Nearly 20 years ago, I had the great gift of meeting Scott McAndrews. In the years I knew him and as we grew to become close friends on our skis and as climbing partners, my fondness for Scott grew with each and every adventure.
Of all of his amazing traits, what I remember most is Scott’s generosity and love for people. The depth of his compassion was beyond measure and I still to this day attempt to live his example and measure myself against how he walked through the world. When instructing OB courses he used to say, “It’s OK to stumble as long as you stumble forward”-he tried to live this all his life. As we all do, Scott spent his early life searching for “a place to be.”
On April 6, 2006, the world changed for many of us when we lost one of the great ones. Scott died while ski patrolling on Mammoth Mountain. After decades of searching, he had found his place to be with Outward Bound and with the patrollers on Mammoth Mountain-in both cases among good people working in service and care for others. He did this exceptionally well and with incomparable joy and pride. I learned at his memorial that Scott regularly woke up early and bought newspapers and pastries which he left on door steps of his friend’s homes in Bishop before leaving for the morning shift. Routinely arriving before others, and before his shift, he would shovel a path into the patrol office so everyone else would have a clear path. He had just been voted Rookie of the Year by the Mammoth ski patrollers a few days before his death.
Before finding himself at Mammoth, for 10 years, Scott worked for Pacific Crest Outward Bound School as an instructor. He preferred to work with urban youth and young people dealing with major challenges in their growth to adulthood. He passionately believed that “We are better than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” Scott taught so many students and co-workers to become better versions of themselves. His impact on these students and all of us is indisputable.
As April 6, 2016 the tenth anniversary of Scott’s passing approaches. I find myself reflecting on the brief moment in my life I had the opportunity to see the world with Scott. Scott’s parents, Briggs and Isabelle, and I would like to raise a scholarship fund in Scott’s memory. I know this is what Scott would have liked as among my clearest memories of Scott’s generosity is him routinely giving an entire paycheck, or more, back to the school to fund a scholarship for students who could otherwise not afford a course. It is in this memory, his selflessness and his desire to always act on the behalf of others, that we create this endowment.
We have begun raising funds towards a $20,000 endowment that will provide $1,000 in assistance to a student in Scott’s memory annually. To ensure the success of this campaign, Briggs, Isabelle, and the McAndrews family has generously committed to match every dollar donated up to $10,000!
Our goal is to have this fund complete by April 6, 2016. Join Briggs, Isabelle, and me in ensuring Scott’s memory lives on at Outward Bound.
P.S. You can give online by going to www.nwobs.org/donate and designating your gift to the Scott McAndrew Memorial Fund. If you have any questions about making a gift, call or email Megan Buchholz at 503-946-3404 x5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org