COLORADO OUTWARD BOUND SCHOOL RECORDS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Denver Public Library is the official repository for the records of the Colorado Outward Bound School. The collection contains papers from 1961 to 2000. It documents the growth of the organization, the development of courses, and the expansion of the program to serve new groups of persons. It contains the Board of Trustees and Directors meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence. Annual and financial reports, fundraising, marketing, and course development material, are also included.
The bulk of records were generated by the organizations' fundraising activities. The staff realized student tuition alone would not be adequate to meet the needs of the organization, plus many students who would benefit from the program would not be able to meet the financial commitment. A development department was instituted and programs were created to secure funding through capital and endowment campaigns, and grant programs and alumni giving. The collection contains numerous grant applications and reports. Scholarship programs were of particular importance, so the students were encouraged to write their sponsors a description of what the program had meant to them. Many of these letters are also included in the collection.
The occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Colorado program was used for a major endowment campaign. It culminated in a visit by Prince Philip who attended a rock climbing demonstration and a dinner where he was the recipient of the Kurt Hahn award. The award is given by the national office to honor persons who have made outstanding contributions to the Outward Bound programs. Prince Philip had attended Kurt Hahn’s preparatory school in Gordonstoun, Scotland, which led to a long acquaintance with him. Prince Philip served as President of the Outward Bound Trust in England. The collection contains documentation of the extensive preparations for this celebration.
Program development and evaluation materials are included. Staff evaluations and grant reports describe the successes and failures of many of the programs. The Denver Youth Leadership program evaluations include student academic records and testing, using the Jernstedt Impact Scale. This confidential material is restricted and has been sealed until 2075. The collection also documents the expansion of the program, from courses targeted to individual young men, to experiential learning programs within the tradition school environment or serving non-tradition groups such as corporate executives. Programs were also developed for very specific groups such as youth at high-risk for delinquency, persons in rehabilitation programs for alcohol or drug dependence, and victims of violence.
While the group dynamics had always been a part of the Outward Bound experience, broader group and cultural issues were more directly addressed through some very specific programs. An example of this is the attempt to influence the growing racial tensions at East High School in Denver by providing an Outward Bound experience for selected students. Others programs deliberately combined youth who had come into the judicial system and were considered high risk for failure, with students from more traditional backgrounds. A program with the Greeley High School aimed to prevent students from dropping out of school.
A small amount of material from Outward Bound USA and other Outward Bound schools is included such as brochures and newsletters from the Hurricane Island, Pacific Crest, and Thompson Island schools. A ten-year history of the Dartmouth program and a copy of the trustee's handbook from the Voyageur school are included. Material from programs in Australia and Wales is also present.
The movies and videos in the collection are primarily marketing films and news footage, however, the film, Journey to the Outer Limits was produced by the National Geographic Society.
This small series consists of general correspondence, facilities information, staff newsletters, training material, long range planning documents and several safety reports. It reflects the basic ongoing administrative work of the organization. The annual financial reports and audit statements from 1961 through 1997 (except 1965) are included in this series
Board of Trustees and Executive Committee members list, correspondence and meeting minutes comprise this second series. The Colorado Outward Bound School annual report and the Director’s annual report to the Trustees are included.
This material relates primarily to the Development Department and fundraising activities. It includes capital and endowment campaigns, grant requests, fundraising events, marketing, and the development of scholarship funds. It also includes reports from the Ice Axe Club, an organization of special contributors to the school.
The Colorado Outward Bound School 25th Anniversary was celebrated with several events, including a major fundraising dinner in 1986, and a visit by Prince Phillip, in 1987, to receive the Kurt Hahn Award. The series contains material from the detailed planning of these events.
There is a large volume of material on the urban programs, a series of courses designed to give youth at risk an alternative learning experience beyond the classroom. The series also contains records on the Denver Youth Leadership program that is based on the experiential learning model. Since many of the youth programs were supported by scholarship funds, the series contains files about awarding, evaluating, and promoting these scholarships. Student records and testing material are restricted until the year 2075.
The adult programs series consists of catalogs, promotional brochures, course syllabus, and program evaluation material. Also included are publications for Colorado Outward Bound School alumni and staff. The reference material contains articles on the underlying theoretical basis of Outward Bound programs and on the principles of organizational management and development.
Annual reports of others schools, trustee handbooks, development activities, programs and publications comprise this small series.
The oversize material consists of mailing lists of Alumni and promotional posters.
The promotional videocassettes comprise advertisements of the courses offered by Colorado Outward Bound School, and document the television coverage of its activities, such as Prince Philip's visit to Colorado in 1987.
The collection is open for research. Box 16 is restricted until 2075.
Literary rights and copyrights have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Outward bound is a nautical expression referring to the moment a ship leaves its moorings, committing itself and its crew to the unknown hazards of the open sea. The term was adopted by educator Kurt Hahn for the courses he developed in response to a request by Sir Lawrence Holt. Holt, owner of the Blue Funnel shipping line, was concerned about the large number of seamen on torpedoed merchant vessels who were dying, especially the younger seamen who were less likely to survive than older seamen. Hahn believed that a lack of confidence, rather than a shortage of skill or equipment, was responsible. He set about developing a program of progressively challenging opportunities for success to build their confidence. After running several short courses, he opened his first Outward Bound School in Aberdovey, Wales, in 1941.
After the war, maintaining the focus on developing individual self-confidence, the Outward Bound program continued to thrive and grow. The Colorado Outward Bound School was founded in 1961 based on Hahn’s principles. It was through the efforts of William K. Coors, Charles C. Gates, Ruth H. Brown, John B. Tweedy, William C. Dabney, Joshua L. Miner and F. Charles Froelicher that money was raised and land purchased. A base-camp near Marble, Colorado was constructed and staff hired. The first executive director was William Chapman, 1961-1963. He was followed by Joe Nold, 1963-1973, Gary Templin, 1973-1980, Jerry Golins, 1980-1985, Mark E. Udall, 1985-1995, and Bruce Fitch, 1995-
Courses were initially offered only to young men age 16 and over. Before long, they were expanded and offered to young women. Adult and co-ed courses were added in 1969, and courses for special groups began in 1970. New programs for professional development and youth leadership were added in the 1980s. The courses are set in wilderness areas and are designed to "enhance individual character, promote self-discovery, and challenge students to cultivate self-reliance, leadership, fitness, compassion, and service through exceptional wilderness education" (Outward Bound West website).
In 2003, the Colorado and Pacific Crest Outward Bound Schools merged to become Outward Bound West.
27 boxes (27 linear feet)
1 oversize box
1 oversize folder
3 photo boxes
1 photo folio
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
The Colorado Outward Bound School donated their papers in 1998. The collection remains open for additional material.
The photographs from this collection have been transferred to the Western History/Genealogy Department Photograph Collection. Primarily black and white, the images date from 1971 to 1991 and document the activities of students and staff, such as hiking, rafting, rock climbing, and camping. Many of the prints appear to have been used in publications illustrating courses and activities of the School. The slides taken by Joe Nold document the Outward Bound Executive Expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in 1974, and an expedition to Escalante Canyon in Utah in 1976. An album containing prints from the Mount Kilimanjaro trip, and a second album from a 1970 Executive Expedition on the Green River have also been transferred.
Number of Boxes: 27
Oversize: 1 OV Box; 1 OV Folder
REVISED AND ENCODED BY:
- COLORADO OUTWARD BOUND SCHOOL RECORDS
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