The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, the noted adventure-based educational organization based in Maine, announces a pilot initiative that brings Outward Bound’s principles of character development to a cohort of lacrosse players.

The inaugural expedition set sail on July 7, from Wheeler Bay, in Spruce Head on an eight-day adventure with 10 boys on board.

Five urban players, budding leaders hailing from three youth programs, Harlem Lacrosse, Metro Lacrosse, and Winners Lacrosse, were selected to represent their programs. Five other players, hailing from Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. and representing the traditional lacrosse demographic, applied to participate, recognizing a unique opportunity for personal growth through the nexus of lacrosse and Outward Bound.

The boys will work together in the wilderness to develop lifelong guiding principles — self-reliance, a moral compass, appreciation of natural beauty and an understanding of their world — principles that will play a pivotal role in helping them succeed as part of a team of leaders among peers. Upon returning home, participants will share their experience with their community and enter a mentoring phase.

“Playing lacrosse has opened doors for these young men,” stated Chris Rokous, HIOBS Development Director and the program’s creator. He goes on to say, “This program will train them to be prepared to take full advantage of opportunities such as admission to independent schools and colleges, internships, job offers, and community service, that might otherwise have passed them by. Outward Bound has been developing tenacity, grit, and compassion in young men and women through challenge and discovery for over 50 years. The combination of lacrosse and Outward Bound will give them steadfast resiliency to step up to life’s challenges.”

HIOBS will track participants and monitor outcomes to gauge the success of the program in preparing these young laxers to “up their game” in lacrosse and on this expedition called life.

The pilot received generous financial support from numerous donors in the lacrosse community and beyond. HIOBS expects to broaden the scale and scope of the Urban Lacrosse Initiative with additional support from corporate sponsors and foundations.