Major General U.S.M.C. (ret)
T.S. Jones, founder and Executive Director for Outdoor Odyssey, recently retired from the United States Marine Corps after serving in excess of three decades. Retiring as a Major General, Jones, the “recipient of countless blessings and great opportunities,” vowed to design and build the vehicle to reach those in need in the manner in which he was impacted as a youth; Outdoor Odyssey was born. The initial mission, thriving yet greatly expanded, focused on identifying youth in need, providing them a shared experience of high adventure with a MENTOR, in order to forge a BOND that sets the stage for successful follow-on activities in the school and community. To help acquire the needed resources to reach those in need, Jones crafted a menu of dynamic packages that would be embraced by a variety of organizations. Jones has taken more than a “page” and even a few “chapters” from his experience as a Marine, as he developed Outdoor Odyssey’s approach to team building and leadership. In the manner of the Marine Corps, EVERYTHING focuses on TEAM, and EVERY team is bound together and supported by an extended web of relationships.
One of the watchwords that permeates every aspect of the Outdoor Odyssey’s approach is the acronym MEPS, a dynamic tool representing the four, potential dimensions of everyone’s character: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual development. Very few individuals fully develop all four of these dimensions, many have significant deficiencies among the dimensions and some lack certain dimensions entirely. Outdoor Odyssey stands ready to work with each leader to conduct a self appraisal of how he/she approaches these very important aspects of his/her personal development, as they literally shape one’s ability to lead others and contribute to the performance of the team.
Summer Staff 2016
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)