Our Approach to Outdoor Leadership Training

An Outward Bound course is a unique experience. Our courses take you to remote and beautiful wilderness areas to engage in hands-on wilderness activities. By facing these challenges, you will yield amazing rewards like glimpsing beautiful vistas, gaining a powerful sense of accomplishment, being more self-confident, and creating lasting friendships. Most Outward Bound courses are designed with the novice outdoorsperson in mind. But from there, we move through a series of progressively more difficult challenges at an appropriate pace for all members of the group. An Outward Bound expedition is not an outdoor camp and it's not a guided outdoor trip. Completing an Outward Bound leadership program rests on your ability to work effectively as a team member and as an individual. You will learn to communicate, to lead, and to be self-reliant within specialized group activities.

Course Components

Outward Bound courses are comprised of several key components offering a time-tested array of experiences and outdoor adventures that combine to clear away the chaos and connect you to the land, your team and yourself.

Skills Education
Skill development is the backbone of all Outward Bound wilderness expeditions. You learn to read a map, develop teamwork skills, and find hidden reserves of inner strength just when you think your tank is empty.

  • Wilderness Skills: You learn wilderness skills such as shouldering your pack, paddling your boat and surviving and thriving in the wind, rain and cold.
  • Team Skills: You set goals and make decisions as a group while relying on compassion and tolerance to transform from a group into a team.
  • Leadership Skills: You practice personal leadership, initiative, good judgment and self-reliance.

Challenge Activities
By facing purposeful challenges like peak ascents, whitewater days or other Outward Bound challenge activities, you will learn that achievements you never thought possible are within your reach. Refer to course descriptions to see which of these activities your course includes.

  • Climbing and Rappelling: You climb rocks, rappel and learn that climbing is more about mental toughness than physical strength.
  • Ropes Course: You solve problems and overcome doubts when you take on an obstacle course of beams and cables suspended high in the sky.
  • Final Expedition: By course end, on most courses, your team takes over the leadership of the expedition. Instructors maintain safety oversight, but decisions rest with the group.

You spend time alone for rest and reflection near your group base camp. Solo lasts anywhere from a few hours to three days, depending on expedition length. In many ways, solo is what makes an Outward Bound wilderness expedition so unique. Food, shelter and periodic instructor check-ins are provided.

You give of yourself in service to others on projects like trail maintenance, campsite cleanup, research, teaching or companionship. Service to others and the environment demonstrates compassion and builds a greater connection to the world.

Course End - Homeward Bound
At the completion of your course, your instructors and teammates will gather for a ceremony to celebrate your achievements and to say goodbyes. After departing from your Outward Bound Wilderness course, you will return home a little tired and dirty, but having gained the knowledge that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible. Outward Bound is an experience that you will not soon forget. We look forward to welcoming you to a group we are proud to call our alumni.