Outward Bound Professional

From the wilderness to the workplace

Does your team need to work on alignment, communication, or morale? Our programs inspire teams to think differently, act differently, and access untapped strengths to create positive, lasting change for your whole organization.

For over 70 years, Outward Bound has inspired character development for individuals and groups through wilderness learning expeditions. At Outward Bound Professional, we adapt our wilderness teaching methods to provide executives an opportunity to change individual behaviors, group dynamics, and their organizational culture. 


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There simply is not a faster, more effective team-building program.

-Mike Perlis...Vice Chairman, Forbes Media



First: We Assess Your Team

Since no two organizations are exactly alike, we use a combination of objective and subjective measures to understand your group’s strengths and challenges to design a program that will get results. Interviews with representative team members (such as veterans, newcomers, remote and office-based workers) help to baseline your team’s self-perception; psychometric assessments provide insights into strengths and areas of opportunity.

Then: We Deliver a Customized Experience

Guided by the assessment, we customize programs that engage your team in physical, cognitive and strategic challenges to mimic circumstances and behaviors found in your workplace. Our programs are consequential: impact occurs because learning is rooted at a deep level, allowing for breakthrough moments of personal and team discovery.

Finally: We Reinforce the Learning

Our work doesn’t end when your team removes their gear. Outward Bound Professional will help you apply and reinforce the lessons learned by your team to bring the greatest possible gains to the workplace.


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-Mark Jones, Senior Director, Maine Medical Partners

less teaching, more learning

Our custom programs can occur practically anywhere, at any time of year:

On-site or Online. We come to you. Programs can be delivered in one of your conference rooms or corporate spaces, outside your facility, at a community space in your area, or virtually.

At a Conference Center or Resort. We can design a program around your scheduled offsite meeting at a conference center or resort, or recommend an ideal venue for an impactful experience.

In the Wilderness or at an Outward Bound Base Camp. We bring teams and organizations together in some of the most beautiful wilderness locations in the world. These shared experiences inspire self discovery and forge bonds that last a lifetime.


Explore Programs



-U.S. Senator (and former Governor of Maine) Angus King
Teamwork challenge
Anywhere, at any time of year
Sailing from our Wheeler Bay Base Camp
At a conference center
Rescue Drill
World-class ropes course

Each program asks colleagues to tackle challenging scenarios that prompt problem solving, decision-making, communications and risk-taking. Colleagues develop trust and the ability to harness strengths in the face of change.

the core of our PROFESSIONAL program



Whether developed with intention or left to evolve, culture does as much to dictate an organization's fate as any other factor: product quality, industry expertise, strategy…the list goes on.

Rooted in individual behaviors, an organization's culture reflects its belief system and values. What is expected versus what is accepted? What (and how) will we communicate?  How will we make decisions? Problem-solve?  Resolve conflict?  Support one other?  Honor our clients and our craft?  Celebrate success?  Respond to adversity?

By separating teams from their workplace settings where preconceived notions of hierarchy affect participation, Outward Bound Professional programs encourage "true selves" to emerge.   All participants -- new hires and senior executives, alike -- are given the opportunity to approach unfamiliar challenges on equal footing, unimpeded by professional personas.  Natural individual and collective tendencies surface for examination, and facilitated discussions shed light on breakthrough discoveries that translate to the workplace environment. 

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For groups to access their multiplying potential, individual team members must know that they can offer fresh ideas, try new things, be themselves, and question norms without fear of retribution. When Individuals know that they have permission to think and act differently, innovation is unleashed. Better still, when team members know it's okay to make mistakes, they push boundaries and strive for excellence more freely, all with awareness of the varied and complementary strengths within the team.

Having consulted with professional teams since the early 1980s, Outward Bound Professional draws from a deep well of programming concepts designed to illuminate critical elements of high-performance teams, including strategy & planning, communications, conflict resolution, and change management.  Graduating in complexity, these challenges provide a practice field where teams can examine and refine their methods, with guidance from professional facilitators deft in their approach to debriefing lessons learned. 

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Successful organizations increasingly value leaders who place their teams ahead of themselves, encourage risk-taking, demonstrate self-awareness,  model vulnerability to build trust, and treat others with empathy. Decades before the emergence of the term Emotional Intelligence, Outward Bound's founder, Kurt Hahn, articulated this vision:  "I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these qualities:  an enterprising curiosity, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial and above all, compassion."

Essential to great leadership is self-awareness of one's strengths, blind spots, opportunities for development, impact on others, values, motivations.  Next is an appreciation for the varied styles, approaches and preferences that make others successful.  As with our classic wilderness courses, Outward Bound Professional promotes individual and group reflection on the behaviors and choices that have produced results during program initiative.  Participants recognize their own responses to adversity, tendencies when leading and following, and effects on group dynamics. 

Many of our activities have a perceived element of risk, potentially physical and/or emotional, which allows individuals to experience and show vulnerability. This key element in building trust allows teams to galvanize more quickly than in the work place and more traditional learning situations. 

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Beyond all the lessons, it felt like being a kid again... to sail, rock-climb and eat lobster on the Maine coast. How could you beat that?

-Eric Boggs, Principal Innovation Officer, Crowe LLP