We launched our #InstagramTakeover series to highlight the incredible students, alumni, staff, and instructors who define us as an organization. Check out our first IG Takeover, Jack Copland – NWOBS Instructor & Course Director! See more IG Takeovers on our Instagram, @nwoutwardbound.
We’re looking for more staff and students to share your stories! If you want to take over our Instagram page, email email@example.com.
Hello Outward Bound friends & family. I’m Jack Copland, an Instructor & Course Director for NWOBS. I work for both our Washington and Oregon bases, but am mostly based in Mazama. I have worked for NWOBS since 2015 when I moved out to the Pacific North-West from Scotland. I’m really excited to be a part of the NWOBS Instagram Takeover and share a little about my life at Outward Bound with you all.
Working for NWOBS wasn’t my first exposure to Outward Bound though. I did two week-long multi-activity courses as a student. First in 1998 at OB Sabah (Borneo) and then again in 2001 at the very first OB base in Aberdovey, Wales. I’ve also been lucky enough to be a student and staff at another Kurt Hahn founded school; the United World College of South East Asia.
Check in tomorrow for an update on what I’m doing this week…
Besides working for Outward Bound, I’m trying to get out and rock climb as much as I can at the moment. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to be living at the Odin Falls basecamp right now, with its amazing and tantalizing view of Smith Rock, which has recently partially re-opened. I’ve been heading to the quieter areas to avoid any social distantancing rebels.
Recently I’ve been pushing my comfort zone (getting scared) on some crack climbing in the Lower Gorge, and exploring some new steep sport climbing areas (my forte). I’ve been rock climbing since 2007 and love how much it pushes me to challenge my confidence, courage and commitment. My favorite route this week has been: ‘Exit…Stage Left’ 5.11a, at a crag known as The Zoo.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a story about a service project I was inspired to be a part of thanks to my time at Outward Bound…
Service projects have always been an inspirational part of OB courses for me. Seeing a crew come together after everything they’ve been through to give their time and effort to help someone. This inspired me to combine my love for animals and travel, to give my time volunteering at @costaricaanimalrescuecenter for 3 weeks in January/February 2017. Check them out, I highly recommend visiting and giving your time too.
I got to build toys and ‘enrichment’ projects for the animals to play with, build new enclosures with more space, clean out enclosures whilst socialising with the animals, prepare fresh fruit twice daily to feed Sloths, Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Toucans, Pigs, Capuchins and Kinkajous (I’d never heard of them before either!) and hang out with people from all over the world.
The most challenging part of this was communication, as I don’t speak or understand any Spanish at all. It was interesting working on the construction of an Aviary with local Costa Rican’s who spoke no English, but somehow we had a lot of laughs and built something amazing together without sharing a single mutually understood word.
Tomorrow I’ll reveal my favourite Outward Bound course type, course area and technical objective to attempt with students…
I know I said today would be all about my favorite NWOBS Course type, but scrap that.
When this Takeover project began it was conceived as a way to reconnect with our incredible alumni. A way for staff and students to come together off course and share our stories.
So let me share a story with y’all. When my first post went live, I was anxious. Then the comments started coming in. I saw some of my former students reconnecting; “great, this is working” I thought. Then I saw the 4th comment: “It could be cool to be featuring black or POC staff right now…”
You are so right, SO RIGHT, I couldn’t agree more. But the truth is, there’s very little racial diversity amongst our staff & students and this is an issue. I ask myself, what can I do to help change that? My hope is that this project will help, in some small way, even if it’s just to highlight this point publicly, in order to hold accountability to learning and making changes for the better. We hold inclusion and diversity as values, but the reality of it is challenging and we are trying to do better.
I believe that to increase the diversity of our students, among many steps to take, one is that we need a more diverse staff team.
I mentioned in my first post that I was a student at the United World College of South-East Asia. The school provides education from kindergarten to high school with students from 85 different nationalities. One of my favorite days of the school year was United Nations day. Every nationality from the school would be represented through live performances, food stalls and workshops. The school has an amazing learning environment. You get to know people who look different than you, you learn from/with people with different life experiences, you grow alongside each other. I was proud to share my British culture, but equally proud to see and learn from others. This is my dream for the future of NWOBS staff and students.
I would be proud and honored to work alongside anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, heritage, gender, ability or sexual orientation. I want to be a part of the solution by addressing my own biases and continue creating pathways for POC at NWOBS.
I love climbing, if you hadn’t already guessed. But recently I’ve been examining my privilege within the climbing community and realised that I get inspired to push myself and try harder climbs, a lot of the time, through the icons I see in climbing films. Alex Honnald, Brad Gobright, Dean Potter, Hazel Findlay, have all at some point inspired me through the incredible things they have done and captured on film. I’m privileged, because all of my climbing heroes look like me. So I donated to the Titan Project through @melaninbasecamp.
Melanin Base Camp is partnering with Mountain Equipment Co-op & Marmot to produce a short film about Sabrina Chapman. She’s a black Canadian climbing prodigy on a mission to complete her first 5.14a.
‘Sabrina is a first generation Canadian who didn’t start climbing until she was 26-years-old. She regularly sends 5.13a/b and she’s one of a handful of black women in the world who are attempting elite grades. Haven’t heard of her? Don’t worry, we’re trying to change that.’
If you’ve been inspired to climb harder, or just climb at all, because of inspirations in the media that are representative of your race, then please consider donating so that more people can have that same experience
Thanks for joining me on this NWOBS Instagram Takeover adventure! If you want to take over our Instagram page next then email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking for staff and students to share your stories.
“Hell of a Takeover”