Program Protocols

The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School is looking forward to responsibly resuming our Open Enrollment programming in the age of COVID-19 on January 9th, 2021 - and are currently running limited programs for our Groups Education and Outward Bound Professional clients. Below are listed the practices we are implementing, and the required adjusted behaviors all students and families need to be aware of. These adapted practices and requirements are designed with several goals in mind:

  • To keep students and staff healthy,
  • To prevent the unintentional spread of communicable disease,
  • To keep our local community healthy, and
  • To allow students to experience an Outward Bound course with the same outcomes as they would have had before the pandemic.

Please review the details below and get in touch with us if you have any questions. 


This is an evolving situation and our practices may change as we gain new information or as recommendations change. HIOBS will decide when and under what conditions any courses will operate using our safety protocols and best judgment. For exact information on your course, please be in touch with your Course Advisor or email [email protected] and we'll be in touch!

Check out this video from the National Safety crew, where they talk about our COVID-19 Best Practices:

  • Participants must notify their course advisor of any underlying health conditions that could put them at increased risk from contracting a communicable disease, and check-in with their physician about any additional risks.
  • Participants (and parents of minor students) will sign a COVID-19 Statement of Understanding Release Form.
  • Participants must receive a viral COVID-19 test (PCR test required, not antigen) within 72 hours prior to course start. Schedule your appointment in advance to avoid delays.
  • Written test results must be submitted to the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School before arrival on course, via email or fax.
  • If your test has a positive COVID-19 result, we cannot accept you on course.
  • From 72 hours prior to course until the course start, participants are to be COVID-19 symptom-free. Symptoms include fever over 100.3°F, cough, shortness of breath, body aches and fatigue. Some people may have chills, headache, sore throat or lose their sense of smell or taste. If any of these symptoms appear, you must contact your Course Advisor immediately. We recommend purchasing Tuition Protection Plan insurance to protect your tuition in this case.

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Travel - Open Enrollment Courses

Participants on Open Enrollment courses may travel to/from course by personal vehicle or commercial transportation. In either case, participants must comply as closely as possible with physical distancing and hygiene precautions while in transit to course start.

Please reference the CDC recommendations for Protecting Yourself When Using Transportation and Considerations for Travelers.

Backup Departure Plan

In the case of an early departure from your course, you must provide us with a backup departure plan that allows for departure within 24 hours.

Adult participants (18+) must either:

  • Preferred: plan to depart from the Outward Bound program location by private vehicle, providing name and contact information of pickup person.
  • Alternative: Plan to request that Outward Bound provide transportation to a hotel near the airport, provided the participant meets the hotel's age requirements for check-in.

Youth (12-17 years old) must plan to depart from the Outward Bound program location by private vehicle, and must provide the name and contact information of a specific pick-up person.



Participants will be screened upon arrival, including taking temperature. If any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 illness exist, participants will not be allowed to start the course and will be given a COVID PCR test.  If the test results are positive, the student will be required to depart the course. Please see above requirements for Backup Departure Plan.

  • Participants will wear approved personal protective equipment (including a cloth face cover, such as a mask) when requested to do so.
  • Participants will use enhanced hygiene practices for reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19, such as frequent hand washing, sanitizing, and regular symptom checks. If participants are unwilling to use these practices, they will be sent home and no refund or course credit will be offered.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization practices will be practiced on bases and during courses.
  • Participants may be required to take a series of antigen tests and an exit NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) test.
  • In the case of a participant exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms while on course, the participant will be isolated from the group and given a COVID NAAT test.  If the test results yield a positive result, the participant will be removed from the course.
  • Participants must have a Back-Up Departure Plan that involves departure from the course within 24 hours.

All HIOBS instructional and support staff will:

  • have followed strict physical distancing from everyone not in their household for 14 days prior to the course.
  • be tested for COVID-19 72 hours before their course start and will then be cleared to work.
  • be tested at the same frequency as students and will be tested using the same method that students will experience.
  • undergo symptom checks, including taking temperatures, on a regular basis.

Staff living and working at a basecamp will be tested bi-weekly on a rotating basis.

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