Educational Approach


With the wilderness as our classroom, we're cultivating compassionate and resilient leaders.

Through challenge and discovery in the outdoors, our students develop skills that will last a lifetime. They discover that they are stronger than they know – both physically and mentally. They gain confidence to lead and serve in their communities. They learn the transformative power of friendships founded upon compassion, empathy, and respect. 

Course Outcomes

Strength of Character 

Strenuous days in the outdoors help students build life-long confidence in their physical and emotional strengths. They return home with increased confidence, resilience, and integrity.  

Ability to Lead 

Students are empowered to address challenges as a team. Together, they learn tools for effective communication, goal setting, and collaboration. All of these are important qualities of leadership. 

Desire to Serve 

Our courses provide a forum for students to express compassion and service to others. They are encouraged to discover ways to use their unique strengths to make a positive impact on the crew, the natural world and their communities at home.  

This trip has not only taught me that I am beyond physically capable, but I am also mentally capable, to learn, laugh, love, and forgive. I was not prepared for how this experience would truly change my way of thinking. I feel like I have adopted a growth mindset as a direct result of this journey.
-2022 Southwest Pathfinder Student

Design Principles

Challenge and Adventure

Rugged peaks and canyons provide students with the opportunity to be challenged physically and mentally. Students learn to work as a crew to overcome adversity. Together, they discover that they are stronger than they know. 

Supportive Environment

Physical and emotional safety is foundational to personal growth. Our instructors create a caring and inclusive group culture where everyone is encouraged to grow. Students learn to care for themselves and each other.  

Learning to Lead 

Students learn to thrive as a group in the backcountry. By the end of course, they are encouraged to be their own leaders, working together to plan their route, navigate, and set up camp.  

Success and Failure  

Students are empowered to define success for themselves. They set personal and group goals and find learning opportunities from both their achievements and failures. 

Reflection and Transference 

Group discussions and debriefs are a daily part of course. Students reflect on their experiences, set goals for life at home, and connect with their peers in a safe and authentic environment.  


measuring Success

Outward Bound is at the center of a fundamental shift in the nation’s educational paradigm. We have combined Outward Bound’s 60 years of experience facilitating life-changing experiences with the latest research on social-emotional development to create The Domains of Thriving (DoT) educational tool. Each domain highlights specific social-emotional skills learned on an Outward Bound such as teamwork, self-awareness, perseverance, and physical confidence.  


Find Your Adventure

2023 Expeditions

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