“You can tell somebody who came back from an Outward Bound course by the way they walk down the street.”

David Hardy

Former Headmaster, Boys Latin School of Philadelphia Charter School

Enduring Impact

To serve, to strive
and not to yield

Our alumni are high potential youth, educators, corporate managers, college students, military veterans, struggling teens, and adults from all walks of life. They are better equipped to participate in their communities as responsible citizens – whether at home, at school, or in their neighborhoods – because of their NCOBS experience.

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"Adaptability," Mike Fischesser, Former NCOBS Program Director


We have adapted our programs countless times in the past 50 years to meet the needs of diverse populations. Through this journey of service, we confirm, with each program adaptation, the profound ability and universal relevance of the Outward Bound experience to foster the best of the human spirit. Now more than 160,000 alumni strong, we draw lessons from our diverse students and carry them forward in our continued outreach.

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"Outward Bound Veterans Program", Florida Atlantic University, 2016


Service is the bedrock upon which NCOBS was founded. It is an essential component of all of our courses. Through service, we build compassion and awaken a sense of community responsibility. Starting with our early courses in the late 1960s at Table Rock, when we established the Fire Crew to assist the US Forest Service, community service of all kinds has been central to the NCOBS experience. Through it, students learn how to engage responsibly in the work of communities. They learn that they are needed, and this discovery alone can contribute to a lifelong desire to serve.


At NCOBS, we believe Outward Bound is for everyone. Our goal is to make the experience accessible to as many motivated students as possible. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we provide scholarships for students from all walks of life so they may attend a course. Today, nearly 50 percent of our students receive financial support. As well, we work in Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to improve schools and communities, and we provide tuition-free courses for military veterans.

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“Student Scholarship Video”, 2015


As stewards, we take responsibility. Whether in the office or in the field, we practice, and we foster stewardship as an essential quality of our citizenship. On course, students are not only moved by the beauty of the wilderness, or the richness of the urban environment, they learn to navigate it responsibly. No matter the course location, we cultivate an ethic of personal responsibility that has lasting, positive effect.

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"Finding Clarity," NCOBS's Veterans Program, 2016

Over the years, research has confirmed what we’ve suspected since the start – our programs create lasting, positive change in the lives of many alumni. They are better prepared for the rigors of compassionate, responsible citizenship because they have been “Outward Bound.” With unwavering confidence in the value and the importance of our courses, we stride toward our next 50 years with a mission to change many more lives for the better.

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"Student Rap Poetry Piece," Philadelphia Scholarship Recipient

View Chapter 4 GalleryChapter Five: The Path Ahead
Loading:"Outward Bound Veterans Program", Florida Atlantic University, 2016
Loading:“Student Scholarship Video”, 2015
Loading:"Finding Clarity," NCOBS's Veterans Program, 2016
Loading:"Student Rap Poetry Piece," Philadelphia Scholarship Recipient
Loading:"Adaptability," Mike Fischesser, Former NCOBS Program Director