About Us


About NCOB

Delivering outdoor education experiences for nearly 50 years. 

"You can expect to be doing rather than watching; acting rather than talking. You can expect to try without worry of failing for we demand only that you try. You tell us how well you did." - Dan Meyer, NCOBS School Director, 1971-76'

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.  

Our Mission

 Changing lives through challenge and discovery. 

Our Principles

The following principles are integral to our heritage and how we design our programs. 

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.

Our History

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.

Program Basecamps

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. 

Upcoming events


Workplace Coaching Skills for Leaders Workshop - April 29, 2014

Coaching and developing your people is a critical leadership competency in today’s business environment because Talent is the Key Differentiator. Today’s leaders understand that coaching and developing their people (talent management) is a key driver of employee engagement, which in turn fosters innovation, profitability, and customer loyalty. This highly engaging program makes key distinctions between managing people, and growing them. Participants will learn and practice the conversation skills and tools of effective coaches in the workplace. 

Date: April 29, 9:00am – 12:00pm. Please arrive at 8:30 for sign-in, have a cup of hot brew, and say hello!

Price: $120 for individual, $89 for each additional key member of your team you include.
100% of the workshop fees, after a deduction for the direct expense of printed materials and event refreshments, go directly to NCOBS’s Western NC Youth Scholarship Fund.

Location: Prestige Subaru Adventure Center - 585 Tunnel Road Asheville, NC 28805 (heading east, 2nd driveway past Prestige main entrance. Look for “Adventure Center” sign.)

To Register: Click here to register, www.steverudolphcoaching.com and click on “workshop” icon. 

Cedar Rock is Having a Work Week - April 25, 26, 27

Cedar Rock will be having a work week April 25th, 26th, and 27th. We need to dust off the shelves and open and air out our warehouse as well as a few super fun base projects that you'll just have to come find out about in person to know. We will also be cooking for our volunteers, so please RSVP if you are coming for one day or all three so we know how much food to order. If you are able to join, please email Lark at lgardner@ncobs.org. 

Table Rock is Having a Work Week - May 3-5, 2014

Table Rock is excited to announce the dates of our upcoming work week! Please mark your calendars for May 3-5th and come on up to help us doing some very important projects around base! We plan on starting on May 3rd at 9.00 am. We’d love to have as many people as possible. Food will be provided as well as accommodation. We hope to spend our evenings having fun, so if you’re a rock climber, a board game player, a runner or just an all-around fun person, we’ll have something fun to do each evening.  Invite your friends and family—the more the merrier! If you are able to join us or have any questions, please email Sara at shalbe@ncobs.org

 River Bound Race Series Dates Announced! May 31, June 21, July 19, 2014

NCOBS is pleased to announce the River Bound Race will be taking place in Charlotte for the fourth year in a row. Registration will be open soon. Until then, the dates for this year are as follows:

5.31.2014 5k/10k Reedy Creek Park

6.21.2014 5k/15k Fisher Farm Park

7.19.2014 5k/Half Marathon Anne Springs Close Greenways

Latest News

The Summer Trail Tales Newsletter is here!

July 28, 2014

read more

Wilderness Trip Helps Vance High Athletes Become Better Leaders

June 27, 2014

read more

Staff Highlight: Corey Winstead

June 12, 2014

Chief Climbing Instructor

read more

NCOBS Partners with the Warrior Institute Once Again

March 24, 2014

for a unique program for four veterans and their partners.

read more

Read the Spring Trail Tales Newsletter

February 28, 2014

Learn about NCOBS' history, our year in review, hear from one of our instructors and find out about featured courses.

read more

The 2013 NCOBS Annual Report is here!

December 9, 2013

read more

The Founding of Table Rock

February 20, 2014

read more

NCOBS partners with Owen High School teachers and students

October 2, 2013

Read about one of our unique programs where we partner with Owen High School to help students and teachers bring experiential learning experiences into the school's culture.

read more

Peer Leadership Day Teaches Important Transition Skills to Incoming Freshman

August 26, 2013

read more

Serving Those Who Have Served

August 29, 2013

read more

Nature is the best medicine

June 6, 2013

Ryan was defiant, angry and dabbling in risky behaviors. His parents enrolled him in an Intercept course and now his parents say, he "gets it."

read more

Summer Search Partnership

May 2, 2013

For more than 20 years Outward Bound has partnered with Summer Search to get 2,000+ high school students outdoors.

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 Course

April 9, 2013

UNC Kenan-Flagler Leadership Immesion program finishes with an NCOBS course.

read more

50 Years of Outward Bound!

April 17, 2012

Featured in The Private Journey Magazine

read 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, 2012

read more

Our Staff

To contact us, visit www.ncobs.org/contact

To contact Student Services, click here.


Our Instructors

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 


Rick Michaels, Board Chair - Davidson, 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

Amos Beason - Charlotte, NC

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

Melissa Kienbaum - Charlotte, NC

William States Lee, IV - Charlotte, NC

Edward G. Lilly, III - Hendersonville, NC

Andy Mink - Chapel Hill, NC & Orange, VA

Marty O'Keefe - Asheville, NC

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 


Life Directors

Arthur M. Blank - Atlanta, GA

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 operates under permits from the following Forest Services, Fish and Wildlife Services and National Park Services:

Big Cypress National Preserve, FL

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC

Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, NC

Chattahoochee National Forest, GA

Cherokee National Forest, TN


Everglades National Park, FL

Nantahala National Forest, NC

North Carolina State Parks

Ocala National Forest, FL

Pisgah National Forest, NC

Sumter National Forest, SC

Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, FL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9222 (voice). TDD users can contact USDA through local relay or the Federal relay at (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866 377-8642 (relay voice). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 



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