Springside Chestnut Hill Academy has been a longtime partner of the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS), sending hundreds of students on expeditions since 2010.
This past Friday, the organization celebrated its 30th birthday with tributes to its three founders. A delegation from SCH—POBS trustee, program champion, and Head of Upper School Matt Norcini, Head of School Dr. Dinkins and his wife, Davirah, and senior Grace Hannigan—was part of the festivities.
Grace, who first learned about Outward Bound when she was 11, is a five-time (!) Outward Bound alumna and was invited to share her remarks and to personally thank the founders: former Mayor Michael Nutter, Nancy Goldenberg, and Tim Greenwood '68 (CHA alumnus, SCH parent, and grandparent). Her voice speaks volumes about the importance of the program and certainly sheds light on why we, at SCH, are so proud to make experiences like hers available to our students.
"I'm just one of over 75,000 students that have had their lives impacted by their experiences with the amazing team and people here. When I first found out about Outward Bound, I think I was 10 or 11. I knew immediately that it was something that I wanted to become involved with, and I was so excited to go on my first expedition.
Since then I've been on five different trips, and I've learned so much about myself. I've learned to push myself past my boundaries. I have learned to be comfortable just sitting and thinking by myself, not having to worry about phones or social media. I've learned to become a leader and make my voice heard, knowing that what I say is important and that I just need to be myself.
These experiences have meant so much to me. I carry all of the lessons that I've learned with me every day in my life and I will continue to use them throughout college and hopefully all my adult life. And so, I speak for myself and so many others and say, thank you all so much."
Since partnering with Outward Bound, more than 1,000 SCH students have been on an expedition. SCH currently has opportunities for students in grades 9-12 to go on 9th-grade, Youth Leadership, and Senior Mentorship expeditions. Outward Bound’s learning approach, one that “emphasizes high achievement through active learning, character development, and teamwork,” is an excellent complement to our existing orientation, advisory, and sports programs. The positive group culture these expeditions instill emphasizes compassion, integrity, excellence, and inclusion—the same values we find in every SCH classroom.
[Top Image: From left: Grace Hannigan, co-founders Nancy Goldenberg, Tim Greenwood '68 (CHA alumnus, SCH parent, and grandparent), and former Mayor Michael Nutter.]