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The Founding of Table Rock

Young people today need authentic adventure,” said Josh Miner in a 1964 article in the Princeton Alumni News. The article, which inspired many that year, highlighted Miner’s efforts to introduce a unique experiential education methodology called Outward Bound to the United States.

While Outward Bound had existed for many years overseas, in 1964 it was just beginning to make an appearance in the US. Wilderness schools had opened in Colorado and Minnesota and a third was nearing completion in Maine. Miner’s work to introduce Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn’s inspirational views on education intrigued many at the time – and in North Carolina, none so much as Marjorie Buckley.

Buckley was working at The North Carolina Fund at the time – an organization nationally renowned for its innovative approach to North Carolina’s “assault on poverty.” At the core, their focus was upon education as the lever for change. Their community-based programs included service corps, internship programs, adult literacy projects, economic development initiatives, and much more. Buckley convinced Jack Mansfield, Director of Special Projects at The Fund, that Outward Bound was worthy of examination. Indeed it was, and soon thereafter she emerged as the driving force for the founding of the North Carolina Outward Bound School.

By the end of 1965, Buckley had assembled a board of directors for NCOBS who convened in December to select a site for the first base camp. Despite earlier hopes to establish a seafaring school on Bald Head Island near the Cape Fear River, the group chose...

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Our Year in Review

As another year comes to a close, we want to take time to thank our strong staff, dedicated board, many wonderful participants and generous donors. 

To see just some of the highlights from our year in an infograph and read a message from our executive director, click here.

Q & A Staff Highlight: Trish Haitz

Long-time instructor and program director Trish Haitz was recently awarded the Doug Mahon “Catcher in the Rye Award.” This award is given to an Outward Bound staff member who exemplifies the values of “absolute safety of those entrusted to Outward Bound,” the “highest quality of experiential education,” and “the provision of character-building experiences.” Haitz has been an invaluable asset to the School and we congratulate her on this accomplishment.

Haitz was able to take a break from her busy winter course schedule in the Everglades to answer a few questions about her experience as a wilderness educator.

1. What inspired you to become an Outward Bound instructor?
My inspiration comes from a deep well. My family has been so supportive, we have always been respectful of the simple things, and sought out quality over quantity in what brings us pleasure. I was (and still am) very lucky to have that foundation and I wanted to help others experience that as well.

As for the wilderness part, well, to be candid, I have been a treehugger since I could toddle around the yard. Saving birds, raccoons, snakes, whatever would follow me home (which my father later told me was stealing when I kept bringing home “lost” dogs). I felt inspiration, quiet, and calm whenever I was in the outdoors. That classroom made sense and Outward Bound was the place to bring it all together.

2. What is your favorite part about leading courses?
I am not sure what my favorite part is. Hearing life stories, watching adults splash around in the sea like they were kids again, helping someone see their true potential, sitting quietly in the grandeur of the natural world. Truly, it is the sum of many moments.

Thanks to The Home Depot Foundation

In 2012, The Home Depot Foundation recognized NCOBS with one of its Building Community Network Awards. NCOBS joined more than a hundred nonprofits that have been honored for positively impacting communities in the city of Atlanta and "enabling transformational change." 

NCOBS is grateful to have received such a distinguished recognition and the generous grant that accompanied the award. Since that time, we have worked diligently to live to that distinction. We have increased the number of Atlanta students we serve and have developed a strong new partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. Our deepest gratitude to The Home Depot Foundation for inspiring NCOBS, along with many other wonderful nonprofits, to be tenacious in its work to build a stronger Atlanta.