Donors Stories of those making a lasting impact with a legacy bequest or planned gift.
Photo of Doug Levick, board member emeritus and co-founder of OBCA
Outward Bound California, which I co-founded and was a board member of for 15 years, is very special to me, because it is one of the very few organizations that helps build a solid foundation for personal growth in teenage youth. In today’s increasing complex world, we badly need to do all we can to better equip our youth to be leaders and responsible citizens.
My wife and I have chosen to contribute a significant part of our estate to Outward Bound California, because the challenging experiential learning exercises and experiences that are the heart of Outward Bound’s programs require youth to dig deep and discover hidden strengths which build grit, resiliency, self-confidence and compassion, essential components of success in life.
First, the power of this transformational education in multi-week wilderness courses in the High Sierra and Joshua Tree is significant and lifelong. The most common comment from graduates years, and even decades, after completing a course is: “It changed my life."
Second, the shorter experiential learning courses and structured programs on the ropes challenge course in San Francisco provide under-resourced, lower income youth, most of whom are on full or partial scholarship, basic life skills and self confidence that are desperately needed. Family structure, community discipline and school curricula in city public schools provide few such skills and little incentive to achieve.
It is this dual focus of Outward Bound California’s programs that makes it effective in reaching and impacting such a wide range of teenage youth. It is also why we were strongly motivated to continue our support with a major legacy gift.
Photo of Scott McAndrews, dearly loved Outward Bound Instructor
Our son, Scott, loved Outward Bound. His life was changed on his own 72-day expedition. That expedition for Scott was life changing, life building and life directing. It was the opportunity he was seeking to analyze, evaluate and direct his next steps.
When his course completed, he committed to working for Outward Bound at first as a Logistics Coordinator, then an Instructor, and then a Lead Instructor in the High Sierra. He felt his story and leadership could positively impact others and their futures. In these roles at Outward Bound, he found a deep calling in service to others.
Prior to his course, as a young man he excelled in sports and was a bright, but average, student who struggled with identity and self-confidence - mostly due to the impact of OCD. He set goals and worked hard to meet them which he often did. He also knew he could improve his future and become a strong and productive person.
Scott’s guiding compass was the Outward Bound motto: “To serve, to strive and not to yield.” And he lived the Kurt Hahn quote: “There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.”
Scott instructed a number of Outward Bound courses and, because of his love for the outdoors and his excellent skiing ability, he became a ski patroller for the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol. It was another act of service for him. He excelled in the role, becoming a leader in the industry and was voted ‘Rookie of the Year’ by his team members. During this position, Scott was involved in a safety operation where he and his fellow patrollers lost their lives.
Our family has determined that part of our estate will become a legacy contribution to Outward Bound California. While we do have scholarships in Scott’s name, we made our commitment to be members of ‘The Challenge and Discovery Legacy Circle’ prior to Scott’s accident.
Scott’s passion for and experience with Outward Bound had such a profound impact that we knew our family wanted these experiences and impacts to continue into the future. We’re so glad we made this decision.
- Isabelle and Briggs McAndrews