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Leaps and Bounds

Maui welcomes Outward Bound.

February 17, 2011
Sarah Ruppenthal

Of course I’m generalizing, but there’s no denying it: in an age of iPods, text messaging, Facebook and video games, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to “unplug” today’s youth and steer them toward fun that’s free of charge—no batteries required.

But programs like Outward Bound can make the great outdoors—well, great again.

According to its Website (, Outward Bound is “a nonprofit educational organization and expedition school that serves people of all ages and backgrounds [to] inspire character development, self-discovery and service both in and out of the classroom.”

To date, Outward Bound has changed the lives of more than one million participants—and they’re just getting started.

And now, Outward Bound has arrived on Maui. As the very first program in Hawai‘i, Outward Bound Maui aims to help more than 1,500 individuals across the state within five years. According to Outward Bound Maui Steering Committee Chair Jason Richardson, the program will use challenging outdoor adventures and self-reflection exercises—including ocean voyaging and hiking excursions—to instill values of compassion, community service, physical fitness and environmental stewardship. “Our goal is to create moments of triumph,” said Richardson.

And contrary to popular belief, Outward Bound is not limited to at-risk youth—or even youth, for that matter. “It’s open to everyone,” he said.

Thank goodness, because when the pilot program launches this summer, it is (pun intended) bound to be a good time.

But in order to get Outward Bound off the ground, the program is in dire need of funds. First on the punch list is a portable rock-climbing wall for course training exercises in island schools. “With this type of equipment, we can bring the experience of a classic Outward Bound course directly to the schools,” said Richardson. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to serve the community and empower our future generations.” And so are we.



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