We are proud to present our 2021 recipient of the Kurt Hahn Award, a recognition of those who exemplify outstanding service to our mission, named in honor of Outward Bound’s founder. James “Jamie” McLane has selflessly demonstrated the values and ideals of Kurt Hahn–an enterprising curiosity, undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, sensible self-denial, and compassion–in his four plus decades with Outward Bound. Seeking ways to give back to the organization since his very first excursion with us, a multi-day rafting trip on the Yampa and Green Rivers in Colorado back in 1976, Jamie truly deserves this honor.
His Outward Bound experiences taught him many valuable skills enabling him to harness his full potential by venturing beyond his comfort zone. Drawing inspiration from these courses, Jamie sought ways to give back and joined the OBUSA board in 1979, serving as Chair from 1992-1996. He continued to serve on the Advisory Board in 1999 and has contributed to the growth, stability, and education of the Outward Bound school in many different ways in the past 20-plus years.
Jamie helped organize and lead the Philadelphia Outward Bound School’s first Urban Invitational Expedition, which entailed feeding the homeless, sleeping in a church classroom, camping in Valley Forge and several emotional and physical challenges to strengthen students' character. He has patiently led participants through challenges, and our Outward Bound network through changes, during his nine years as co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Outward Bound Executive Committee and time on the Project Leadership Council. With a personal commitment, Jamie, his wife and their three sons, have constructed, established and engineered the McLane Family challenge course, which is used by thousands of students each year.
The McLanes uphold Outward Bound principles in every aspect of their lives and have demonstrated resilience, perseverance and commitment to fostering environments of belonging and inclusion to better the community. We are so proud to honor Jamie for, as a former NCOBS Executive Director phrased it, “always keeping the Outward Bound compass pointing to True North.”