Your Expedition Starts Now. The moment you decide to go Outward Bound you’re tasked with responsibilities that impact not only yourself, but also your crew. This includes taking the necessary precautions to mitigate risks, including those associated with communicable diseases like flu, COVID-19, measles and norovirus.  

Outward Bound is actively monitoring the threat of communicable diseases throughout our program areas, and the guidance issued from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities. The wellbeing, health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority, and Outward Bound Schools work with local public health authorities and medical advisors to maintain recommended mitigation controls and procedures in alignment with current data and science. The risk of contracting a communicable disease prior to or while participating in an Outward Bound program can be reduced but not eliminated. As with all aspects of your Outward Bound course, our staff will teach you what you need to know to be active in mitigating risks. 

Below are enhanced health and safety practices we ask of every student prior to arrival and while on course.


Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, chicken pox and COVID-19 prior to arriving to their course start. Outward Bound does not collect vaccination records. For questions regarding this policy please call us at 866-467-7651.


To reduce the risk of coming to course start with an illness, all students should adhere to the following health practices prior to course start. 

  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick 
  • Monitor for symptoms of communicable diseases. 

For some courses, regardless of vaccination status, students may be required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to course start. Guidelines as to when these take place vary from School to School. Please check in with your Course Advisor for your COVID-19 testing requirements.



Do not travel to course if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or any communicable disease, if you have been or presumed to have been exposed to someone who was contagious, or if you have tested positive for a communicable disease. In these cases, please contact your Course Advisor immediately to work through your options. 


Upon arriving at basecamp or your designated course start location, you may be required to take a COVID-19 test regardless of your vaccination status and be screened for symptoms. 

The following field practices are designed to keep you and others healthy:

  • Good hygiene practices, including: frequent hand washing or sanitizing, coughing and sneezing away from others, not sharing personal equipment like water bottles, and preparing and serving food properly 
  • Routine, periodic screening for symptoms


  • If a student begins to exhibit symptoms of communicable disease during a course, they may be isolated for testing and/or evacuation from the field.
  • If symptoms are mild, resolve quickly, and precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others, the student may be able to return to the group.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will remain isolated and may be required to leave the course. A parent (or family-appointed guardian) of minor students is required to take over their care, preferably within 24-hours, but no later than 48 hours.
  • If a student on an expedition has a probable or confirmed case of a communicable disease, Outward Bound will consult local public health authorities to determine whether to have other students in the same group quarantined, evacuated and/or tested.


See how the Outward Bound community is responding to the COVID-19 crisis and inspiring bold futures through responsive programming across our system.

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