To our community of students, partners, staff, supporters, and families,
It is times of challenge and uncertainty that the Outward Bound community is trained for. As we lean into our values of compassion, resilience, and tenacity, we find that together, we are stronger.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to rapidly evolve, we are deeply committed to supporting our community, partners and students with evolving and proactive safety protocols, open communication and, above all, compassion.
Here are a few actions we have taken to prioritize the health and wellness of our community, first and foremost.
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 are every other day to 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 summer 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.
We are postponing all domestic programs and events until April 17th, at which time we will continue to assess the public health situation. OBCA does not currently have any international programming or events.
We are in daily communication with schools and partners that have courses in the coming weeks, 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.
We followed the guidelines provided by OBUSA, to reduce the risk of folks who are ill attending course and expedite the departure of anyone with symptoms from the field. By March 21st, all students will be out of the field entirely.
For our staff:
We have increased workplace cleaning and personal hygiene practices and are currently practicing an organization-wide remote work policy until at least April 17th.
We will continue our commitment to pay staff affected by course cancellations for the next 30 days and review this policy throughout this crisis.
At Outward Bound, we instill in our students that they are needed. That, collectively, we are more creative, intentional and stronger when we see each member of the group as an invaluable asset. Remember this as we continue to engage in social distancing individually for the health of our greater community. It is during this time that we encourage our community to continue to be calm, confident and compassionate to themselves and each other. We are with you. We see you. And we will come through this together.
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