It was still dark as we assembled in the Presbyterian Church parking lot on a late August Monday morning. Anxious parents talked and sipped coffee as they walked 8th graders the the awaiting bus for a four hour trip to Brown Mountain, NC. Dressed for a day of hiking, we arrived to meet cheerful guides who would become our mentors for the week. Beautiful blue sky and a spectacular view of Table Rock Mountain surrounded us. As students exited the bus they were filled with questions about the unknowns of the five day adventure ahead and were astonished to learn that they would eventually climb to the top of the distant mountain we saw.
As the week unfolded, I became more impressed by the positive attitudes and insightful reflections that the young men and women of EDS began to make. They learned the value of craftsmanship and compassion, and they continued to gain self reliance and push the limits of their physical fitness. The hikes were difficult and the packs were heavy. But as they reached the top of Table Rock, each student was given the opportunity to have a few moments of silent reflection. It was apparent to me that in their hearts and minds this beautiful moment had made their efforts worthwhile.
As we reached our final campsite less than a quarter mile from base camp,excitement was in the air; they knew they had conquered the course. As we sat by candle light with stars overhead, our guides gave each student the opportunity to explain how they would permanently incorporate one of the four pillars of Outward Bound into their daily lives. Once again, I heard answers that were from the heart and underlie the principles taught at EDS. This was my first experience with Outward Bound, but I know that it provides a priceless opportunity for our students to learn about themselves, about God, and their role in the community. I look forward to my next Outward Bound experience.
Photos by crew are available to view on Google Plus via the links below.
Outward Bound Photos – Ned Murray
Outward Bound Photos – Joe Kirstein
Outward Bound Photos – Paige McNeil
Outward Bound Photos – Kristen Weston
Outward Bound Photos – Matthew Lewis