OBA serves to advance cultural, class and ethnic diversity and ensure equal access and opportunity for all to enjoy and learn in the wilderness and engage in nature-based recreation, volunteer service and employment all while creating opportunities for long-term involvement leading to the ability to progress to the staff level and continue with OBA as a mentor.
Now the Executive Director of OBA, Charles is committed to this community and he is committed to the environmental and agricultural awakening of todays and tomorrows youth in Pasadena.
Outward Bound Adventures (OBA) has been serving Pasadena since 1962 and they have taken over 18,000 urban youths on outdoor experiences.
This story touches home for me, because I was directly affected by OBA. As an eleven year old youth whose parents had just gotten a divorce, I was rebellious and my mother told me I was going to camp one weekend. I went on an excursion with total strangers of multiple ethnic make-ups and I came home a different young man. I ended up going to three camps with OBA and that was when I was introduced to Charles Thomas. It took me a while after our interview with him to remember just who he was, but he was there at a camp as one of the counselors.
Charles Thomas has been involved with OBA since 1968, when he was a youth going through some things in Pasadena.
Stewardship and Community: Educating youth on the value of being land stewards and the importance of giving back while providing the tools to implement what they learn in their community.
Outdoor Careers and Practical Work Experience: Expose youth to environmental and outdoor careers that they would otherwise have never considered and provide practical paid and volunteer work experience that would place them a step up above job competitors.
All things you should want instilled in your child. If you haven't thought about it or you didn't know about it, please consider getting your child involved in Outward Bound Adventures.
Relying upon their history and experience, OBA has distilled its programs elements into five key areas that are the most successful at affecting turn around behavior in youth and families. These five areas comprise:
Teambuilding and Leadership: Challenging youth with problem-solving initiatives and fun activities designed build community and interchange among participants and replaces competition with cooperation.
Physical Challenge and Health: Providing youth with physical and mental challenges and the tools to overcome perceived obstacles while creating an opportunity for youth to escape a sedentary lifestyle.
By Dennis Haywood
OBA serves such a good cause and that is simply to educate and to serve underserved urban and low-income populations and their families by providing meaningful and educational contact with nature that results in a greater appreciation of wilderness, self, family and community.
Charles is the son of diversity, coming from a Japanese mother and African-American father. OBA helped him deal with issues he had by being reared from such a unique ethnic background.
OBA has designed a program called The Diverse Outdoor Leadership Institute (DOLI): a unique training program in collaboration with federal agencies designed to develop and train a cadre of elite wilderness leaders of color that will expose urban youth to our national parks, forests and other wilderness areas.