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Delivering outdoor education experiences for nearly 50 years.
Move beyond your perceived limitations with one of the oldest independent Outward Bound schools in the country and the leader in experiential and outdoor education. Since 1967, North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) has delivered challenging wilderness adventures that teach more than just outdoor skills. Upholding the same ideals and goals as the first Outward Bound school established in the 1940s in Britain, every NCOBS course is built around a progression that delivers powerful life lessons by encouraging participants to safely and confidently, step outside their comfort zones and travel in spectacular wilderness areas.
Changing lives through challenge and discovery.
The following principles are integral to our heritage and how we design our programs. The first four are called the Four Pillars.Physical Fitness - Building the physical and emotional stamina to meet challenges.Craftsmanship - Modeling quality and intention in one’s actions.Self-Reliance - Being resourceful, recognizing and applying personal strengths.Compassion - Selflessly engaging in the welfare and dignity of others.Diversity - Embracing people’s differences as sources of learning and growth.Safety - Managing risk for physical and emotional safety in everything we do.Service - Acting selflessly to meet the needs of others and our environment.Courage - Taking risks to achieve goals and stand up for universal well-being.Leadership - Utilizing collaborative relationships to initiate collective action.Environmental Stewardship - Preserving our natural world for posterity.
Outward Bound is an international educational movement dedicated to the idea that people are capable of far more than they know. Originally designed for young sailors during World War II, the program fostered leadership qualities needed to head out on the high seas- when ships were "Outward Bound." Now, all around the world, Outward Bound schools prepare people to take on challenges and achieve more than they ever thought possible.
"There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less." -Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn, Outward Bound’s founder, was adamant that human potential should be harnessed for the well-being of all people. As a Jewish educator living in Nazi Germany, he had witnessed the horror of human power unchecked by compassion and moral courage. Hahn pioneered educational programs that inspired young people to embrace their common humanity, engage in service and become active citizens. By living in a group in a wilderness setting and facing authentic challenges, participants realize what they are truly capable of and develop compassionate, courageous leadership skills needed for actively engaging in their lives back home.
Why North Carolina Outward Bound School?
Methodology: Outward Bound is for anyone and everyone.
A North Carolina Outward Bound School course is the beginning of a life-long journey. We offer courses for a broad range of groups, including individuals (teens and adults), school groups, educators, business professionals and veterans, that are both physically challenging and powerfully inspiring. From four to 72 days long, our wilderness expeditions take place in some of the premier outdoor education areas of the country, with activity options of mountaineering, backpacking, whitewater canoeing, rock climbing, coastal canoeing and sea kayaking. Participants going on an Outward Bound course will develop skills in leadership, wilderness travel, environmental stewardship, character development and compassion for others.
To be “outward bound” literally means to leave the shelter of the harbor for the open sea; figuratively it means leaving comfort zones, putting fears aside and discovering new possibilities. Whatever your reason for choosing North Carolina Outward Bound School, every bend in the trail, eddy in the river and rock ledge of a mountain peak are opportunities for personal growth. No experience is necessary, just the willingness to dig deep, embrace the moment and take the challenge. Our course areas are the North Carolina Mountains, North Carolina Outer Banks, Florida Everglades National Park, the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Patagonia in South America.
Click to review Frequently Asked Questions about North Carolina Outward Bound School.
Our School delivers programs in some premier outdoor recreation areas in the United States and South America. We currently offer programs in:
- North Carolina Mountains
- North Carolina Outer Banks
- Everglades in Southern Florida
- Patagonia, South America
Click here if you'd like to read about the geographic regions in which we operate.
River Bound Race Series
Blaze new trails this year with North Carolina Outward Bound School’s River Bound Race Series. This award-winning trail race will take place in seven locations in both Charlotte and Asheville this year. All proceeds go toward scholarships for youth, teachers and veterans who want to attend an Outward Bound course. This series features some of the most scenic and challenging trails in the Southeast and is designed to suite a variety of runners, from those who want to try their first 5k, to those trail running veterans testing their limits in a half marathon. To register visit our website: www.riverboundrace.com.
March 9-5k/8k-Renaissance Park-Charlotte
April 6-5k/10k-Warren Wilson College Trails-Asheville
May 18-5k/10k-Fisher Farm Park-Charlotte
June 8-5k/15k-Warren Wilson College Trails-Asheville
July 20-5k/15k-US National Whitewater Center-Charlotte
Sept. 14-5k/Half Marathon-Warren Wilson College Trails-Asheville
Sept. 21-5k/Half Marathon-Anne Springs Close Greenway-Charlotte
*Want to volunteer? Contact us: email@example.com.
About the River Bound Race Series
Our River Bound Race Series in 2010 was voted #1 Trail Running Race Series of Western NC by Endurance Magazine!We had approximately 1,200 runners for the whole series in 2010 and raised over $30,000. The 2011 River Bound Race series kicked off on in March with nearly 450 runners participating in our 5K/8K run. The race series continued its success with our 10K/5K in May and 15K/5K in July. The 2011 series doubled the sponsorship and running participants from the first annual race series.
Spring Visitation Schedule
This spring North Carolina Outward Bound School representative, Ryan Robinson, will be visiting these select locations and events. We will post details pertaining to each visit via Facebook. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with Ryan please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828)239-2105. We are always eager to meet with potential students and alumni. Hope to see you soon!
For more information please contact Ryan Robinson at email@example.com or (828)239-2105
Summer Search PartnershipMay 2, 2013
For more than 20 years Outward Bound has partnered with Summer Search to get 2,000+ high school students outdoors.read more
Volunteers Needed!April 23, 2013
For NCOBS' May 18 trail run in Charlotte.read more
Mt. Vernon Upper School Goes Outward Bound!April 19, 2013
Read about these students experiences.read more
Finishing Business School with an Outward Bound CourseApril 9, 2013
UNC Kenan-Flagler Leadership Immesion program finishes with an NCOBS course.read more
Collaboration with Warrior InstituteMarch 22, 2013
Read this write-up by the Warrior Institute about our recent collaboration with them to get four veterans and their spouses out for a six-day coastal canoeing trip in the 10,000 Islands. The crew not only learned about canoeing and life in the outdoors, but biofeedback training and the positive effect that mindfulness and breathing techniques can have on stress and anxiety.read more
First River Bound Race of the Season a Success!March 11, 2013
Race results and photos are available!read more
Outward Bound study featured in the Los Angeles TimesJanuary 11, 2013
Study done by the University of Kansas and the University of Utah.read more
River Bound Race Series 2013 Dates and Locations Announced!November 13, 2012
Join us for North Carolina Outward Bound School's trail running race series. This award-winning race is set in seven locations in Asheville and Charlotte and features some of the most scenic and challenging rails in the Southeast. It is designed to suite a variety of runners, from those who want to try their first 5k, to those trail running veterans testing their bounds in a half marathon. All proceeds from the River Bound Race Series go towards scholarships for veterans, teachers and youth to go on course with NCOBS. http://www.riverboundrace/read more
North Carolina Outward Bound in the news!November 13, 2012
Check out feature articles on NCOBS from across the country.read more
50 Years of Outward Bound!April 17, 2012
Featured in The Private Journey Magazineread more
"Try Outward Bound and Change Your Life"February 8, 2012
North Carolina Outward Bound's Charlotte Office celebrates 15 years. By Caroline McMillan, Charlotte Observer Feb. 8, 2012read more
River Bound Race Series Recognized as "2011 Best Trail Race in NC!"December 15, 2011
Endurance Magazines Annual Best Of name NCOB's Race Series as "Best Trail Race in NC."read more
NCOB's Web site design wins Silver ADDY award!March 15, 2011
Designsensory wins a total of 11 awards for Web site design/development.read more
To contact us, visit www.ncobs.org/contact
To contact Student Services, click here.
As a leader in wilderness-based experiential education, our wilderness instructors are accomplished outdoor educators, with extensive experience and training in technical and facilitation skills. Our community and administrative staff are passionate about our mission and are focused on supporting the mission of the school in the communities we serve. We value and seek a diverse range of people who are sincerely interested in the growth and development of others on a personal, group and larger societal level. If you'd like to learn more about who we hire and our certifications and requirements for hiring, please visit www.ncobs.org/careers.
North Carolina Outward Bound School Board of Directors
Deb Follo Caughron, Board Chair - Bat Cave, NC
Susan R. Buckley, Vice Chair - Wayne, PA
Gordon Caudle, Vice Chair - Durham, NC
J. Kenton Richards, Board Treasurer - Atlanta, GA
Michéle Taylor - Board Secretary - Atlanta, GA
Aram Attarian - Raleigh, NC
Heather Baldino - Marietta, GA
Ann R. Baruch - Bryn Mawr, PA & Okatie, SC
Amos Beason - Charlotte, NC
Susan Buckley - Wayne, PA
Bob Cox - Tallahassee, FL
Rufus M. Dalton - Charlotte, NC
Henry W. "Hank" Flint - Charlotte, NC
Matthew J. Gould - Atlanta, GA
David P. Hardy - Philadelphia, PA
Stephen C. Hassenfelt - Greensboro, NC
Thomas James - New York, NY
Darian Jones - Atlanta, GA
William States Lee, IV - Charlotte, NC
Edward G. Lilly, III - Hendersonville, NC
Rick Michaels - Davidson, NC
Andy Mink - Chapel Hill, NC & Orange, VA
Scott B. Perper - Charlotte, NC
Scott Puritz - Chevy Chase, MD
L. Kent Satterfield - Travelers Rest, SC
Richard K. Schell - Charlotte, NC
David R. Sibilsky - Atlanta, GA
Ben Smeal - New York, NY
Steve Solnick - Asheville, NC
Jeff Yost - Atlanta, GA
Arthur M. Blank - Atlanta, GA
Marjorie B. Buckley - Bethlehem, PA
Linwood S. "Inky" Inscoe, Jr. - Morganton, NC
Dan Meyer - Green Valley, AZ
Marjorie H. "Mag" Whittaker - Ooltewah, TN
North Carolina Outward Bound School Staff Wiki
North Carolina Outward Bound Staff Wiki (for staff only)
Log in to view announcements, download forms, and access course planning and organizational resources.
Land Use Agencies
North Carolina Outward Bound would like to thank the many land-use agencies who allow us to use their lands.
North Carolina Outward Bound operates under permits from the following Forest Services, Fish and Wildlife Services and National Park Services:
- Chattahoochee National Forest, GA
- Cherokee National Forest, TN
- Nantahala National Forest, NC
- Pisgah National Forest, NC
- Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, NC
- Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, FL
- Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC
- Everglades National Park, FL
- CONAF - Chile
- Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
- Big Cypress National Preserve, FL
- Sumter National Forest, SC
- Ocala National Forest, FL
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, FL
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA
- Cape Canaveral National Seashore, FL
- Cumberland Islands National Seashore, GA
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, North Carolina Outward Bound is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.