Leach to direct outdoor leadership program

Timothy Leach of Queensbury, N.Y., a 1999 graduate of Bates College, has been named director of the new Bates Outdoor Education and Leadership Program (BOELP).

Modeled after outdoor leadership and teamwork-building programs like Outward Bound, BOELP will offer Bates students adventure activities to cultivate leadership skills, learn the value of flexibility and cooperation and develop a stronger sense of community.

“Bates expects that students will develop into effective leaders. This program will specifically focus on that metamorphosis,” said Leach, a former Bates Outing Club president. “Outdoor adventure-based programs will help reveal the wealth of leaders yet to be explored at Bates.”

Bates College President Donald W. Harward sees BOELP as a natural extension of the college’s educational mission.

“Bates has always understood that learning is connected to action, in and out of the traditional classroom setting,” he said. “Tim’s efforts will undoubtedly create even more opportunities for Bates students to learn both more about themselves and their fellow students.”

Junior advisors, resident coordinators and peer educators from the college’s substance-free CHOICES program, for example, will be encouraged to hone teamwork, communication and self-esteem-building skills while completing a ropes course or an extended backpacking trip. Leach also has three Auburn Middle School teachers and 24 of their new students registered for cooperation exercises before school starts.

Besides his Outing Club duties at Bates, Leach directed the successful Annual Entering Student Outdoor Program (AESOP), which organizes sea kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and camping trips for incoming students. He has also participated in Outward Bound programs and is a licensed hiking, whitewater rafting and canoeing guide in New York.

Leach envisions all first-year students and many staff and faculty participating in BOELP, with an expanded activities program, including sea kayaking at the college’s Shortridge Coastal Studies Center in Phippsburg, Maine. He also hopes student participants will become instructors, creating a self-perpetuating legacy of leadership development in the Lewiston-Auburn community.

Leach, a 1994 graduate of Queensbury High School, is the son of Dr. Richard Leach of Queensbury and Pamara Perry of Greenwich.

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