Colorado Outward Bound School

A nonprofit organization

$16,364 raised by 72 donors

For the past 60 years, Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) has blazed the trail in outdoor education, changing the lives of our students. One thing that has remained true throughout COBS’s history is that first and foremost, we are a school. Our students learn skills they can draw on for the rest of their lives. Not only outdoor technical skills, but confidence, resilience, and compassion. Our impact as a school transcends generations and transfers to many areas of a student’s life.

We need your support to continue cultivating compassionate and resilient leaders for years to come. Your gift will be immediately put to use in the following ways:

  • Support our scholarship fund
  • Rebuild our field staff through critical recruitment and retention efforts
  • Maintain and improve our Leadville, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, basecamps
  • And, most importantly, get more students on an Outward Bound course


“My COBS experience not only reduced my anxiety and depression, but ultimately shifted my approach to and view of the world. Overcoming challenges on course gave me the courage to lean into difficult situations back home and has given me an assurance about what I can do, that I did not have before. COBS showed me how to grab onto my life with both hands… I remember saying to myself, ‘Not one more day not fully alive.’ This is a mantra I still live by today.”
- Alissa Kuster, reflecting on her Fall 2020 COBS Pathfinder course 

"This trip has helped me develop compassion, kindness and vulnerability. This course tests you physically yet even more so mentally at moments. I wouldn't have been able to develop some of these new character traits without this course and my peers."
- Jackson, 2022 COBS Alumni


To change lives through challenge and discovery.

Background Statement

Outward Bound’s roots go back to 1930's Scotland. An educator named Kurt Hahn saw the need for a school that focused on both intellectual studies and personal development. As war erupted in in Europe, Hahn and others noticed an interesting trend. Older, more experienced sailors were surviving. Younger, more fit but less experienced, soldiers were perishing at sea.

In 1941, Hahn proposed starting a new school. This month-long program trained students "through the sea, rather than for the sea." Focus was placed on physical fitness, enterprise, tenacity, and compassion. The goal was to both prepare youth for war and for becoming contributing members of society. The first Outward Bound School was born.

In 1962, local education and industry leaders founded the Colorado Outward Bound School in Marble, Colo. Ever since, Outward Bound has been the pioneering leader in outdoor experiential education. Over a million students from all walks of life have experienced Outward Bound programs. To this day, participants are immersed in challenging expedition courses that inspire discovery. There are now eleven Outward Bound Schools in the US, including the Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS).

The wilderness is a powerful classroom. It is increasingly important for youth and young adults to go beyond traditional classrooms. Participating in outdoor experiences rounds their education. It helps them become better adults. Better community members. COBS is dedicated to removing financial and societal barriers to these experiences. Life-changing wilderness experiences should be available to any youth and young adults. Not only those with the financial means. And not only those who have traditionally felt welcome in outdoor spaces. These experiences should be available and welcoming to all.

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Outward Bound School

other names


Year Established



Youth Development, Education, Recreation & Sports, Environment

Organization Size

Large Organization


3840 York Street Suite 150
Denver, CO 80205


1930 Hwy 300
Leadville, CO 80461


16 Ranch Road
Moab, UT 84532

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US

Lake County, CO, US






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