idea of connecting different OB schools together. Having an opportunity to work with different people from all around the world aiming for a common goal.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
I believe that the work OBCP is doing can touch many of us and in many ways. The work with participants is an important and very powerful way of connecting people together and break some boundaries. Using the OB network can be a very successful way of working and the knowledge from different instructors and schools can be shared. I think that OBCP ideology can be borrowed in every single community because there’s always room for peacebuilding and networking, and this could create a completely new courses in different OB schools.

What does peace mean to you?
Personally for me peace is the harmony inside of me – it’s a feeling of being free, happy and creative. Peace inside of me gives space for understanding the diversity of human beings and appreciate it.

Olfat Haider

Olfat Haider was born and raised in Haifa, Israel, where she lives today. As an outstanding young volleyball player, she joined the Israeli National Women’s Team, as its only Arab member.

Olfat has always combined her love of sports and the land with her desire to bring people together. In addition to earning her B.Ed. in Physical Education, she worked as a teacher in high school for 12 years. Olfat also completed a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender Studies at Bar-Ilan University.

Olfat has been involved in several projects promoting peaceful co-existence between Jewish and Arab youth in Israel. She has also led and facilitated numerous multicultural and multi-ethnic groups of various ages in wide-ranging projects and initiatives. “When Jews and Arabs are brought together under challenging conditions, away from everything known and familiar,” she says, “they come to a point where they drop their masks and, with them, layers of separation. They discover that, in the end, they are much more alike than they thought, as beneath their ethnic or national identity they are all, first and foremost, human beings.”

 In 2004, Olfat joined three other participants of Palestinian origin and four Jewish Israelis as a team member of “Breaking the Ice”. The project had them sail from South America to Antarctica, where the group climbed a previously un-summited peak and named it the “Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Mountain.”

In 2005, Olfat became a certified instructor at the Outward Bound School in North Carolina, where she worked in the Unity Project with various American ethnic groups. There, she also began working with Arab-Jewish groups and helped to create the Palestinian-Israeli Unity Project (PIUP), a joint effort between Outward Bound and “Breaking the Ice”. This project brought Arab and Jewish teenagers from Israel to the mountains of North Carolina for intensive wilderness expeditions. In 2007, Outward Bound authorized Olfat to establish its branch in Israel.

Currently, Olfat is working at Beit Hagefen — an Arab–Jewish Center in Haifa — as its Program Manager. One of her projects involves leading an annual student expedition to the Alps.

Olfat Haider continues with her sports activities as a hobby. Currently, she is training for and competing in triathlon competitions and running long distances. In between, Olfat continues to climb mountains around the globe. Olfat worked with the Outward Bound Center for Peacebuiding in 2009 on the Young Social Entrepreneurs expedition in Big Bend, Texas.

Click here to read a great article on Olfat from Haaretz.com.

 

Mariana Krásnolipská

Mariana was born in Czech Republic, Europe. She loves this place in the planet so much.

Mariana graduated from the University of Chemical Technology in Prague, Department of Chemical technology – Restoration. Then, for one year, she worked for an international organization, Greenpeace. Next, she studied at the University of Palacky in Olomouc, Faculty of Physical Culture, Department of Recreology – Management of Life Style. During her studies she was an exchange student at universities in Finland, Greece, England, and Iceland, where she studied sports psychology, outdoor studies, international communication, leadership, and activity for people with special needs.

Nowadays she works as a trainer and facilitator at Outward Bound Ceska Cesta – Czech Republic. Mariana is a part of HBSC  – Healthy Behaviour of School Children – a program founded by the EU.

During the summer, her hobby is sailing 60 meter-long, old sailing ships from the 19th century around Dutch, the Netherlands and French islands with clients. Mariana lives in National Park – Czech Switzerland in an old cottage with two cats. She plays the transfer flute, organizes a big alternative festival – Svatojánské slavnosti, and she loves nature, aromatheraphy, telemark, meeting people, dancing 5 rythm and all what this life offers to us. At this time, she has started to build an alternative small house.

Read More: Q&A with Mariana
What OB school is your “home” school?

Outward Bound Česká cesta, s.r.o., Czech Republic

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?

My first experience with Otward Bound was when  I was a member of training course which was based on principles of Outward Bound hold by Vacational School of Lipnice Czech Republic.  After participating I found out how big and deep learning efekt can be throught the experience. Everything went throught my body  into deepness of my all cells and made a big impact in my future life. And that was amazing.
What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?

Connecting the Hub 4 day retreat 2011, Czech Republic
Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding
expedition.*

I was not at any expedition organized by OB Peacebuilding.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?

It has a common sense and it gives to me a sense nowadays so much. It s amazing how big impct can have experiential learning on different level of human being . Outward Bound principals work for all human beings the same way and that means it is an enormously powerful  tool we have  in OB. It is known how efficiently to use it to touch and be aware of  all good what man has inside. That’s very important for whole planet even the Universe we are connected with.
What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?

They are huge.  Through this approach we can connect nationalities, goverments etc. And make living sustainable.

What does peace mean to you?

Before I started to work with Outward Bound Peacebuilding  I did not think at all about peace. I have lived in my country where the peace is since I was born. So it really did not touch me anywhere.  When somebody said “peace“ I imagined just white dove and nothing deep at all. But since I started cooperated with OB Peacebuilding I noticed that it s very big issue in the World and that  it matters me so much as well because I am part of it.  And I was even interested more because I found I can have impact on it and influenced it.  I can be a member of the team which helps to maintain peace between Palestinian and Israeli people. Having peace in the world means for me mainly peace in myself and inside in each human being, because then it’s easy to transfer it outside of us into the world when it s already there.

 

David Owen

David is currently a wedding and portrait photographer who still sneaks in about one Outward Bound course a year. He’s a twenty-year veteran with OB and has worked border-to- border (and beyond) in the central part of the US. He enjoys cycling in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Read More: Q&A with David
Where are you from and how you spend your time?
Minneapolis, MN. I spend my time being a professional photographer and helping tend gardens in the summertime.

What Outward Bound school is your “home” school?
The school formerly known as Voyageur Outward Bound School.

What was your first experience with Outward Bound?
I did a month-long Outward Bound-like pre-term backpacking program before my first year in college. My first paid experience was as an intern for VOBS in 1991.

What Outward Bound Peacebuilding program did you work?
Young Social Entrepreneurs Program (YSEP) – 2009, Pilot program.

Please tell us a favorite story from an Outward Bound Peacebuilding expedition.
Wow, this is tough. I have so many great stories from that expedition. I was continually struck by how fast the group built camaraderie and the range of conversations that happened between wildly diverse members of the group.

What excites you about Outward Bound Peacebuilding?
That the experiences that the center offers can spiral outward from the individuals who participate – involving more people in the peace process.

What are the possibilities you see with Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding?
From the program I worked, it was clear that when you bring together a group of individuals who are committed to peace, this commonality can help surmount religious, political and ideological differences. Pretty amazing!

What does peace mean to you?
To me it means imagining the world and how we treat each other in a different way. A way that intends to do good to everyone’s long-term benefit.