The mountains and the sea have provided the classroom for a million young people who have benefited from Outward Bound® since 1941, and while teamwork and physical endeavour have had periods in which they have been unfashionable over the last 60 years, the tide has now turned in their favour. Throughout that time Outward Bound® has maintained a belief that outdoor adventures make a significant contribution to the development of young people. Now the nation has recognized again that skills and attributes such as leadership, and teamwork are critical if young people are to be equipped for the challenges they face whilst at school, and as they enter the world of work.
In our current environment of sliding values, Outward Bound® is more important than ever. It actually triggers the right values and standards in young people and has a huge influence on their character and indeed, their courage.
A great deal has changed since Kurt Hahn founded Outward Bound® 60 years ago, but the basic need remains the same. As Hahn said, "we are all better then we know. If only we can be brought to realize this, we may never be prepared to settle for anything less." Through outdoor challenges it shows young people the meaning of what is the greatest sentences in the English language: "I can."
Outward Bound® is the organization for outdoor adventure in Britain. It has an unequalled safety record - something we are very proud of - and as a result sets the benchmark by which safety in outdoor adventure is judged.
In the last three years alone more than 40,000 young people have taken the challenge, and next year a further 20,000 will complete the High Challenge Ropes Course, build a raft or abseil for the first time in their life. These young people will complete their Outward Bound® adventure as part of a residential course at one of The Trust's centres in inspiring locations in The Lake District, Wales and Scotland, or as part of an out-reach project near to their home.
Outward Bound® is for everyone. Young people from all social backgrounds attend courses. The able and disabled make the voyage of discovery which is exciting, challenging and rewarding - but not a holiday. Outward Bound® Instructors are a key element in the success of Outward Bound® courses. They are men and women who have had their own lives shaped by adventures and who now wish to share their enthusiasm and skill with others. Courses follow an effective yet simple formula. Instructors give new skills, and the chance to practice and refine them, before inviting young people to take more responsibility for themselves. Finally those skills are tested in the mountains or at sea as they take control of their own expedition, and of their own lives.