Our Programs

Outward Bound has been changing lives through challenge and discovery for more than 50 years by using the wilderness as a classroom to provide unparalleled opportunities for discovery, personal growth, self-reliance, teamwork and compassion. Our programs continue to serve youth, teens and adults with wilderness expeditions and other innovative programming in America's most beautiful wilderness areas, in classrooms, city parks and in boardrooms.

Our diverse programming is a testament to our innovative idea that engaging in challenge and considering the results teaches us how to work together and how to rely on ourselves and, perhaps more importantly, each other.

Wilderness Expeditions

The original Outward Bound program, these classic extended wilderness expeditions take students deep into beautiful wilderness environments, requiring participants to dig deep and discover hidden strengths they didn’t know they had, while gaining the confidence they need to succeed. Courses are available year-round at locations across the country. Courses range from five day programs to three month long expeditions. The average program lasts for 15 days, with challenging activities include backpacking, canyoneering, canoeing, dog sledding, mountaineering, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, sailing, sea kayaking, skiing and snowboarding. Whether travel is on foot, by raft, kayak or canoe or under sail, participants emerge to find out that they can do more than they thought they could.

Gap Year and Semester Courses

Outward Bound gap year and semester courses are the ideal alternative for college-age students looking for something beyond the traditional classroom environment, and for those who want to learn by doing. No other Outward Bound experience is as in-depth, absorbing and comprehensive as our wilderness semester and gap year courses. Taking students to domestic and international locales including Colorado, Utah, California, Minnesota, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Patagonia and Guatemala, these 30-day to 85-day courses are unique opportunities to gain real wilderness skills and develop life skills in decision making, problem solving, leadership and teamwork. With activities as varied as the world we inhabit, you will raft, sail, rock climb, dog sled, kayak, hike and push forward with your team as you form bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Intercept for Struggling Teens & Young Adults

Outward Bound offers their award-winning Intercept courses for struggling and at-risk youth beginning to demonstrate destructive behaviors. Intercept helps youth, ages 12- 22, connect their desire for more freedom and independence with the reality that they must take on the responsibility that comes with that freedom. Intercept courses are designed to replace the often negative challenges of the teen years with extremely positive ones. The group expedition in “unfamiliar territory” instills confidence and strength and helps teens develop new perspectives and skills for dealing with the transition to adulthood. With a focus on increasing self-awareness, communication and goal-setting, students return home from their expedition having further developed the values and skills needed to create and maintain a healthier self-image, trustworthy relationships and productive life skills. Parents and guardians join us for the last three days of the program in a pivotal and productive workshop with instructors and students.

Veterans

Outward Bound is incredibly proud to offer fully funded 5-7 day wilderness courses to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fully funded by generous donors, Outward Bound helps thousands of returning service members and military veterans readjust to life at home through the healing power of the wilderness and by reinforcing the gratification, confidence and self-worth that comes with working within a group. These courses build the skills necessary to successfully return to life after wartime service.

OTHER PROGRAMS

Special Populations

Wilderness courses are offered for special populations such as youth (ages 12-13), family (parent/child duo or trio), adults (30+ and 55+) and single-gender groups. Each course is designed to fit the specific needs of the population, including considerations for the length, time of year, appropriate activities, specific course elements and instructor training. Courses for special populations provide unique opportunities to develop teamwork, leadership and life skills.

Heroic Journey

Heroic Journey is a special program from Outward Bound that takes grieving teens and young adults on our outdoor wilderness expeditions. Thanks to our donors, all participants receive reduced tuition. By combining personal growth methodologies of Outward Bound, with a simple support model that honors the griever, Outward Bound is able to deliver an intensely profound healing experience relevant to the lives of people who are coping with the death of a loved one.

Group Programs

Outward Bound provides courses to meet the specific team building and leadership goals of high school and college groups, as well as special groups like cancer survivors or families of 9/11 victims for decades. Group Programs range from a single day ropes course to multi-week wilderness expeditions.

Professional Programs

Outward Bound has been offering corporate teambuilding programs to the non-profit, for profit and government sectors for over 30 years. Outward Bound Professional programs often combine indoor and outdoor activities and can be held at conference centers, urban parks, rural basecamps or wilderness settings. Itineraries can be as short as a day or continue on a regular schedule over several months. The goal is to create positive, lasting change in the workplace through innovative, customized programs that enhance the effectiveness of individuals, groups and organizations.

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