My child uses doctor prescribed medication. Should the medication be brought on the trip?
Yes, medication prescribed by a doctor (except marijuana for medical use) should be brought and presented to an OBA supervisor. Your child’s assigned supervisor will be there to ensure that medication is taken on a timely basis.
We don’t have any backpacking equipment. How can my child go with OBA?
OBA will provide all of the equipment needed to go camping, including tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, cooking gear; personal items including boots and warm clothing; transportation; food; and adult supervision.
Who cooks and washes dishes in the out of doors?
Everyone. Sharing in responsibility is an important component of teambuilding and community building. Whether in the backcountry or camping in local mountains, deserts or beaches we are responsible for taking care of ourselves and that means everyone participates in maintaining the group and keeping group and personal items ready to go after meals.
What about cell phones, IPod and electronic games?
As this is a special opportunity to learn about and experience the natural environment, we want our participants to give their complete attention and leave behind those elements that may distract from their learning experience. For that reason, we do not allow the use of cell phones, music devices or games on our trips. We do understand that cell phones are now the principal means of photography for most of our youth. Therefore, they are allowed for taking photos, but we asked that they not be used for communication or play.
Can I bring a knife?
For safety reason, we do not permit participants to bring knives on trips.
My child has food allergies and/or food restrictions. How will you accommodate the dietary needs of a group?
As part of our medical screening process we check to see what the food requirements are for each participant. We realize there may be restrictions due to personal choices (vegan, vegetarian, choose not to eat certain foods), religion, and allergies and for other reasons. We will accommodate all food needs and provide sufficient alternate healthy choices.
Do I need to buy clothes or special camping items for my child?
No. We ask that anyone participating on an OBA trip wear and pack old clothing. Check with OBA for items such as water bottles, warm jackets and cooler clothing, boots, eating gear as we can supply all of these.
My child is not in the best of physical shape. Will they be able to complete an OBA activity?
As long as your child is of normal healthy mental and physical shape, he or she will be able to complete our activities. We do everything we can to ensure that all of the youth or families on a trip make it to the peak or point of interest as a group. While the majority of our excursions do have a physical challenge component, not all will and some will focus on the study of or participation in a limited area.
Do you accept equipment donations?
Yes we do. However, we ask that you consider the quality of the donation. OBA has some of the best camping equipment around. Our youth and families deserve the best and this philosophy carries through with everything we do. Therefore, for any equipment donated, we want to ensure that the quality of the donated equipment matches that of the equipment we lend our hikers.
Do you conduct programs outside of Los Angeles County?
OBA goes where it is needed. While Los Angeles County is home and where the majority of our assets are employed, we have conducted programs as far away as Las Vegas and have had individuals participate in programs in other states.
How can I make a donation to OBA?
The two key ways to donate to OBA are to use our website “DONATE” page to make a secured Internet-based donation or to send a check or money order, with your name and address so that we can send you a donation receipt to:
Outward Bound Adventures
Box 202, Pasadena
Must kids or families provide their own equipment?
No, and that is one of many key elements that separate OBA from other outdoor agencies. We are one of a handful of agencies capable of providing everything that is needed to get into the out of doors – the best of camping equipment (backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, boots, even warm clothes), transportation (we have our own vans), trained adult supervision, life changing programs and healthy food.
OBA has a diverse leadership team. Where do you get your trip staff?
One of OBA’s core strengths is its ability to find qualified staff that reflects the backgrounds of the youth we serve. Our instructors are comprised of volunteer and others who have an interest or significant experience in the out of doors, teaching, mentoring youth or simply have a desire to get involved in their community. We recruit through local community agencies, word of mouth, existing staff, board members, personal contacts and on college campuses. We look for individuals who reflect the audience that we serve.
Safety is important to me. Will my child or family be safe with OBA?
Safety is of significant importance to OBA. That is why among outdoor agencies, OBA has one of the most enviable safety record around. We train our staff to safely manage trips and risk and place strict requirements regarding where staff can take youth and families and the activities they can do. For those who drive for us (they must be over the age of 25) we regularly monitor driving records, tickets and accidents. Staff must pass the FBI background check before working for OBA.
What formal training does your staff receive?
Regardless of personal levels of outdoor experience our staff received prior to joining OBA, we still train all in our own regime. OBA has a five-month training programs to ensure all staff, regardless of skill, are adequately prepared for our trips. We train our staff in Wilderness Advance First Aid and evacuation procedures, trip management, safety and risk management, discipline, equipment management, eco-literacy, leadership, understanding self and more.
What must someone know in order to become an OBA instructor?
All that we ask is that they have a sincere interest in what we do and the physical and mental capacity to accomplish it. From there, we will train staff.
Are you part of the national Outward Bound program?
No, we are not. However, for two of our more than 50-year existence we were the Los Angeles affiliate of Outward Bound. We chose to return again to being Outward Bound Adventures, an independent organization, after the two-year period had ended. OBA and the national Outward Bound share the same name only. The British Navy originated the name during World War II. It was first used for their survival program designed to mentally and physically toughen and prepare sailors for the possibility that their ship might be destroyed by the enemy and they might be left at sea for days before rescue.
Who funds OBA?
OBA’s principal sources of funding include federal grants primarily through the national land management agencies, contracts with small and large community agencies for specific programs for their participants, foundation grants, corporate grants and personal donations.