COVID-19 Program Practices

Welcome to the Colorado Outward Bound School's 2021 season! 2020 was a tough year for everyone -- here at COBS, we canceled our 2020 summer programs to regroup, solidify new practices in light of COVID-19, and relaunch with a successful fall season. We had amazing students and staff in the field last fall who enjoyed outdoor adventures, making new friends, and a much-needed reprieve from an otherwise challenging year.

After winter break, we are so excited to welcome our staff back to COBS and to meet our incoming students! If you are currently enrolled on one of our upcoming courses, please review the guidelines below and contact your Course Advisor with questions.

Notice updated 7/8/2021

Please know that while the Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) is making every effort to implement protocols that minimize the risk of transmissions, we cannot guarantee that COVID-19 will not be present on course. This is an evolving situation and our practices may change as we gain new information or as recommendations change. COBS will decide when and under what conditions any course will operate using advice from medical experts and our best judgement.

COBS is looking forward to responsibly running our programming in the age of COVID-19, and we are asking all students and families to help us make this possible by following the requirements listed below. These requirements are designed with several goals in mind: to keep students and staff healthy, to prevent unintentional spread of communicable disease, to keep our local community healthy, and to allow students to experience an Outward Bound course with the same outcomes as they would have had before the pandemic. It is imperative that you follow these requirements and agree to do your part to help every student and family have a safe and positive experience. In order for you or your child to participate in this Outward Bound course we are requiring the following:


COBS requires ALL participants ON COURSES THAT BEGIN AFTER 8/29 to get fully vaccinated by two weeks prior to course start.  Fully vaccinated means that students have had all of their shots and the two-week loading period after the last shot has fully elapsed.

To inform COBS of your vaccination status you will email a copy of the record of both shots to your course advisor as soon as possible, no later than two weeks before your course start. 

Acceptable Vaccines:  COBS will accept all the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of today, the three approved vaccines are Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.   

Prior to Course Start

  • Students must notify their course advisor of any underlying health conditions that could put them at increased risk from contracting a communicable disease, and check in with their physician about any additional risks.
  • Students (and parents of minor students) will sign a COVID-19 Statement of Understanding. 
  • For our 2021 Spring and Summer courses, students will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test that was administered three days prior to arrival at our basecamps. (It is okay if test results are not available until after course start.)
  • Students must follow strict physical distancing from everyone not in their household for 14 days prior to course start. We've put together some of our favorite books, movies, and podcasts to help pass the time. 
  • Students must undertake daily symptom checks.
  • Courses beginning on or after June 1, 2021 may utilize commercial transportation to course start. We recommend direct flights when possible; additionally, please take every precaution: wear masks while traveling, practice hand washing and sanitization, and follow regional safety protocols.

Course Start

  • Students must arrive at the course start neither experiencing nor presenting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Students will be screened upon arrival, including taking temperature (don't forget your thermometer!). If any signs or symptoms of illness exist, participants will not be allowed to start the course.
  • Students will be tested for COVID-19 at our basecamp in Leadville, Colorado or Moab, Utah. Students who test positive will have to leave course and tuition will not be refunded. We strongly recommend purchasing third-party travel insurance to protect yourself from this possibility.

During Course

  • Students must make arrangements to be picked up within 48 hours if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 or if they must leave course for another reason.
  • Students must agree to wear a 3-ply cloth face cover (such as a mask) when instructed to do so. Masks must cover both the nose and mouth and fasten either at the back of the head or behind the ears. 
  • Students must be willing to follow instructions for reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19, such as frequent hand washing, sanitizing and regular symptom checks. 

Our Staff

  • All staff are taking steps to minimize exposure to COVID-19.
  • All COBS employees who interact with students will be tested for COVID-19 and cleared to work.
  • Staff perform and document daily symptom checks, including taking their temperature. 

Resources for Our Protocols

See you soon!

Sign Up for Updates

Stay informed on Colorado Outward Bound School news and updates!
Please fill out the form below to begin receiving our email newsletter.