Changing lives through challenge and discovery.
Outward Bound's roots go back to 1941 when influential educator and philosopher Kurt Hahn developed a survival training program for British sailors based on a philosophy that training through challenges produced better outcomes and greater impact than training for challenges. That distinction, training through rather than for challenges created transferable character traits and is what makes Outward Bound unique.
In 1962, Josh Miner, adopting Hahn's philosophy, founded Outward Bound USA in Marble, Colorado, where we still operate to this day. Since its inception, Outward Bound has been the pioneering leader in outdoor experiential education, serving over one million students from all walks of life and immersing participants in challenging expedition courses that inspire discovery.
Since its inception, COBS has become an industry leader and transformed the lives of thousands of students. The topography of the West offers so many opportunities for adventure, allowing many of our expeditions to combine multiple activities and very distinctive ecosystems into one course. Whether rafting the rivers, summitting glaciated peaks or climbing desert rock, students experience true wilderness miles away from civilization. They feel the confidence of real self-reliance, where everything you need is in your head or on your back.
"I made real connections with strangers and discoveries about myself. Through the triumphs and the pain I gained mental toughness...Throughout it all I felt like the low notes made the high notes better and sticking together and building off [each other] made the course better and me a better person."
- Elliot, 2021 COBS Scholarship Recipient
"I just wanted to touch base and thank you and the entire COBS staff for making Sean's Outward Bound experience so amazing. Yes, it was tough. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, it was gritty. But he came home to us on Saturday night so pumped and excited and proud of himself for completing the course. He made great friends. And he tested himself in ways that were so positive and life affirming. I'm hoping this experience will be a cornerstone of growth for him. I'm hoping he looks back on the memories made with your team as a pivotal time in his life - and that he continues to build confidence, knowing what he's capable of achieving."
- Mary, 2021 Parent