Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Bill Elgie

Did you know: Kilimanjaro lies within the 756-square-kilometer Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone including tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone above timberline.

Our next profiled climber, Bill Elgie, is certainly looking forward to seeing the part and its sights. Learn more about Bill's journey here:


"Although I studied biochemistry at University, I have always known that I wanted to work in outdoor education.   From summer camp counselor to canoe tripper to field naturalist, I have always pursued jobs that helped me develop as an outdoor leader.   For me, working at Outward Bound was always my “dream job”.  From 1987 to 1993 (with some interruptions) I was lucky enough to work for Outward Bound as an instructor and course director here in Ontario and overseas in Australia, Wales and Scotland.  It’s been over 20 years since Leslie and I retired from OB to get “real jobs” and raise our 3 children, but in my mind, I am still an Outward Bound instructor.  

For the past 15 years I have worked for Upper Canada College as Director of their Outdoor Education Centre, “The Norval Outdoor School”, located on the Credit River near Georgetown, Ontario.  We live right on campus with a 450-acre forest as our back yard. It has been a great place to live and raise a family.  

This year my wife Leslie Hoyle and I are taking a deferred salary leave (sometimes called a 4 over 5) to try out new adventures and to revisit some of our old favourites.  We are avid canoeists, so many of our plans involve canoe trips, but we are open to all possibilities.  When Sarah told us there was the opportunity to join the Kilimanjaro 2015 expedition, we jumped at the chance to be part of such an awesome group, raise funds for valuable OB programs and to have the trip of a lifetime."

To support Bill in his journey, please consider giving to his personal giving page here.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Leslie Hoyle

Did you know: Kilimanjaro was first climbed on October 5, 1889 by German geologist Hans Meyer, Marangu scout Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo, and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller. After reaching the summit, Meyer later wrote that they gave “three ringing cheers, and in virtue of my right as its first discoverer christened this hitherto unknown—the loftiest spot in Africa and the German Empire—Kaiser Wilhelm’s Peak.”

She may not be the first, but our next profiles climber, Leslie Hoyle, will have a trek no less challenging or important.  Read more about Leslie's journey here:


"I was working as an outdoor education teacher when I met Bill. After we married, we worked for Outward Bound Australia, then travelled back to work for OB in Canada. Our next season we had a 6-week old baby in tow, so I became Logistics Coordinator at Homeplace.  Although I haven't worked for OB since 1993 those years have certainly affected my approach to life. 

I never thought I would leave Outdoor Ed but with three young children I eventually became a classroom teacher.  I am currently on a "4 over 5" year off from my job as a music teacher in a K to grade 5 school in Milton with the Halton District School Board. I am proud that after a lifetime of family canoe trips our older children, Cameron (age 21 at U of Guelph) and Evelyn (age 19 at Kings in Halifax), have both had summer jobs as canoe trip leaders.  Our youngest daughter Annie (age 13) is a jazz singer with a wicked cross-bow draw. My favourite hobbies are singing barbershop with the Circle of Harmony Chorus, sewing quilts and canoe tripping.

Sarah and I co-instructed a memorable OB course back in the day, and I am absolutely thrilled to be going on expedition with her again."

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Anne Fitzgerald

Did you know: Mount Meru, a 14,980-foot volcanic cone, lies 45 miles west of Kilimanjaro. It is an active volcano; has a snowcap; lies in Arusha National Park; and is often climbed as a training peak for Kilimanjaro.

Well she may not be training on Mount Meru, but our next profiled climber, Anne Fitzgerald, is certainly training away. Read more about Anne's journey here:


"I consider myself fortunate to currently serve on the Board of Directors of Outward Bound Canada ... and am honoured to undertake this challenging climb with the intent that I be able to help other people participate in the incredible programs offered by Outward Bound.  

By day, I now work as the Chief Legal Officer for Cineplex Inc. and I love my work, but I have a built-in desperate need to be in the outdoors.  As a youth from North Carolina, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Outward Bound program, which eventually led to participation in a number of OB schools in the US, eventually my undertaking work leading a youth leadership development expedition in Alaska.   My youth Outward Bound experiences were instrumental in my developing inner strength - and I am grateful for those experiences as I have had to draw upon that Outward Bound resilience many times in my adult life, both personally and professionally.  

While I am an outdoorsman at heart, I have been sitting at a desk for many years now and, admittedly, I'm a bit intimidated to be taking on Kilimanjaro at this stage in my life. I last climbed a mountain of any substance 25 years ago!  This challenge will undoubtedly bring back those feelings from when I was a teenager where I experienced the most formative learnings of my life.  And now through this Kilimanjaro fundraising expedition, I have opportunity to give back to this great program and ensure that people who are less fortunate than I was have this same opportunity!"

To support Anne in her journey, please consider giving to her and Ian's personal giving page here.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Ian Tuck

Did you know: The youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro is Keats Boyd, an American who trekked up Uhuru Peak at age 7. What's most interesting though is that he managed to dodge the 10-year-old minimum age limit!

Our next profiled climber, Ian Tuck, hopes to take-on the challenge of Kilimanjaro with the energy of a 7-year-old. Read more about Ian's journey here:


"I am President at NoGlobalBorders (a Logistics Software & Customs Brokerage company) by day, and President of Bon Vivant Spirits Agents by night. While I don’t have a long history of climbing intimidating mountains, and most of my contact with the wilderness has been through childhood viewings  of “Wild Kingdom” episodes (with Marlon Perkins, sponsored by Mutual of Omaha), I *was* a Beaver, Cub Scout and Boy Scout. That said, my wife Anne Fitzgerald (who is an experienced mountaineer and outdoorswoman) is on the board of Outward Bound, and I’m looking forward to sharing the experience of a multi-day trek with her, and chronicling via words and photos our trip up Kili.

Through [my wife] Anne Fitzgerald’s stories of her experiences with Outward Bound and my experience with the Toronto chapter of Outward Bound, I’ve seen how much of a difference the organization makes in people’s lives. It’s an honour to be participating in this climb to further the valuable work that they do."

To support Ian in his journey, please consider giving to his and Anne's personal giving page here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kili Team 2015: Richenda Crawford

Did you know: Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. The mountain was built by successive lava flows. Two of its three peaks—Mawenzi and Shira—are extinct while Kibo, the highest peak is dormant.

Unintimidated by Kilimanjaro's volcanic peaks, our next profiled climber is Richenda Crawford. Learn more about Richenda's journey here:




"20 years ago I was introduced to Outward Bound through an invitation to attend a focus group, which led to chairing the famous out of the box ‘In Town event’, joining the Board of Outward Bound Western Canada, and eventually becoming a very proud Alumna of the BC 21-day Adult Mountain Challenge in 2000.

While this was the most physically demanding venture of my life, it was also the most rewarding and left a lifelong impact. As I was on the Board at the time, I was looked upon by the two instructors as the most unlikely person in my patrol to accomplish this, and was probably only there to spy.  But I was strong mentally and completed the challenge, bare boobs and all, and still keep those memories close to my heart to get me through difficult times.

I continue to support Outward bound’s Women of Courage program, a cause I’m very committed to, as even within my own financial services practice I’ve too often witnessed the scars verbal abuse can leave, especially among women in their 70’s who are widowed or given no say in their financial matters, then left with no self-esteem to carry them forward.

While born with ballet slippers, I continue to challenge myself physically and mentally and keep plugging away one step at a time.  Sometimes a small step is all it takes. Whether that step takes you to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro or toward a less adventurous pursuit, your choice is to keep moving, at your own pace.  Or do nothing at all. 

Over the years I’ve continued to cultivate a passion for many outdoor activities and have been fortunate to have travelled the globe.  Though happy to call Vancouver home, the draw to the unbeaten paths found in the less developed parts of the world have particularly captured my heart.

And in that spirit, I am proud to be part of the 2015 Kili climb with Outward Bound Canada.  Go team go!"

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kili Team 2015: David Wong

Did you know: The oldest person to summit Kilimanjaro is 85-year-old Swiss-Canadian Martin Kafer who reached the top of Uhuru Peak in 2012, beating Richard Byerley who hiked to the summit in 2011 at age 84. Kafer’s incredible feat is also amazing because his wife Esther became the oldest women to climb Kilimanjaro at age 84. The couple are now duel record holders as the oldest man and oldest women to have successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Well he is certainly nowhere near the oldest climber, but it will still be a memorable experience for our next profiled climber, David Wong, none the less.  Read more about his journey here:


"To serve and strive and not to yield - I remember at the young age of 20 (hmm seems so long ago) those words made quite an impact on our very green outward bound group at the Keremeos Mtn School in BC.  Despite wanting to yield a few times the great guides and program inspired us to somehow dig deeper and to actually enjoy the outdoor mountain experience and the inner strength it developed.  The unique outdoor environment for building teamwork and compassion certainly started a lifelong love of the outdoors and of thinking beyond one's own needs. 

Soon after I ended up going into Family Medicine at UBC and I am now a family doctor doing locums in rural Alberta.  This has given me time to pursue my love of the outdoors both locally and overseas with trekking, mountaineering, canoeing and backcountry ski trips. I have been fortunate enough to volunteer at Alpine Club of Canada mountaineering camps as a camp doctor and to accompany good friends on outdoor trips up in the western and eastern Canadian Arctic as well as overseas in Ladakh,  the Andes and Himalayan mountain regions.

It has been great to start shifting into a giving back mode with some overseas work and supporting friends in their developing country medical health initiatives. Having received a bursary from outward bound to attend the Keremeos camp so many years ago it is fitting to return the support back towards the present excellent outward bound programs.  I am looking forward to a repeat great experience on Kilimanjaro with an enthusiastic team spearheaded by the passionate Sarah Wiley and her amazing crew."

To support David in his journey, please consider giving to his personal giving page here.