From day-long field trips to week-long leadership academies Outdoor Odyssey offers unmatched adventure based leadership programming for school age students. Our mission: safety and bonding in everything we do!
Our Facilities for university programming are unmatched! We will build a specific package for your needs ranging from a few hours to several days.
Our primary mission and the soul of our organization is our mentoring program. Since 1999 we have matched over 2500 mentors with thousands of youngsters from our area in South-Western Pennsylvania.
No two teams are alike! Let us design your corporate offsite or conference to reach your goals and build your team!
Our Leadership Series curriculum was designed by our founder Major General T.S. Jones, USMC (ret.) Courses are designed to meet your needs and can be applied to teambuilding and adventure based programming.
2016 MENTORING YEAR
The 2016 mentoring year is now ready to begin in full swing. We have had an incredible summer with our mentors forming bonds with their campers. This year we have about 180 mentors in 30 local high schools mentoring a total of 350 elementary and middle school students. We are incredibly excited for this upcoming year! Be sure to check back periodically to see what events we have scheduled for the mentoring teams and to find pictures from their follow-up with their campers as they work on educator-set goals.
2017 MENTOR RECRUITING
We are incredibly excited to be visiting approximately 30 local high schools starting in March to recruit MENTORS! If you are a high school sophomore or junior and are looking for a dynamic leadership opportunity, please consider Outdoor Odyssey!
~ second-to-none leadership training that is nationally recognized
~ mentoring experience working directly with local elementary and middle school students
~ future benefit including 100 service hours and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award
LEADERSHIP ACADEMY 2017 – TBA!
For more information, please check out our “Recruitment Video” below:
2016 Summer Staff
First Row: (Left to Right) Maggie Donovan (Auburn University), Taylor Lubinsky (Wheeling Jesuit University), Laurel Prengaman (Saint Vincent College), Maggie Harteis (Saint Vincent College), Nicolle Sweitzer (University of Pittsburgh), Erin Suppes (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown), Emily Buncie (Messiah College & African Odyssey), Danielle “Dani” Link (Franciscan University); Second Row: (Left to Right) Michael Desgrosseilliers (University of Maine), David Kanyosya (from Kenya – African Children’s Choir), Kevin Wilson (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown), William “Billy” Morrison (University of Pennsylvania), Ronald Onyango (from Kenya – African Children’s Choir), Isaiah Byrd (North Carolina State University), Ben Lim (Villanova University); Third Row: Seth Swasy (Penn State University Behrend), Nick McNutt (Thiel College), James Sowinski (Benedictine College), Alex Andalia (University of Pennsylvania), Cameron Hoffman (University of Pittsburgh), Timothy “Jack” Devlin (Northern Virginia Community College), Malick Keishi Rupert (American University of Paris)
News & Updates
54th Semper Fi Odyssey
We just completed our 54th Semper Fi Odyssey Retreat during the week of July 31 – August 6, 2016! From home-cooked meals to high-adventure activities, our participants learned some leadership skills to aid them in everyday life while enjoying a week of excitement away from home. Please check out our Semper Fi Odyssey Facebook page for previous retreat photos and watch for the new ones to be posted on our Semper Fi Odyssey Facebook Page. Marines, Soldiers and Airmen travel from all corners of the United States to attend the week-long retreat, creating lifelong bonds with their team leader and other service men and women. Want to know more? Visit the Military section of our webpage for more details.
Our 18th summer is just around the corner! Continue to watch for updates and pictures here on our website or check out our Facebook Page!
If you have any questions, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook!
**NEW** Junior Leadership Student Ambassador Program
We are excited to introduce a new leadership opportunity for outstanding middle & junior high students nominated by their schools in Western Pennsylvania. This program is designed to foster the skills necessary for these future leaders to make a positive impact in their schools and community.
Outdoor Odyssey Going to Africa
Our Mobile Training Team putting to work all of the skills and knowledge they have in helping the African Odyssey grow. It is never too early to create a bond amongst our youth. Life is a team event…you are only as successful as to whom surround yourself by and assist along the way. Continue to watch for updates on their 3 month journey!
Check out the program on Facebook!
2015 Pittsburgh Spartan Sprint
On October 10, 2015, we had the pleasure of hosting the Pittsburgh Spartan Sprint! During peak fall colors, the mountain was beautiful for the grueling 5 mile course spread among our 500-acre playground. From swamps to fresh springs, sand to mud, flat to vertical, young to old, an elite or novice, adversity was felt and shared by all. Congratulations to everyone on a great accomplishment and we look forward to seeing you here soon!!
For race results and pictures, go to http://www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/844/results
Check out the New Leadership Conference Series found under the Corporate and University Pages. Customize your team building conference to meet the desires or goals your business and/or professional group.
OUTDOOR ODYSSEY GOES TO AFRICA: AFRICAN ODYSSEY IS BORN!
The leadership of the African Children’s Choir (ACC) strongly desires to develop a leadership and team building component that will significantly expand the organization’s efforts to reach and impact additional disenfranchised children. Upon visiting Outdoor Odyssey, leaders of the ACC requested that T.S. Jones come to Africa to evaluate the potential to meet this objective. Jones was privileged to travel with the founder of the African Children’s Choir, Ray Barnett, through South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda, meeting personnel associated with the organization, in addition to spending time with countless youth impacted profoundly by this organization’s efforts. Jones thoroughly examined all facilities and closely observed as many of the organization’s programs as humanly possible in a two-week stay. Of special note, Jones was privileged to meet several key adults whose lives were forever changed by the expansive coverage and educational opportunities afforded them through Ray Barnett’s singular vision. Of significance, this vision spread like wildfire to many others who now work feverishly to identify and help the most severely disadvantaged youth in many countries in Africa. In short, the powerful examples of personal and professional growth that Jones witnessed firsthand provided bona fide evidence that practices developed and refined at Outdoor Odyssey would rapidly take root in Africa. As a result, the leadership of Outdoor Odyssey considers itself privileged and blessed beyond measure to announce that it will assist the African Children’s Choir in the development of African Odyssey: Youth Development and Leadership Academy.
Jones, in concert with the leadership of the African Children’s Choir, will bring together and train a Mobile Training Team at Outdoor Odyssey in the near future that will deploy for work in Africa in late summer or early fall. Of note, certain members of this team will hopefully be wounded warriors who have spent time at Outdoor Odyssey in recent months, participating in Semper Fi Odyssey, a collective effort of Outdoor Odyssey and the Semper Fi Fund to assist warriors in their transition into the civilian sector. Leadership and team building sites, leveraging existing facilities of the African Children’s Choir and mirroring those of Outdoor Odyssey to the degree feasible, will be developed in South Africa and Uganda, with additional outreach to Swaziland, Rwanda, South Sudan and Kenya. Of note, Jones has recruited two of his own family members (son Brandon and daughter Jessica) to assist him in these efforts, and they will soon join Jones in a trip to both South Africa and Uganda in an effort to kickoff the first elements of this plan. In the days ahead, Jones hopes to see members of the touring choirs spend time at Outdoor Odyssey, providing extraordinary opportunities for growth for many American and African youth. As one of the foundational tenets of Outdoor Odyssey orients on inspiring American youth to become “givers” rather than “takers,” making a positive impact on American society, it is most exciting to team with the African Children’s Choir and its outreach to literally hundreds of African youth in its effort to ‘Help Africa’s most vulnerable children today, so they can help Africa tomorrow.’
Jones, along with Founder of African Children’s Choir Ray Barnett, meets three brothers who were orphaned as very young boys by political violence in Uganda. The brothers, along with a sister who died during the ordeal, traveled for months seeking to find a distant relative in Kampala. Ray Barnett rescued the young boys as opposing factions attacked Kampala and led them to safety in Kenya. Two of the brothers are now doctors and the third is a civil engineer.
Outdoor Odyssey is a multi-faceted nonprofit corporation founded in 1998. Our primary mission is to serve area youth with a mentor and provide these teams with a unique wilderness experience at our 500-acre Laurel Highland camp. We incorporate leadership skills, high adventure,and teambuilding into a week-long curriculum that sets the stage for a year of follow on activity between our mentors and their teams. We provide team builders to all organizations ranging from Corporations and Universities to High Schools and other clubs/teams. We pride ourselves on tailoring all of our team builders to meet your organization’s needs and goals. We strive to provide each group with top notch adventure programming, unrivaled leadership curriculum and superior service. The perfect teambuilder for your organization is just a contact away.
Click the icons below to learn more about who we are at Outdoor Odyssey!
Outdoor Odyssey’s approach to experiential learning and teambuilding is quite unique. While many high adventure outfits offer exhilarating experiences for individuals and teams they are missing one primary element. We base everything that we facilitate on a set of leadership principles that apply to everyday work, life, and relationships. Our goal is to build confidence in the individual while instilling ideas on how that individual can become a more effective leader. Our focus is not only on building leaders but also on the team and how important communication, trust, cooperation, and acceptance of all members of any team is.
– Various lodging options from rustic cabins to luxury lodges
– Conference Center for meetings/dining
– 60’ climbing complex with rappelling, 3 zip lines, climbing, leap of faith, and more
– 12 element Leadership Reaction Course
– 12 element Low Ropes Course
– Sahalie Adventure Challenge Center – the area’s only indoor heated climbing and ropes facility
– Low Impact Initiatives for any age
– Orienteering and GPS
Roll over the photos and click on the plus sign to learn more about our facilities.
For additional information, please check out our “Program Video” below:
“She loves this program and I notice a difference with her and the new friendships she made with kids from other schools.”
“The Upper St. Clair Junior Mentors is a group of approximately 60 11th graders who welcome, advise, and support incoming freshmen throughout the year. For the last five years of the program, we have taken the Mentors to Outdoor Odyssey for a two-day training, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the experience. Through both the instruction and the challenges, Outdoor Odyssey has given our Mentors the confidence, leadership expertise, and teamwork skills that they need to be successful not only in this program, but for the rest of their lives.”
“I love Outdoor Odyssey!!”
￼We travel a long way at great expense and effort from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida to Outdoor Odyssey in Pennsylvania. The reason we do so is because we believe General Jones and his carefully selected staff at Outdoor Odyssey reinforce the mission of our school and help us mold the character of our young men and women more effectively than anyone anywhere. The facilities are perfect for achieving our objective, the staff is unsurpassed in inspiring our students, and the leadership of Outdoor Odyssey is extremely receptive in customizing a program to meet our unique needs. There are probably places closer to Florida that we could use, but Outdoor Odyssey has proven that they are without peer and we won’t settle for second best for our students.
“The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps has partnered with Outdoor Odyssey for nearly 18 years; and in that time the Outdoor Odyssey staff has executed dozens of very affordable and exceptional leadership programs for our group, all in a beautiful outdoor setting. The staff worked hard to make our experience positive and dynamic every time. Our participants have stated that the programs they have attended at Outdoor Odyssey have not only been inspirational but have also been a unique experience that would be hard to replicate!”
When a plan not only comes together but surpasses your wildest hopes and dreams, it is truly an unforgettable experience. Outdoor Odyssey is responsible for the remarkable transformation that is taking place on our campus back in Orlando. We’ve always been blessed to work with great kids at Lake Highland. But now we have confident students that are leading their peers with humility and genuine concern. They are mentoring our elementary and middle school students, encouraging each other in the classrooms and on the playing fields, challenging themselves and others to demonstrate moral courage, and modeling unconditional love and acceptance. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Leadership Academy and can’t wait to watch as future classes set out on this journey.
“There truly aren’t words for what this weekend meant to us, not only as a couple but ultimately for our family! Big high five to everyone for an awesome experience and many, many thank yous!”