CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Dear Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School community, 

For the remainder of 2020, Outward Bound in the United States will offer limited programming that meets strict pandemic response requirements established by OBUSA in coordination with regional Outward Bound Schools and aligned with the regulations and public health guidance at local, state and federal levels.

In light of the numerous and significant challenges of managing the threat of COVID-19 to students, staff and our communities, Outward Bound summer programs will be significantly reduced.

This decision has unique implications for each regional Outward Bound School. We acknowledge and empathize with those shouldering the impacts and repercussions: our Schools, our staff, our communities and our organization as a whole. There will be reductions in operations and students served, community impact and likely further reductions in staff. We make this decision together, knowing it is the right thing to do and with the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of those affected.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic is the very definition of uncertainty in the face of significant challenge. While a great deal remains unknown about the virus itself and how communities across the country will continue to be impacted and respond, what is abundantly clear is that it has never been more important for Outward Bound to demonstrate leadership in assessing, mitigating and managing risk.

Outward Bound is ideally positioned with teaching locations in diverse and remote areas across the U.S. and a range of program types where the number of students, days in the field, types of activities can vary widely. With the guidance of Outward Bound USA Safety and Risk Committees, working in partnership with Outward Bound Schools, those courses, activities and locations that meet or exceed a risk management threshold will be offered.

Dear Parents and Students,

I am writing to share a decision we’ve made regarding courses for this summer. We initially held hope that regional guidelines and our ability to appropriately mitigate risk would allow us to run our July and August courses. After reviewing all the factors, we have determined that we must cancel these courses at the Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School.

All Outward Bound schools have made this decision for all nationally advertised Open Enrollment July and August courses. Nationally, for the remainder of 2020, Outward Bound in the United States will offer limited programming that meets strict pandemic response requirements established by OBUSA in coordination with regional Outward Bound Schools and aligned with the regulations and public health guidance at local, state and federal levels.

In light of the numerous and significant challenges of managing the threat of COVID-19 to students, staff and our communities, Outward Bound summer programs will be significantly reduced.

This decision has unique implications for each regional Outward Bound School. We acknowledge and empathize with those shouldering the impacts and repercussions: our schools, our staff, our communities and our organization as a whole. There will be reductions in operations and students served, community impact and likely further reductions in staff. We make this decision together, knowing it is the right thing to do and with the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of those affected.

Regionally, based on local circumstances, Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School cannot move forward with summer programming. This was an extremely challenging decision to come to, we’re disappointed and know you may be as well. We appreciate all you’ve done in partnership with our admissions team to stay the “course”. With safety at the forefront of our minds, and without greater certainty around travel, access to our course areas, and state by state restrictions, I am confident this decision is the appropriate one for our school.

We can provide any of the following choices regarding deposits or tuition payments you may have already made. Your admissions advisor will work with you on one of the following options:

  1. A full refund of your deposit / tuition paid to date to be issued as soon as possible but no later than June 30th.
  2. A fully transferable CBOBS credit usable through August 2021.
  3. A tax-deductible donation of all or part of your payment.

We are committed to being here for the long run to serve our students. Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School is an educational not-for-profit organization. We are resilient and tenacious (it is what we teach, after all!) and while we are uncertain about the depth of impact the pandemic will have on our organization, rest assured our crew has every intention of being here to serve you in the summer of 2021.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, as we strive to live our values with strength and compassion.

Sincerely,

 

 

Chief Operations Officer
Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School

To our staff, we are humbled and inspired each day by your dedication and passion for the values and positive impacts of Outward Bound. With the changes to our programs this year, we recognize that there will likely be downsizing across the Outward Bound network. Each of our Schools has rushed to secure critical loans and funding to keep as many staff employed as possible. We are so grateful for each and every one of you who have given so much as a part of our organization.

Outward Bound is a community, and our community events are also impacted. Currently all gatherings and events are cancelled or postponed; many have been re-created as virtual, online events. This precaution includes all Staff, Alumni and Fundraising events, and is in alignment with CDC guidance.

In our workplaces, we have eliminated in-person meetings and non-essential travel in favor of online or teleconference meetings. We are following the guidelines set by local governments and school districts and requiring all employees to work from home.

COVID-19 is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. We will continue to monitor the situation and take proactive steps in support of the national and local efforts to slow the spread of this disease and to reduce the risk of significant impacts to our future students, our staff and our communities.

For reliable information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the resources below:

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

World Health Organization (WHO) 

The Outward Bound Community is resilient. We will continue to tap into our values, our strengths and lean on one another, with compassion, in the coming weeks and months. We will face this challenge as we teach our students to approach the unknown, with careful assessment, preparation, courage and commitment to the goal and to each other’s success. We are incredibly grateful for your understanding and support.

Additional updates and information may be found on Outward Bound USA's website here


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our team, along with leadership from across the Outward Bound network, is working to provide answers to your frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19. The FAQs below will help you understand what we're doing on course from a safety perspective. Other questions regarding cancellation can be found on Outward Bound USA's website here.

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