To our community of students, partners, staff, supporters, and families,
The depth of change in our world over the last few weeks cannot be understated. Thank you to those on the frontlines, fighting for the health of our communities. Like so many others, Outward Bound California is experiencing hardship unlike any we have weathered before.
Outward Bound exists to bring people together, build connection, to facilitate growth through challenge. Our programs have prepared our alumni and staff to lead with compassion in crisis and we can’t wait to get back to this needed work. While the length of this expedition is unknown, we are leaning into the wind, prepared to weather the storm.
OBCA’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors have identified the below priorities to help guide us during this time.
Here are a few actions we have taken using these guiding priorities:
For the community:
We are talking to our staff and students about the threat of xenophobia in the context of COVID-19. OBCA stands against misinformation and bias that results in discriminatory and harmful behavior. We ask our community to be vocal and vigilant as it arises.
Outward Bound USA has convened a national task force to manage our response and mitigate exposure risk for staff and students, as well as coordinate our part in reducing community spread. See our general updates here.
We continually discuss the financial implications of this pandemic and create contingency plans to support business continuity in 2020. It is our priority to continue to change lives through challenge and discovery and to open access to outdoor spaces to youth, adults, and veterans.
For our students & partners:
For students enrolling in 2020 courses, we have softened our cancellation policy to align with domestic and international response to Covid-19. We will offer course credit toward 2021 programming for those who are prevented from attending their course due to COVID-19-related illness or externally-imposed travel restrictions. For more information, please visit our FAQs.
All students and staff were removed from programs by March 21st. At this time, all programming has been halted through June 30th as we continue to assess the public health situation.
We are in daily communication with schools or partners scheduled to have courses in the coming months, many of whom have canceled due to school closures. We are rescheduling where possible and have adjusted our cancellation policy to support last-minute shifts.
For our staff:
We are currently practicing an organization-wide remote work policy until further notice, in line with Shelter-in-Place orders issued by local and state governments.
As a result of receiving funds through the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP), the administrative staff at OBCA has returned to full staffing capacity for the duration of the PPP funding.
We continue to provide those in staff housing with rent forgiveness. Other relief needs to support our staff are currently being assessed.
We are committed to keeping our community of alumni, parents, supporters, and partners, engaged in this process. When we emerge from this crisis with the support of our community, we will be ready to serve a weary populace that hungers for connection and healing outside. Take care of yourselves, your families, and loved ones. Please say thank you to all the healthcare and service workers around you and treat all beings with compassion, above all else.
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