2014: Year in Review
December 31st, 2014–
A letter from Executive Director Peter O’Neil:
We are sprinting towards the New Year at the Colorado Outward Bound School. Our last course came out of the field the week of Christmas and our first 2015 course, a full patrol, entered the field for a ski and ride course on December 28.
2014 was another successful year for COBS. We served more than 2,600 students, an increase from 1,700 in 2013, and we consistently ran full patrols of students with wait-lists on many courses. Combined with this spectacular growth, we also found ourselves connecting better with students and families. On our semester courses, even the Denver office has found itself host to potlucks as students transition from the Rockies to Ecuador or to Alaska. Seeing parents fly in from across the U.S. to join us is a wonderful reminder that our mission, and the work that we do in the field, resonates deeply with families.
COBS is back on the map, and we’re so thankful to everyone for believing in us and investing in our mission. 2014 reunited us with our legacy basecamp in Marble. So many donors came forward to help us raise more than $400,000 to make this possible. We are making great progress with the renovation and redesign of our Leadville Mountain Center, a multiyear project that will total over $1.76 million. And our potential for program growth in our Southwest Program, based out of Moab, is significant. In February, COBS purchased a piece of property just south of town to develop a permanent operations hub in Utah. This ranch property will house our administrative offices, warehouse and logistics gear, vehicles, and eventually staff housing. Phase I of the project is underway and in March of 2015, we move in!
For the Colorado Outward Bound School, 2014 also marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. We are saddened by the passing of Chuck Froelicher, the visionary who saw in 1961 what COBS could be, and worked to build it into the phenomenal educational institution it is today. We are moving forward with more momentum than ever with amazing growth and much excitement in Leadville, Moab, and now Marble. From our field staff and admins to our board of directors and our donors across the U.S., these very committed groups of individuals are helping to advance this organization in a wonderful direction, step by step, towards the summit. I am so humbled to be a part of this tremendous team, and excited for what the New Year will bring.
With much gratitude,
Peter A. O’Neil
photo by Steve Creech