Winter 2016 Trail Tales Newsletter
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 "The things I learned on this course will pay dividends in my life, both academic and professional, and in my relationships. I want to thank you with great enthusiasm and sincerity for making all of this possible through your generosity. The most important way a person can change the world is by changing a life, and you can be sure that you have changed mine. Thank you.”

-Summer 2015 Scholarship Recipient 


100% Not What I Expected 

Alumni Spot Blog | Guest Writer: Kami O., Outward Bound Veterans Program Alumna

We all struggle in life – young, old, Veteran, civilian, male, female. There is no set criterion that limits life’s downfalls to a set group of people. How we choose to meet those downfalls head-on and make the appropriate course changes to deal with them is what sets us apart from everyone else.



Staff Q&A: Merle

For this quarter’s Trail Tales we interviewed Merle Cosgrove, one of our most senior Outward Bound sea kayaking and Veterans Program course instructors. 

Why did you choose to work with Outward Bound? I believe wholeheartedly in the Outward Bound philosophy. I have seen it at work over and over again and I feel privileged and grateful to be an instructor. Community is also very important to me. I grew up in the 1960s, living in communal settings, and the communities I’ve found through Outward Bound have always made me feel welcomed and inspired. You see this creation of community in our crews as well, because the Outward Bound methodology of fostering positive and supportive community is part of what we help to do as instructors.

Do you have a favorite moment from instructing?In terms of a favorite moment, I love watching the students leave shore for the first time, after all of the prep work is over and we begin our journey together. Also, seeing the Gulf of Mexico is magnificent; it always takes my breath away.  



Merle instructing in the Florida Everglades.


Merle demonstrates how to safely get in and out of your kayak as students on a veterans course look on. 


Reflecting on The Four Pillars

The Four Pillars represent the foundation of Outward Bound and are at the core of every course we deliver. We also incorporate these principles that complement the four pillars: Safety, Service, Courage, Leadership, Diversity, Environmental Stewardship.

> Reflections from two members of the NCOBS family who are intimately familiar with these Pillars and how they can impact your life. 



What makes NCOBS so successful is its sense of people. We have some amazing supporters who help make us who we are. Two of whom were recognized this year for their outstanding leadership and commitment to Outward Bound.

NCOBS board member and Safety Committee Chair, Aram Attarian, was honored with one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This award is presented to those who have a proven history of extraordinary service to the state. Aram’s contributions to the field of outdoor education cannot be understated, as he is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in safety and risk management. Aram joins two others from the  NCOBS family who have also received this honor, including our founder, Marjorie Buckley, and former School Director, John Huie. 

We are also pleased to announce that Donna Allison was selected as the recipient of the 2015 John McGrory Award. This award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to enhance the safety of Outward Bound programs on a national scale. Donna currently serves as the Senior Medical Screener at NCOBS and has been a great asset in advancing Medical Screening across the system. We thank Donna for helping set the stage for our students to be safe and successful on Outward Bound courses.  Her dedication to her work is truly commendable. 


NCOBS Launches New Website

NCOBS is pleased to announce that it has launched a brand new website! It is interactive and full of new photos, video, and ways to connect.

Here are some of our favorite new features:

Make sure you check it out and let us know what you think!


A Family That Backpacks Together...

Share the adventure of a lifetime with your loved one this spring on our Blue Ridge Mtns. Backpacking and Rock Climbing course for Families.

Family courses focus on deepening the relationship between a parent and child through challenging experiences. On this course, you will learn about teamwork, communication and respect as you accomplish things you never imagined - together! 





Join Us for this Year's Collier Lilly Ride

When: May 24, 7:45 am

Where: Mountain Sports Festival, Carrier Park, Asheville, NC

What: A half century bike ride to raise funds for scholarships for Western North Carolina youth to attend Outward Bound courses in memory of Collier Lilly. 

*We are also in need of volunteers! If you are interested in helping out please contact Carrie Myers,