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We asked Course Instructor and NYC Outward Bound Schools alumnus Shannon Gilmore to reflect on his work instructing our students.  He responded to our questions with an inspiring poem, which we’re sharing in full below.

(Brooklyn to Adirondacks)

A poem by Course Instructor Shannon Gilmore

Grind with Me, climb with me, seek with me,
Put on your hiking boots walk to the peak with me.
A few challenges never alter the destination,
We struggle and strive together the Journey amazing.

It’s like a puzzle the woods consist of a million pieces.
Ponds, swamps, lakes a million leeches.
A myriad of mosquitoes will cause extreme discomfort,
However we learn to adapt, embrace our fears and conquer.

We really cared for each other,
Would shed a tear for each other,
We disagreed and we made up,
Like any sister and brother.

At times we failed and rebelled,
Neglected lessons instilled,
What’s the purpose of courage,
Tenacity and strong will?

Instructors didn’t lose hope, Encouraged us to move on,
After we sink to rock bottom,
Champion mindsets were born.

6 weeks of blood, sweat and tears.
6 weeks of bugs, thirst and fears.
We made it six weeks complete,
Came home to hugs, love and cheers.

More than 20 years later,
A proud employee I mention, Transforming lives is an honor,
Positive change is the mission.

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