Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Jill Wagman

Did you know: Kilimanjaro is not a peak you can climb on your own. It is mandatory to climb with a licensed guide and have porters carry your equipment. This sustains the local economy and allows local people to reap the rewards of tourism.

Jill Wagman will be one of our climbers who gets to climb with our excellent team of guides this January.  Read more about Jill and her journey here:


"Growing up in Toronto as an only child of mature parents, I had little exposure to the outdoors, with the exception of summer camp, which was my favorite part of the year. As a teen and young adult, I embraced camping and learned my true love for the peace and inner strength the outdoors gave to me.

A few years after graduating university, I joined Eckler Ltd., an actuarial consulting firm. In 2000, I became an owner of the firm and, in 2012, I was appointed the firm's Managing Principal. Despite the long hours, tremendous challenges and being tied to a desk for days on end, I love my job. But as time passes, I recognize that I need to do more for myself and my community. I want to make an impact by either influencing or helping people, while challenging myself in ways that I never have.

When I was invited to climb Kilimanjaro with Outward Bound I realized it was the perfect opportunity for me to test my strength (inner and outer). I believe that climbing Kilimanjaro will develop me in ways I still can't fully comprehend, while enabling me to support an organization dedicated to positively transforming individuals by helping them find their own inner strength.

As our adventure draws near, I am extremely excited (and a bit nervous) for the experiences that lay ahead. I look forward to developing new friendships, learning new things and hopefully accomplishing something I never would have dreamed I could do!

I am absolutely delighted to be joining the 2015 Kilimanjaro team. I look forward to the shared adventure, meeting each unique personality and the Outward Bound journey that awaits in January 2015."

To support Jill in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Jo Hoffman

Did you know: Kilimanjaro has 2.2 square kilometers of glacial ice and is losing it quickly due to global warming. The glaciers have shrunk 82% since 1912 and declined 33% since 1989. It may be ice free within 20 years, dramatically affecting local drinking water, crop irrigation, and hydroelectric power.

While that is certainly a concerning environmental issue, one woman who will be able witness this issue first-hand is Jo Hoffman.  Jo is also part of the 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro team.  You can learn more about her journey here:


"I am a "Fifty Something" Mother of two boys aged 19 and 17 and partner of Pippa for 29 years (but who's counting).  We live in Langley, British Columbia on 5 acres with 2 horses, one standard poodle, one cat and 3 goldfish.  I am a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice. The focus of my work is using 'talk therapy' to help people, most of whom are having troubles related to past traumas.

When I first read the promo material from about the Kilimanjaro climb my first thought was that my eldest son Aidan, who had spent two summers on Outward Bound programs would love to have a chance some day to climb Kili. But then, another  thought,  a far more dangerous thought came to mind,  "Why not me?"  "Why not now?"  I gave it some thought. There seemed to be lots of good reasons for it to be me, and for it to be now. But mostly, I heard the Knock of Opportunity. And as ususal, it seemed to me to be a good idea to answer. 

But then there was the fund raising.  Yikes! The effort involved in preparing to climb a mountain is one thing, but fund raising, that's a whole other level of challenge. Once I managed to calm the anxiety caused by the thought of shy old me having to ask people for money, I saw the importance of the fund raising component.

I have first hand experience with how outdoor leadship experiences can change lives.  As a young adult I led canoe trips for youths, both for 'Junior Rangers' in Northern Ontario and for troubled youths who lived in a facility in Edmonton.  As was true with my own son, you could see them  flourish  in the ability to take responsibility for themselves and to care about the well being of others. As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, I have no doubt of the benefits for survivors of trauma.  At this point in my life, I'd like to do what I can to enable others to experience these benefits through Outward Bound's scholarship program. 

So its really a win-win all round.  I get the chance to challenge myself in a whole new way (both mountain climbing and fund raising) and I have a chance to 'pay forward' all the opportunities I've been fortunate enough to have.

So here's to challenges, in what ever form they appear!  Its a chance to live out of the best parts of ourselves! "

To support Jo in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Sharlene Weitzman

Did you know: At 5895 metres (19,341 feet) tall, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world (rather than being part of a mountain range).

Well that fact doesn't intimidate the first of our Kili climbers to be profiled! Sharlene Weitzman has started her fundraising and is preparing to take-on Kili as we speak. To learn more about her, here's a little more on Sharlene:




"When I told my seven year old son I was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro he made me promise I would go with him again when his “lungs are big enough”. Hello Kilimanjaro 2025. Until then, I’m focused on reaching the summit in 2015, talking to my maker and embracing the second half of my life from the top of the world. 

I was born to advocate for children. I am currently the Chief Operating Officer of Bayfield Treatment Centers a multi-disciplinary mental health treatment centre for the most complex young people from across Canada. In my role as a social worker over the past twenty years I have recommended Outward Bound too many of the young people I have worked with and their participation in the program has always been life altering. Now it’s my turn. 

 When I was seventeen I climbed Mount Tateyama in Japan. At 40 I climbed down Mount Etna in Italy. At 47, Kilimanjaro here I come!! 

I am thrilled to challenge myself: physically, emotionally and spiritually and to share the experience with a group of new friends’. I’m particularly pleased to be undertaking this adventure with my dear friend Jill Wagman all under the auspices of Outward Bound."

To support Sharlene in her journey, please consider giving to her personal giving page here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2015 Outward Bound Canada:
Mt. Kilimanjaro Fundraising Expedition


From January 11th to 22nd, 2015, 10 climbers and 2 Outward Bound instructors will be in Tanzania, attempting to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent at 5895m.

However, this team’s challenge began months ago with they each individually committed to physically and mentally preparing for the climb and raising funds for Outward Bound Canada’s “Core Funded Programs” for women survivors of violence, Veterans, Aboriginal youth and inner city youth.  Our goal as a team is to raise $50,000 for these programs so that more individuals representing these populations can experience Outward Bound.

Over the next several weeks we will be profiling each of our 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro climbers so you can learn more about them and their incredible efforts.

Please Join Us in reaching our goal by making a donation to the
2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb and clicking on the “Canada Helps” icon below:


You can make a general donation to the climb or dedicate it specifically to one of the climbers.