“I regard it as the foremost task of education: to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion.” –Kurt Hahn, Outward Bound Founder
Outward Bound’s approach to teaching and learning is rooted in the classroom. It is a methodology that places equal emphasis on development of the character and the intellect.
Outward Bound expeditionary learning can occur nearly anywhere, with nearly anyone: in the classroom; on a grueling mountain ascent; in the post-course debrief, or in the days following a return from the wild. The positive outcomes our students experience—whether they are middle and high school age, college age or adults—manifest in the form of increased self-confidence, awareness, and respect for the interdependence of individuals and a desire to make a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Strangers become lifelong friends. Small accomplishments on a course become lifelong habits. Through shared challenges, adversity, failure, and success, students discover and develop new skills, confidence, and passion.
The idea that “you are needed,” no matter who you are, is a critical ingredient to the success of Outward Bound programs. And it is this element of inclusiveness and reliance on teamwork that sets an Outward Bound expedition apart from any other learning experience; expedition members are “crew not passengers.”
Outward Bound doesn’t only encourage students to contribute to the group; we require it. After all, on an Outward Bound expedition, awareness, and respect of others is not optional—it is necessary for success.
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