The seed of OBA was planted in 1959 when Helen Mary Williams, a Pasadena teacher, recognized that youth could benefit from time spent in the natural environment.
Inspired with possibilities, she worked with parents and local activists to begin a Junior Audubon Club as an after-school program serving African-American, Hispanic, and Asian youth in which students gained outdoor experience and knowledge while simultaneously strengthening their self-confidence, improving school performance, and building their inter and intra-personal skills.
In 1962 we started our first trips as an unofficial organization which later became the Jr. Audubon Club. In 1964 the Junior Audubon Club became Outward Bound Adventures. In response to the Watts Riots in 1965, understanding that Outward Bound could be of great benefit to the youth of Los Angeles as well as Pasadena, the founders of Outward Bound Adventures expanded its programs to serve the greater Los Angeles community.
OBA has been a pioneer in the effort to bring diversity into the environmental and outdoor adventure education fields. Past participants have become one of the first Asians on a US Forest Service Silva Culture Crew, one of the first Latino California State Park Rangers, the first African-American female on a US Forest Service Heli-tac Crew, and one of the first African-American ecologist and geographer for the Department of Defense.