Changing Lives Through Challenge and Discovery

At North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS), we strive to provide a wide variety of life-changing programs for students of all ages and life experiences. In 2019, 5,494 students participated in our diverse programs, representing 30,198 student program days. These students attended courses for the general public offered in our seven spectacular wilderness settings or participated in one of our custom programs for school groups and other unique populations. These are the different programs NCOBS provides:


Known as the 'original' Outward Bound leadership program, these expeditions take students into beautiful wilderness environments where they must dig deep and discover their hidden strengths. These courses are for students of all ages and backgrounds and teach communication and collaborative skills, confidence, self-reliance, and compassion. > Find out more


Gap Year Programs are long courses offered in remote, rugged wilderness settings that broaden students' world views while building skills in teamwork and leadership. This program is an ideal alternative for college-age students looking for something beyond the traditional classroom environment and for those who want to learn by doing. No other Outward Bound experience is as in-depth, absorbing or comprehensive as our wilderness semester courses. > Find out more


Pathfinder courses are a great way for young adults to pause and take a step back from all of those influencers and get to know themselves. These 30-day expeditions help students explore their strengths and values, identify future goals and create an action plan for the future. Throughout the course, you’ll participate in life coaching sessions and structured goal-setting activities that help clarify priorities, strengthen character and define a new, self-directed path. > Find out more


Our 50-day Outdoor Educator courses are designed to provide participants with the skills and experiences they need to begin a career in the outdoor experiential education industry. Outward Bound has trained many educators and offers a premier learning experience. By learning 'hands-on,' students will gain a better understanding of both the technical and teaching skills that will prepare them for an entry-level position as an outdoor or experiential education educator. > Find out more


Wilderness-based programs for struggling individuals and their families, designed to teach conflict resolution, goal-setting, communication, and decision-making skills. This highly structured and facilitated program removes students from the pressures and influences of home and school and instead presents them with the health risks and real challenges of the natural world. Students learn to examine the decisions that they have been making in their lives and practice new ways of setting goals and connecting decisions with consequences. > Find out more

Specialized Programs


Tuition- and transportation-free wilderness expeditions designed specifically for veterans and active service members transitioning back to civilian lives. Veterans expeditions help to reinforce the gratification, confidence, and self-worth that comes with working within a group, and build the skills necessary to successfully return to life after wartime service. > More.


Wilderness-based prevention program delivered in Florida for at-risk youth emphasizing character development, academic achievement and social responsibility.We emphasize character development, academic achievement and social responsibility to reduce the risk of dropping out of school, substance abuse and future delinquency. > More.


Custom-designed programs that augment leadership training and team development at the workplace for business professionals. The goal is to create positive, lasting change in the workplace through innovative programs that enhance the effectiveness of individuals, groups and organizations. > More.

School-based Programs


Short (4 - 7 day), wilderness-based, self-pay courses customized for intact groups from public and independent secondary schools, colleges and universities. These programs are designed to fit the needs and learning styles of the group and foster analytical thinking, effective communication, and responsible citizenship. > More.


A year-long professional development program for traditional, charter and independent school teachers that positively impacts classroom culture and curriculum through the wilderness, classroom, and online components. > More.


A wide range of leadership development and team-building programs delivered to groups of elementary, middle and high school students in Metro Atlanta and in the North Carolina mountains. > More.


Wilderness-based high school program, with a school-based component, to empower young people of diverse backgrounds to become compassionate leaders of social change with a school-based follow-up component. > More.


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