Outward Bound

Outward Bound

About

Here at Outward Bound, our motto is "learn by doing." Founded in 1962, Outward Bound has helped over 1 million students achieve their goals. Today, we equip students looking to pursue a gap year with self-confidence, tenacity and compassion. Outward Bound offers programs of all lengths in some of the most spectacular and inspiring settings in the United States, Asia and Central and South America.

Our semester programs range anywhere from 30 to 85 days and can be as adventurous as mountaineering, dog sledding or even swimming with dolphins. Our students have opportunities to complete service projects in remote villages, national parks, schools and more. Our goal is to have students leave our program with a new sense of awareness and the motivation to change the world.

Outward Bound is accredited with the American Gap Association and is the longest running program in this elite group dedicated to providing safe, meaningful and high-caliber educational experiences to students.

Founded
1962
Headquarters

910 Jackson Street
Suite 140
Golden, CO 80401
United States

Reviews

Shyana
10/10

I would not be the person I am today if I had not chosen to go on Outward Bound. My trip was sailing on the Maine coastline, and it was incredible. I overcame my fear of heights and was able to rock climb. One of my favorite parts of the program was solo, because I got to write and reflect on who I was becoming and how I had to evolve. A great tip for solo was definitely to to ration your food, because it’s easy to eat it all in one go and be starving for the rest of the time. I split the bagel up and ate the chocolate first so it wouldn’t melt all over my other food. I would not be the woman I am today if it weren’t for Outward bound, and although I was homesick at the time, the experience gave me a whole new perspective on nature and how we can live within it rather than beside it.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Elise
10/10

I loved loved loved Northwest Outward Bound! I would do it again in a heartbeat! I treasure the memories and abilities that I gained and created throughout my trip through the back mountains of Washington every day! I gained more strength, willpower, and confidence than I could have ever imagined! The people I met on this adventure will forever have a special place in my heart because they are the ones that taught me so much throughout the journey about life, healthy friendships, and the importance of encouragement and teamwork!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly don’t have an recommendations it was amazing!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Laura
10/10

One of the hardest experiences of my life but it was all worth it! On my 2 year anniversary with my boyfriend, I had to leave him for 2 months to go on these adventures with random people from all over the Country. The heartache was indescribable but from every mountain that I climbed, every dinner under the stars, all scenic routes, and the variety of personalities that were found from each bond, the heartache was just easier and easier to deal with. This course pushes your limits, from the fear of heights to the fear of opening up, it's all different for one but it just gets better and you grow from your weaknesses. You travel together but your journey is your own. You learn a bunch of new skills; map and compass reading, variety of knot building, WFR certification, rock climbing skills, and so much more. When I came back home my current job advanced my position and gave me more responsibility. I am growing as an outdoor educator. The one thing to note down from all of this is just be you. There might be a day that you feel frustrated with someone or sad about an incident, or just lonely, we'll speak up! Be yourself and let yourself grow from these experiences. It will all be worth it!

How can this program be improved?
Not sure
Yes, I recommend
Ash
10/10

((Warning: first paragraph is mushy for the action/adventure stuff, see below))
I'm an alum of this program, the video above completely describes my OB experience, looking at a challenge and thinking "ha yea ok" and then looking back with an unbelievable feeling of triumph. The most prominent example I can think of is living on the pulling boat, PB 15 was my home for 24 days. That old, smelly, cramped boat was by far the best lease I ever signed. The amount of memories that derive from that boat still come back to me every day (two years later!!). We laughed, we cried, we sailed, we rowed, and we set goals. When you become part of an Outward Bound program, you become part of a crew. Your crew is like any relationship. It needs love, hard work, commitment, and time. This bond, is sculpted through Outward Bound lessons and teaching. That is what makes it so worth while.

IF YOU'RE SICK OF THE MUSHY GUSHY STUFF:
This course specifically is full of action and adventure. The Florida Keys are not all sunshine and calm waters, the storms were an adrenaline rush like no other, riding as bow watch rolling over the waves, clinging on to mast while your crew mans Ole Bessie (our name for the main sail). Learning wilderness medicine was exciting, our instructor created some really intense scenarios and brought the whole experience to a new level. In Costa Rica, the view will constantly be taking your breath away. We learned to surf about a mile from a crocodile nesting area! Every morning as the tide went out we'd cheer "una ola mas!" (one more wave!) The beaches were so pristine and the water was always perfect for surfing. Whitewater rafting was thrilling. Rafting down three of Costa Rica's legendary whitewater rivers was incredible, we not only were immersed in Costa Rican culture, but were learning how to read the river hydrology, how to run rapids, and to captian rafts. If you go on this course you'll probably find the spot we named "guide launcher." Finally, Panama, a magical place. The water is my favorite shade of blue, all the time. DIving allowed us to see so many incredible fish, but more importantly to me I was able to take my SCUBA cert home with me and I use it for work (so helpful!!) . Sea Kayaking was the most culturally rewarding part of the trip, and also the most challenging. We stayed in tiny self-sustaining villages, we gave them soccer balls for the kids and some money to stay under a shelter. We'd play soccer with the kids, and teach each other words in english and spanish. When we'd cook dinner local women would hover, wondering what we were making. At one point we were even invited to learn how to make a rare sweet bread recipe, made mainly from coconut! The challenging part was squeezing everything we'd need for a month long expedition into a sea kayak! We paddled over a hundred miles. At this point, our instructors became shadows and our crew was independent. We were in charge of coordinating our own expedition. This was challenging physically yes, but the amount of teamwork, patience, consistency, and motivation that we all had to pitch in was real. What beaches to stay on? Which villages to stop in? What would we eat? Wait, HOW early are we getting up?

Overall my experience on this course was LIFE CHANGING. I am now pursuing a career in Outdoor Recreation, I work as a trip leader/instructor at my university, and I frequently reflect on my time with Outward Bound. I use all of my certifications. I've written so much and I feel like I haven't even gotten started. If you are adventurous, curious, and ready to leap out of your comfort zone, this is the course for you.

How can this program be improved?
The most challenging part of my program was the logistics of our WFR and Lifeguarding session at the Boy Scout camp. However, I feel that the problems we had there were throughly debriefed. I believe changes were already made.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Cierra
10/10

My time with Outward Bound was invaluable. In the two weeks I spent sailing, I learned lessons I still carry with me today. Of all I learned, the most valuable knowledge was that even though we are small in this vast world, we all have the ability to impact our environments for better or worse. This was also my first time exploring the world on my own. Which led to a passion for travel and study abroad.

Yes, I recommend

Programs

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Professional Associations

American Gap Association logo