OUTWARD BOUND

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Adventure, Nature, and Leadership Camp

John Underhill, Director of Admissions

100 Mystery Point Road

Garrison, NY 10524

(866) 467-7651

OBNDev@outwardbound.org

www.outwardbound.org

QUICK TAKE: This program was created for those who appreciate

the outdoors and wish to share their experiences with

like-minded individuals. Outward Bound is primarily an athletic

program in the United States and around the world with

a philosophy that emphasizes personal growth through experience

and challenges in the wilderness, urban settings, boardrooms,

and classrooms. It offers children a chance to not only

gain knowledge of various outdoor skills, but also to gain

knowledge of themselves.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 12 and older

FEES: C Courses run year-round and range from 7 to 85 days.

International courses are also offered in at least 28 foreign

countries.

BACKGROUND: Outward Bound was established during World

War II through the combined efforts of Sir Lawrence Holt, a

British shipping tycoon, and Kurt Hahn, a progressive German

educator, to instruct young sailors in sea survival skills. In the

1950s, Josh Miner, an American who taught under Hahn at

the Gordonstoun School in Scotland, was inspired by Hahn’s

emphasis on team building and founded the Outward Bound

movement in the United States. Expeditionary learning, the

philosophy upon which Outward Bound is based, is a model

for school reform and is utilized in more than 1,000 schools and

universities in the United States. It is a whole-school reform

model for K–12 schools that uses active learning to help students

develop character as well as achieve academic success.

DESCRIPTION: Mountaineering, snowboarding, rock climbing,

white water rafting, desert backpacking, dog-sledding—

certainly not the list of activities at your average sleep-away

camp—are among the programs offered. The program focuses

on intensive activities that help students develop a strong

sense of self within a team setting. Through detail-oriented

activities, such as sailing, the program ensures character

development as a child strives to meet the ever-increasing

demands of each activity and, under the supervision of an experienced

instructor, begins to recognize his/her self-imposed

limits and then concentrates on overcoming them. Outward

Bound believes that character development is contingent

upon a sense of social and environmental responsibility and

therefore it includes volunteer work (e.g., shoreline clean-up,

trail maintenance, and community assistance) as a means of

instilling the values of stewardship.

OUR TAKE: Outward Bound truly recognizes the full value of

physical activity and does not merely practice it for its own

sake. I am confident that the program “practices what it

preaches.” Outward Bound’s philosophy is increasingly employed

in academic settings, with a high success rate (as

assessed independently by researchers of alternative educational

methods).

OUR RECOMMENDATION: When considering such an intensely

physical program as Outward Bound, safety must be the primary

concern. While participation implies a certain amount

of risk, the instructors (who are either certified in Wilderness

Advanced First Aid, as Wilderness First Responders, or as

Emergency Medical Technicians) undergo regular safety training.

Independent experts of national safety review teams

inspect each program and course area for possible hazards.

According to the insurer of Outward Bound, its rate of injury

and illness is “lower than that of many other industries.” This

is not the program for every child; children who participate

must truly desire it.