As of now, the school will not foot the $650 bill to send twelve kids on the Outward Bound peer leadership course. It will be the first time in over a decade that the school didn't pay for it. I'm pissed off about it, and am left with a few dilemmas. First off, I could ask the kids to pay for it. It would be about 60 bucks each, and that's a pretty good deal for five days in the mountains on a peer leadership course. However, I recruit kids for this trip. I tend to aim it at a mix of at-risk kids who need it with kids who don't so much need the trip as want the trip. There have been so many kids in the last five years that have been changed by this trip, I'm sure of it. The College Advising Office called me down this year to tell me about how many current seniors are writing their college essays about their Outward Trip. Kids like "Bobby." There is no chance Bobby would have gone in the 9th grade if his family would have had to foot the bill for 60 bucks. How could I ask them to do that when they couldn't even keep their lights on?
There are tons of "Bobby"'s this year as well, kids who are 9th graders who need a kick in the ass, who need some confidence and some ways to bust out of their comfort zones. On the other hand, there are a bunch of better-off kids who want to go on the trip. These kids could probably afford the $60. But that goes against what this program has always been about - namely, a nice mix of kids, some who really need it, and some who really just want to go.
I'm not sure what I'll do. I e-mailed the Outward Bound woman today and told that even though we've been denied funding, that we're doing the trip no matter what. I told her I'd foot the bill for the $650 if nothing else. (That would suck, by the way. But I think I could probably swing most of it since it's worth it.)
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