Reflections from GOAL with Instructor Kelly Reynolds

Greetings from the GOAL (Get Out And Lead) course!

We had a diverse and fantastic group of 12 scholarship students from across Maryland this year. I was impressed with the engagement and mindset of each one, and valued the fact that they each brought a very different perspective and story to our course. From private schools and foster care, from Nepal and Baltimore City, soccer players and writers, we had life stories full of sorrow and joy and wisdom, outdoor experiences ranging from OB alumni to going no further than a city park—we saw these students come together to bridge the gap of worlds out on the Appalachian Trail.

Student takeaways were as diverse as our group, as should be expected; but as we did our final student check-in’s, and sat around our last campfire I heard a similar theme: “Our group was so different. And I learned from it. And I loved it.” As one of our students put it, “I learned how to be friends with, and work with, and lead with people who had very different perspectives and different opinions than me. I had to listen more.”

I am proud to say that our world now has 12 young people who have encountered not only themselves in new ways, but have truly heard from each other, and have invited new and different people into their lives. I look forward to the future of our scholarship courses and the unique impact they bring!

– Kelly Reynolds

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