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Current questions[edit]

Crystal Clear app kblackbox.png
  1. For comment: New Wiki Interface
  2. Seeking contributions to: OBI Wiki:Development
  3. Tell us about your Wiki Use & thoughts on OBI Knowledge Management.
  4. Do please visit John Hasell's Discussion Corner and add your comments to any of the issues that he has raised.
  5. 44 Mission Statements have been listed - Please click here to check yours and correct it if it is wrong.
Add or edit questions


Some initial ideas behind the community portal[edit]

The idea behind the community portal is as a general discussion forum. People are encouraged to put anything and everything here, because then as a community we can sift, sort, farm it out into other sections. So, its a good general port of call for anything, then someone more familar with the wiki can help out. It can also be thought of an incubator for nascent ideas. That's basically how it works on other big wiki projects. However, it is important to also realise that they all run their 'community portal' in slightly different ways (and call it slightly different things).

For now it may be 'Community Portal', but as OB, we may even like a different name for our global communal watering hole. On wiki commons, they refer to it as 'village pump', on wikibooks its the 'reading room', on wikiversity its the 'colloquium', and so on. Where do OBers meet? Around the campfire? under the stars? ... you get the general idea... -- James Neill - Talk 09:23, 26 March 2008 (EDT)

Is the concept of morning meeting universal across schools & centers? I know Hurricane Island in the US has a strong tradition of meeting at a certain rock each morning to connect all the watches and have an inspirational quote etc. is this something other schools do? -- Hans Mundahl - Talk

Americas Group[edit]

There is an Americas Ob group forming to discuss issues pertinent to OB schools in the Americas. Work is underway to schedule the first conference call for executive Directors from OB Americas schools. Please send a note to Noelle Thurlow is you would like more information about this group. Stay tuned. A new OB entity will appear in the left side bar as a result of this meeting. Information can be shared through that portal. Americas phone conference (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nthurlow (talkcontribs) 05:33, 16 May 2008.)

John Hasell's Discussion Topics[edit]

Please click on the relevant topic below to add your ideas and opinions.

--John Hasell 10 April 2009

Online Trail Database?[edit]

I was trying to figure out a way to add information to a map online so I could build a database of hiking routes for our outdoor program. Thompson Island has this big map wall and everyone can pencil in different things like good water and good solo sites etc.

A wiki is good for the text but doesn't seem like it handles collaborating on pictures or maps very well. Maybe I should put our trail maps here with grid lines and then folks can add in comments based on grid locations?

Another idea I had was to put the maps on Flickr and add comments to the picture. I've tried that here and I'd love to see what the community thought of it. I'd appreciate any feedback over on the flickr page or my user page. Thanks! -- Hans Mundahl - Talk 16:29, 20 May 2008 (EDT)

Hi Hans, Excellent question and ideas. One interesting read regarding field/online mapping is Rick Curtis' Running 'Mega' programs. -- James Neill - Talk 22:31, 20 May 2008 (EDT)
Thanks - I'll check it out! -- Hans Mundahl - Talk 20:41, 27 May 2008 (EDT)

I've had good luck drawing routes using Google Earth. The saved ".kmz" paths can be viewed with both GE and Google Maps. I've seen google maps imbeded, so perhaps that's a low-cost and easy to access option. -Jim Harris

Yes this sounds like a great option, I think I'm going to start something for our upcoming course in May for New Hapmshire -- Hans Mundahl - Talk 00:54, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

See also Collaborative Mapping and the possible use of Garmin's MapSource to upload and download edited maps. --John Hasell 07:35, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

MediaWiki training[edit]

If you would like to get some training in how to use MediaWiki, WikiEducator has many free face to face and online workshops coming up. For more info, see MediaWiki#Training. -- James Neill - Talk 04:09, 22 May 2008 (EDT)

PhD submitted[edit]

Hi All, I just wanted to share that after 13 1/2 years, I finally got my PhD thesis submitted for examination. It's mostly focused on life effectiveness data from OB Australia programs during the 1990's. It arguably is the largest OB research study to date (although Basil Fletcher managed to interview a very large number of OBUK course graduates in the late 1960's/early 1970's). If you're curious (and brave), you can access it here: http://wilderdom.com/phd. It's a bit heavy on the stats, but you might find the abstract, introduction, conclusion, plus some of the literature review and discussion of interest. I will release some more user-friendly and accessible papers down the track. Onward :> -- James Neill - Talk 22:32, 19 June 2008 (EDT)

Featured content[edit]

As the wiki gradually matures, the community will hopefully find that some content evolves to the point where it deserves to be highlighted and featured. Commonly this is done via a rotating display on the main page, and/or on portal pages. To start the process of nominating, and discussing possible candidates for featured content, please see Project:Featured. -- James Neill - Talk - c 11:24, 26 June 2008 (EDT)


For discussion and development, I've sketched out some initial ideas around copyright and this wiki - see Project:Copyright. -- James Neill - Talk - c 21:39, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

Google Maps[edit]

When Tom and I originally discussed embedding google maps in the wiki, I had hoped that staff would be able to share information, plan routes (collaboratively) using the wiki and google maps. I am wondering if it is possible for staff to recon a route for instance and download (somehow) the coordinates into google to create a new route. Comments could be made about the map etc. Has anyone done this before? Does anyone know how to do this? Any thoughts on whether that would actuallly be useful? -- Noelle - Talk 15:54, 1 July 2008 (EDT)

Hi Noelle, Several OE organisations are experimenting with pros and cons of electronic and online mapping, so it could be good to have a page for such experiments and techniques to be discussed. I haven't done it myself, but found Rick Curtis' report suggested above at #Online Trail Database? instructive. -- James Neill - Talk - c 00:05, 2 July 2008 (EDT)
I agree, I've started a page for Collaborative Mapping to capture best practices and share ideas. -- Hans Mundahl - Talk 22:36, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

School Store[edit]

Hello all. I am setting up a page which offers links to Outward Bound School Stores around the world so that staff can view and purchase items or just get ideas for their own school stores. Please offer suggestions or edit the page. I'm not sure whether a set rate staff discount is practical. At this point it will be up to each school that chooses to participate. Outward Bound International Store -- Noelle - Talk 11:54, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Welcome OB Mexico![edit]

I am online with Heather from Mexico! Alyse Ostreicher 15:30, 20 August 2008 (EDT)

See also Outward Bound Mexico. -- James Neill - Talk - c 22:49, 24 August 2008 (EDT)

Table of Contents - on the right[edit]

Have added Template:TOCright, the use of which allows you to get the Table of Contents box on a page showing on the right, with text-wrap, rather than on the left and without text-wrap, e.g., see example in my talk signature link that follows. -- James Neill - Talk - c 01:55, 12 September 2008 (EDT)

Weekly Wiki Trainings[edit]

Need to brush up on your Wiki skills? Want meet international colleagues in an online training and dialogue about the OBI Wiki? Try out the Weekly Wiki Trainings! See Link for details! Weekly Wiki Training Details (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nthurlow (talkcontribs) 02:00, 23 September 2008.)

Jimbo Wales on wiki success and failure[edit]

Jimbo Wales is the co-founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, etc. - so he knows a thing or two about wiki projects. In this (audio) interview, he answers questions about what makes wiki projects work: Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales on wiki success and failure (podcast). Worth a listen IMHO. -- James Neill - Talk - c 05:16, 4 October 2008 (EDT)

Spontaneous Celebrations[edit]

Hi we have a guest visiting the wiki today. I would like to welcome Molly from Spontaneous Celebrations in Boston an OB affiliated organization. I am setting up a sample page for her. Spontaneous Celebrations

OBI World Conference[edit]

The World Conference took place on Thompson Island Nov. 1 - Nov. 2, 2008. The opening statements from Kelly O'dea, Chair of the OBI Board focused on Adapting to Changing Times. Visit the World Conference 2008 Page for more details.


I've tidied up and customised Help:Navigation a bit. See what you think. -- James Neill - Talk - c 01:27, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Conferences and Non-OB Development[edit]

Any chance of starting a portal for all conferences, training courses, rather than just limited to OB? Could include links to the relevant websites rather than plugging in all the info again and list by either region or skill-set/topic. Possible subheadings: conferences, paddling courses , roping courses, LNT, Wilderness Medicine, lifesaving, facilitation etc.

Of course the various schools could also put their training courses on it if they are open to staff attending from other countries.

  • This sounds like a great idea. How about the anonymous author of this suggestion starting such a page, possibly linked to World Resources, to which we could then add additional relevant links. (We each would then need to remember to remove them when the event is over or fully enrolled.) --John Hasell 20:03, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Core Values[edit]

I am most impressed by and excited about the content and potential of our Wiki and particularly appreciate the inclusion of Philosophy and History together with the nuts and bolts of operations. Clearly, as a conviction driven organization, much of what we do is value driven. While there are many values that we feel strongly about, we need to focus on those that are critical to the success of Outward Bound. What values do you think should be on our list? Please visit the Values Page and add your thoughts. --John Hasell 19:53, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Category Trees[edit]

As sections of the wiki grow larger and more complex, use of categories becomes increasingly important for managing, navigating, and searching the material. A helpful extension was recently installed which can aid in showing and navigating categories. See Help:Category Tree for more information and some examples. -- James Neill - Talk - c 10:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Beyond Physical Safety[edit]

Hello friends,

As I grapple with the reality of setting up a new Outward Bound School in Rwanda, a major concern is obviously safety. A lot of literature and manuals are there to be adapted - thanks for the great work done, but I am wondering how an instructor would deal with cases such as:

  • Suicide
  • Trauma
  • Phobias

I imagine that these might be cases I will confront, as many of you may have, and I wonder if there are some 'standards' of some sort to guide facilitators. --Ndekezi Maarifa Vincent


  • Suicide Prevention The Medical Form may give some warning and one-on-one discussion may reveal an urge to give up on life. People who are contemplating suicide are often quite open about it. They may say things such as 'I don't see the point anymore', 'I feel like ending it all' or 'I see no future'. There may be an increase of self-imposed isolation. The student may stop socialising with others in the group. He or she may suddenly become aggressive, pick fights and start inappropriate arguments.
Begin a dialogue by asking questions. Suicidal thoughts are common with depressive illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to go and seek professional help.
  • Questions that are okay to ask:
    • "Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?"
    • "Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?"
    • "Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?"
    • "Have you thought about what method you would use?"
Asking these questions will help you to determine if the individual is in immediate danger, and if help is needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health professional immediately.
If you believe that there is no immediate danger of suicide, be inclusive and encourage the individual to participate fully in all the activities. He needs to be distracted. Physical activities will not only distract him but will also lift his spirits.

  • Trauma This covers any injury and needs to be handled in well established ways starting with First Aid that covers restoring breathing, staunching bleeding, treating for shock, and stabilization, while protecting the victim from further harm. This then may need to be followed by evacuation and require further treatmant as necessary. For some information on the handling of Mental Trauma click here to visit this web site

  • Phobias There are many of these but three of the most common in Outward Bound are Fear of Heights, Fear of Water, and Fear of Enclosed Spaces. In Rwanda there may well be others associated with fears based on traumatic experiences undergone during the genocide.
The first requirement is for the Instructor to identify any of these fears in his or her participants. The Medical Form may give some prior indication of such phobias, but individual discussion with participants is the best way of revealing them.
Challenge by Choice is a useful way of dealing with this and certainly individuals should never be forced to do anything that they are afraid of. Helping the participant acknowledge the often irrational basis of their fear is useful, and encouraging a personal committment to make every effort to overcome their fear is essential. Support and encouragement from the rest of the group is crucial throughout.
To take fear of water as an example, this phobia may be irrational. On the other hand if the person, say, had a brother who was drowned, or they nearly drowned themselves, such fear is far from unfounded.
A good way of introducing students to water is to get them to put on life vests (PFDs) and to then wade out until they are waist deep in calm water, stand in a circle holding hands, and to then gently sit down until they are floating. Lying back and relaxing will convince everyone that their PFDs will support them with their heads above water. Then, standing in a circle, get them to throw a beachball from one to another while calling out their own name and that of the person to whom they are throwing it. This getting to know you ice-breaker takes people's attention away from the fact that whenever the ball falls short, water splashes into peoples faces. They soon realize that water has not hurt them and confidence grows. Other phobias need to be handled with similar kinds of slow and non-threatening immersion into the unfamiliar environment with the challenge being increased incrementally.

You also might find it helpful to look at Stress Management under Teaching Outward Bound Item 15.

John Hasell - Talk - 23:44, 27 December 2008 (UTC) - Note for Ndekezi: - I hope that the above goes some way to answering your questions and I am sure that others will have more to offer. Please get in touch with me through jhasell@shaw.ca I have sent you a number of e-mails through ‘maarifa vincent’ <ndekezivin@yahoo.com> but have had no reply - you may well have changed your address. Also you need to update your User Page on which I took the liberty of entering your bio and photo which you may wish to edit. Let me know if I can help - John.

Bring a friend to the wiki[edit]


It just occurred to me that if we each worked to bring 3 OB friends to the wiki and coach them onboard we'd really increase the number of contributors. I'd also encourage those of us who know people who are onboard, but relatively inactive if we encouraged them to update their user page, add Skype and friend them on Skype such that whenever they chose to work on the wiki they could contact someone for help. (Perhaps we add the Skype online icon for each of them to a single page so that at whatever timezone they could ping a person and get help we'd speed up the learning...)

Thoughts? Tom Glaisyer - Talk 19:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

A great idea. We could each tell our mentee that we were there to help and we could then place a link to a Mentor Page on their User or Talk Page which they could click every time they wished to contact us. The Mentor Page would then say that the following Mentors, including their own mentor, were all available to help if their Skype Link showed that they were on line, or to leave a message on a link beside it to the relevant mentor's Talk Page. See what you think about this draft Mentor Page - ---- John Hasell - Talk - 21:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Youth in the out of doors[edit]

Tommorrow is here. Our youth of today will guide our future. Join in bringing them closer to the natural experience of open spaces and wild places. We will engage them using the passion that brought us to outdoor education sharing our experiences and learning from those who will continue to teach us whenever we share the earth together on course and beyond. Michael Garcia 20:01, 27 January 2009 (UTC) Outwardbound Los Angeles

Mark Zelinski photos[edit]

Just had an idea - does anyone know anyone who has contact with Mark Zelinski? Wouldn't it be great if we could get access to his photos (from the Inward Odyssey books) for use on the wiki? What do you think? Sincerely, -- James Neill - Talk - c 10:30, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I know Mark well - he has stayed with us here in Victoria and he will do so again the next time he comes out west. I once converted most of his pictures from both of his books into Digital Images for him as he had lost his originals. I still have them and could write to ask him if we could feature them, perhaps on a rotational basis on the Main Page. Let me know if I can help. ---- John Hasell - Talk - 20:15, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Mark has given his permission for us to use his Inward Odyssey photographs on the OB Wiki and I will start up-loading them shortly. We plan to feature one of his pictures every month with a lead to the Gallery containing the rest - over a hundred or two years worth ! - ---- John Hasell 05:16, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I have renamed with Volume, Page Number and Title, edited and uploaded 110 of Mark's pictures from his Inward Odessy Volumes 1 and 2. A number of us are now adding Categories and descriptions to each of them. - ---- John Hasell 10:18, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Intellipedia: Intelligence Agencies' Wiki Suffers Midlife Crisis[edit]

Interesting article about wiki adoption in intelligence services: Intellipedia: Intelligence Agencies' Wiki Suffers Midlife Crisis. -- James Neill - Talk - c 10:15, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Outward Bound on LinkedIn[edit]

Join the Outward Bound Group on LinkedIn. -- James Neill - Talk - c 22:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)