Our priority continues to be the health and well-being of our students and staff. We are basing programmatic decisions and protocols on CDC guidance along with the specifics of operating outdoor activities in wilderness environments. These Program Protocols and course activities are subject to change. Please check this page for updates. Updated 3/31/2022
Starting April 1, 2022, all participants on Classic Courses are required to be up to date on their vaccination against COVID-19 per CDC guidelines. Up to date means you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. Getting recommended boosters is essential to maintaining the same level of protection that was provided by the primary series of vaccination – without boosters, protections for each person AND the community decreases over time.
Participants are required to submit their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with booster documentation included if eligible within 30 days of date of eligibility, or by 3 days prior to course start, whichever date comes first.
When to get boosted?
Reference the CDC guidelines on staying up to date with your vaccines.
NCOBS strongly recommends participants take a viral COVID-19 test prior to traveling to course to avoid traveling while infectious and to avoid being turned away at course start (all participants will be given an antigen quick test at course start and those who test positive will not be allowed on course**). NCOBS recommends testing within 5 days of course if using a lab-processed molecular test or 24 hours or less prior to course for an antigen or PCR quick-test.
Participants are to be COVID-19 symptom-free 72-hours prior to course start. Symptoms include fever over 100.3°F, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, and fatigue. Some people may have chills, headaches, sore throat or lose their sense of smell or taste.
If You Have Had COVID-19 Within the Past 3 Months
Participants who have had a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within 3 months of course start date may continue to test positive after recovery. If you have had COVID-19 within 3 months of course start and are still testing positive for COVID-19, you must submit the following:
Refer to the "During Course" Section below to review masking and physical distancing expectations while on course.
We will make every effort to confirm the course at 30-days before course start. Participant status and/or course status may change at any time due to COVID-19.
Participants on Open Enrollment courses may travel to/from course by personal vehicle or commercial transportation; however, personal vehicle travel is strongly encouraged.
To reduce the likelihood of participants testing positive upon arrival to Outward Bound, we highly encourage participants to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test 24-hours or less prior to traveling to Outward Bound. Participants who test positive should not travel and will not be accepted onto course.
Participants will take an NCOBS-administered rapid antigen COVID-19 test on course start day upon arrival. Participants testing positive, as well as any close contacts, will not be accepted on course.
If you intend to travel by commercial transportation, you must submit a back-up travel plan should you need to travel home under quarantine or isolation protocols. Plan must NOT include commercial travel.
YOUTH (Course Age Ranges 14-18) must depart from the airport at course start or from the Outward Bound program location during course by private vehicle, providing name and contact information of pick-up person. Once course is in progress, if you must depart course early due to COVID-19, your plan must allow for departure within 48 hours.
ADULT (Course age ranges 18+, 18-25, 30+) must either:
Hotel options include:
Once course is in progress, if you must depart course early due to COVID-19, your plan must allow for departure within 48 hours.
Please refer to CDC Guidelines on physical distancing best practices.
Our nation is experiencing an overall decrease in new cases of COVID-19. With this favorable trend, The North Carolina Outward Bound School remains vigilant regarding the emergence of future COVID-19 variants and may adjust masking protocol if conditions warrant.
Effective April 1, 2022, masks will not be required in outdoor settings where only the crew* and their instructors are present.
Masks will only be required in the following situations:
*A “crew” is defined as the group of 8-12 Outward Bound participants who are on expedition together.