Launch leader Efrat Kussell wrote this beautiful post for EL Education about preparing for the 2019-20 school year.
As students enter our schools as 6th or 9th graders, they, along with their fellow Crew members and Crew Advisor, participate in a specially designed multi-day residential Outward Bound course conducted at our basecamp in Fishkill, NY. This course, called Crew Expedition, is part of a two-month Learning Expedition focusing on leadership and goal-setting that all of our incoming students experience.
On course, they are stretched beyond their comfort zone as they experience the challenges of backpacking through unfamiliar terrain, cooking and cleaning for themselves, orienteering through the learned use of maps and compasses, communicating with one another during high-stakes challenges, reflecting on their behavior and its effect on others during public rituals as well as solo challenges, and completing high-ropes courses and team building initiatives.
Together, they learn the value of teamwork, best effort, responsibility, and perseverance and build caring, trusting relationships, skills which they take with them when they return to the classroom and face other academic, social, and emotional challenges.
Check out our students enjoying their Outward Bound Wilderness Course on our Crew Expedition Blog.